What is Omnichannel Distribution?
In short, omnichannel distribution is a strategy where retail, wholesale and ecommerce channels merge together, allowing retailers to offer a seamless experience to their customers across multiple channels. It refers to the integration between physical stores and online stores, allowing shoppers to get their orders in a variety of ways. This includes fulfillment options like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), reserve online, pick up in store (ROPIS) and curbside pickup. Today’s consumers are accustomed to having the ability to choose when, where and how their orders are fulfilled, and omnichannel distribution allows you to meet their expectations.
Your customers expect to be able to research, shop and purchase your products across various sales channels to ensure they are getting the best price and item. Today’s consumer is used to being able to order products online for direct delivery, or to be picked up in store the same day. They are also accustomed to purchasing items in a physical store, and then having that product shipped to a different location or even having a product they want shipped to a physical store location of their choice for pick up. To meet the demand of today’s shoppers, you need omni channel distribution services that integrate well with all of your channels. If you don’t have an effective omnichannel distribution and fulfillment solution—there’s nothing stopping your customers from buying from someone else.
The Importance of Omnichannel Supply Chain Management
An omnichannel strategy has never been more important for your business, because now your customers expect you to offer a seamless, customer-centric shopping experience. In order to implement this method of distribution, you need solid omnichannel supply chain management as a foundation. Your supply chain must extend purchase options and delivery service for the sales channel of your customer’s choice websites, mobile applications, brick and mortar stores, and more.
The key to successfully managing this process and ensuring a good customer experience is having an inventory management system that allows you to manage products for each distribution channel as centralized inventory, unlike the traditional method of managing stock levels as separate silos. A sophisticated warehouse management system with real-time inventory visibility and order management is essential to the success of your operation. Additionally, using centralized inventory management will increase the efficiency of your distribution center and save you (and your customers) money.
Omnichannel vs. Ecommerce
Ecommerce fulfillment and omnichannel distribution are similar, but they do not refer to the same type of distribution. A purely ecommerce retailer exists only online and does not have any physical stores while an omnichannel business has both physical and online retail components that are managed as one entity. Omnichannel fulfillment tends to have an advantage over typical ecommerce because of the greater variety of delivery and pick up options. The flexibility to fulfill orders to multiple channels is appealing to your customers. It’s also very likely that all your competitors have taken an omnichannel approach, offering a variety of options and a better customer journey for shoppers. So, if you’re not offering omnichannel distribution—you could rapidly get left behind. Having an omnichannel fulfillment solution is no longer an option, it’s a requirement to survive.
The ITS Logistics Omnichannel Solution
Omnichannel distribution is saturating the retail world as ecommerce continues to grow, and the flexibility it provides to consumers is a huge contributor to overall customer satisfaction. Businesses with fast shipping and flexible pick-up and delivery options are taking the lead. At ITS, we know that it can seem challenging to manage the complexities and various service requirements that come with fulfillment to these different channels.
We are here to help, offering omnichannel logistics solutions that are designed to create efficient processes for your business that will keep your customers and your executives happy. Our services include comprehensive warehouse management, inventory control, retail distribution, ecommerce fulfillment and more, and are designed to ensure consistent visibility and seamlessness for your business—so you can focus on keeping your customers happy and not worrying about whether your inventory is up to date.
How to get started
Whether you are looking for a third-party logistics provider to help you transition your current operations to omnichannel distribution, or you just want a provider who can efficiently and effectively help you manage your current operations, ITS has a solution for you.
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