Blog Posts The Secret to a Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Key Takeaways:

  • Today’s consumers typically use a variety of sales channels when purchasing products.
  • Providing a seamless customer experience can be challenging for omnichannel fulfillment operations.
  • 3PLs with omnichannel expertise can help retailers and ecommerce brands to accommodate a variety of order profiles, support technology requirements and ensure optimal service.

The reason that omnichannel is critical for retailers in 2021 is because the customer demands it. The customer is omnichannel. In fact, they don’t think about channels at all. They just think about shopping and buying.”

~ Jess Huang, partner, McKinsey & Company

Meeting consumers’ expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience is a growing challenge for retailers and ecommerce brands. In fact, 53% of retailers say optimizing omnichannel fulfillment to better serve customers is a top strategic area for immediate investment, an RIS study shows.

Experienced third-party logistics providers (3PLs) can often help retailers and ecommerce brands better support multiple sales channels. Saddle Creek Logistics’ ecommerce fulfillment ebook explores the challenges of omnichannel fulfillment and identifies situations where outsourcing can be particularly valuable.

Following is an excerpt from The Complete Guide to Ecommerce Fulfillment Outsourcing…

Fulfillment Challenge: Supporting Multiple Sales Channels

Today, retailers and brands utilize a growing number of sales channels – web stores, mobile apps, physical stores, online marketplaces and more. Providing a seamless customer experience across channels can be challenging.

Each channel can also have different fulfillment requirements. For example, ecommerce generates a high volume of individual orders that must be piece picked while traditional retail operations ship larger units. It can be challenging to fulfill both order profiles from the same distribution center because of the need to alternate between picking pallets, cases and pieces.

In the wake of the pandemic, many retailers have begun fulfilling orders from brick-and-mortar stores to support buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup as well as ecommerce orders. While it helps with inventory utilization, this practice can be problematic as most stores are not set up for efficient fulfillment and the process causes congestion which can alienate shoppers.

In-store fulfillment of online orders is a pain point for 73 percent of retailers.
Forrester survey

Outsourcing Solutions

  • Support multiple order profiles. An omnichannel 3PL will be equipped to handle various order profiles – or supplement your in-house fulfillment operations by managing a subset of your orders, such as D2C.
  • Offer technology solutions. With omnichannel technology solutions, like an order management system (OMS), they can help to pull from the best fulfillment source and accommodate a variety of order profiles to ensure seamless service.
  • Protect your brand integrity. A reputable 3PL partner will serve as an extension of your brand. Using quality management practices like Lean Six Sigma can help to ensure accurate, responsive service.

To learn how outsourcing can help to address other common ecommerce fulfillment challenges, read the ebook.

Related to: Customer Experience, Multiple Sales Channels, Selling Online