A Roadmap of Omnichannel Fulfillment
It’s no secret 21st century overindulged, high-standard, and convenience-seeking shoppers ADORE shopping their favourite items from both:
Multichannel vs. Omnichannel?
No matter where they are, consumers love feeling seen by a brand who recognises their needs and supplies them multiple platforms to buy their favourite item from.
The drawback? You give consumers an altered brand experience with every sales channel you present. Plus, you most likely manage a separate inventory for each of those channels. For example, you may delegate a 3PL to fulfill your Shopee orders and an in-house team to fulfill your brand.com orders. When your Shopee inventory runs out of stock, it costs time and money to transfer inventory between different channels for replenishment.
Additionally, your shipping and return policies and promotions are disparate across your Lazada, Shopee, brand.com and Instagram business – the list goes on.
If that rings a bell, you are practising multichannel order fulfillment.
Omnichannel fulfillment, on the other hand, unifies your inventory management, provides your consumers a uniform brand experience, and synchronises your order processing and fulfillment strategy.
What exactly is omnichannel fulfillment?
Omnichannel fulfillment is defined as the end-to-end process from which a customer places an order to the time the order is delivered to the customer’s doorstep, all through a synchronised system where sales are streamlined into one portal.
That is fairly simple.
The key differentiator between omnichannel and multichannel fulfillment is integration of processes and software.
Did you know, omnichannel fulfillment streamlines delivery and fulfillment processes into a single real-time management dashboard? That means you maintain only one inventory for your offline and online sales platforms conjointly.
To illustrate that, let’s stroll through several customer scenarios of omnichannel fulfillment:
What does an omnichannel fulfillment scenario look like?
Step 1: Customer places an order on one of the offline/online channels
When a customer places an order on any of the offline and online sales channels – brick-and-mortar store, laptop or desktop device, mobile phone, or a seller’s call centre – the orders are updated directly in a synchronised dashboard.
Step 2: Fulfillment center accesses inventory across storage units
Next, the fulfillment centre accesses inventory from all storage units and selects the storage closest to the buyer.
Another of omnichannel fulfillment’s key factor is achieved with this level of flexibility in inventory management → to locate and deliver customers’ orders regardless of the platform and channel they purchase from.
Step 3: The product is shipped but where from?
With the ease of inventory locations, the fulfillment centre affords the choice to ship from any storage unit. This also helps to reduce lead time and ultimately, shipping costs.
Let’s survey some examples of where a customer’s order can ship from:
Shipped from the brick-and-mortar store ✅
The product ships from a physical retail store to the customer. In some cases, the shopper requests to collect it himself.
Shipped from the warehouse ✅
The product ships right from a warehouse to the customer.
Shipped from the manufacturer ✅
The product ships from the manufacturer’s factory to the customer.
Shipped from 3PL of fulfillment centre ✅
The product ships from an omnichannel fulfillment centre directly to the customer. In some cases, fulfillment partners like SnT Global provide collection points for customers to pick up their items.
Essentially, these four places are the prime locations for inventory storage.
Step 4: Finally, the customer receives the order
Lastly, the customer receives his/her order whether through in-store pickup, pickup at a collection point or home delivery.
This action concludes the final stage of omnichannel order fulfillment.
An omnichannel fulfillment is the end-to-end process where an integration software syncs orders and real-time updates into one viewable dashboard for seamless fulfillment.
SnT Global Logistics is a world-class omnichannel fulfillment provider of 17+ years experience with a pioneer status from MIDA. It has a total of 8 warehouses across Malaysia and Singapore and works closely with partners to enhance its market presence across ASEAN.
To date, SnT Global Logistics has partnered with both B2B and B2C omnichannel retailers from industries including information and communication technology (ICT), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, eCommerce, consumer electronics, fashion, cosmetics and skincare.
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