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What is Omnichannel Fulfillment, and Why Should You Use It?

June 2, 2021 Published by

watch representing different logistical processes

As Ecommerce continues to grow in popularity, Omnichannel Fulfillment is becoming increasingly important. Though it may sound like another logistics buzzword, it’s vital to understand so that you can adapt to a fulfillment landscape that’s quickly grown reliant on it.

Read on to learn exactly what Omnichannel Fulfillment is and the reasons why you should consider using it.

Definition of Omnichannel Fulfillment

Order Fulfillment includes all the steps a business takes from receiving an order to delivering it to a customer. In basic terms, a customer orders an item and the business then finds, packages, and ships the product to the customer.

Omnichannel Fulfillment is the same as the Order Fulfillment process, but it is completed across multiple channels. For example, orders can be delivered to a customer’s home, shipped to a store from a warehouse, or shipped to a collection point. Many possibilities and combinations exist.

omnichannel fulfillment diagram

Why Should You Use Omnichannel Fulfillment?

Using an Omnichannel Fulfillment system comes with many benefits. For modern businesses that sell across many platforms, it’s important to create a seamless service for your customers. With the right Omnichannel Fulfillment system, your business may benefit from:

1.   Increased Customer Satisfaction

Today’s customers expect quick, custom results. Using an Omnichannel Fulfillment system means that they can receive their deliveries at home or pick them up in-store if they want. Most shoppers want the best experience at the best price, and Omnichannel Fulfillment can help make them want to become a long-term customer.

2.   Improved Order Efficiency and Accuracy

Order Fulfillment is easier when multiple channels are streamlined into a single process. This leads to improved order efficiency and delivery accuracy.

3.   Improved Reporting

If you use a 3PL for your Omnichannel Fulfillment, they’ll be able to give you an overview of all your channels. This means you’ll have access to reporting that can help to identify your most important channels and highlight the ones that need to be improved.

4.   Create a Reliable Brand Image

When customers know they can get their product through any order method (Delivery, in-store pick up, collection point etc.) it inspires a sense of trust that will strengthen your reputation. Today’s shoppers want to have a choice in how they order. All of these channels need to work seamlessly if you want to create a strong, reliable brand image.

Challenges in Creating an Omnichannel Fulfillment System

Although Omnichannel Fulfillment has many benefits, it is not easy to implement. Here are several challenges you’ll need to overcome to create a successful omnichannel fulfillment system:

  1. Inventory Status

Knowing the status of your inventory is vital for any Omnichannel Fulfillment system.

The last thing you want to do is promise overnight shipping to customers and not be able to follow through. This can be especially difficult to accomplish during the holiday season. To solve this problem, you’ll need to invest in an effective inventory management system and keep a close eye on your stock levels.

  1. Delivery Speed

Delivery speed plays a crucial role in the success of an Omnichannel Fulfillment system. One of the hardest things to do is to make sure that products are delivered to your customers on time. When your customer shops online, they expect their order to arrive quickly.

If your company has an unreliable Order Fulfillment process, this can lead to shipping delays, which can prevent customers from choosing to do business with you again.

  1. Returning Orders

Considering how you’ll handle order returns is crucial when building your Omnichannel Fulfillment system. When customers buy your products online, are they able to return their orders quickly and efficiently? If not, your customers could be losing a valuable incentive to purchase from you. Over 60% of customers review a Returns Policy before they decide to purchase, according to invesp.

Be sure your returns system is the best it can be.

  1. Communication

Effective communication is key to an effective, streamlined fulfillment system. Tools like EDI software make transferring information about purchase orders easier and inventory tracking lets you communicate the status of orders to your customers.

Build Your Omnichannel Fulfillment System On The Right Foundation

Building an Omnichannel Fulfillment system can be incredibly beneficial. From reducing your inventory cost to improving customer satisfaction, creating an Omnichannel Fulfillment system is great for improving your Ecommerce business. However, creating a successful strategy depends on having the right resources and an experienced team to implement it.

Consider partnering with a 3PL like Fulfillment Works as you build your Omnichannel Fulfillment system. We have the logistics experience, inventory management software, and storage services to help keep your products stocked at optimal levels and delivered to your customers on time.