Omnichannel Retail Supply Chain: Why Omnichannel Is Vital to Retail Survival
The role of omnichannel retail supply chain is undisputed. Implementing a strong omnichannel retail supply chain is essential to driving brand value and increasing your customer base. However, some retailers continue to hold out, increasing their risk of going out of business. Essentially, omnichannel is vital to retail survival for these reasons.
Siloed Inventories Equates to Lost Sales Opportunities
Omnichannel retailers cannot rely on traditional methods of inventory management. Inventory in distribution centers, warehouses and brick-and-mortar stores must be considered as one inventory source in omnichannel retail supply chain.
For example, retailers may use stores as distribution centers for online order pickup.
While the physical inventory remains separate, inventory tracking systems must be able to monitor inventory across all storage areas, ranging from in-store to distribution centers alike.
Consumer Experience and Satisfaction Envelop Products
Omnichannel retail is about more than getting the right product to consumers at the right time and price. Customers expect a seamless shopping experience, and the transactional risk does not end when customers get the product. Customers have the opportunity to review the product and share their feelings on social media, so customer experiences rely on superior omnichannel retail as well. A poor experience can devastate a retailer using subpar omnichannel supply chain systems.
Margins Are Shrinking
More retailers in the e-commerce and omnichannel space mean greater competition, and as a result, product price points are dropping. Unfortunately, cutting costs also increases risk of business failure. Therefore, shrinking margins must give way to more efficient, cost-effective supply chain systems.
Amazon is Coming
The Amazon-effect is coming to omnichannel. While the e-commerce giant has already made a name for itself in online sales, Amazon is steadily moving toward brick-and-mortar stores as well. With a robust network of supply chain systems, Amazon is poised to revolutionize standards in omnichannel shopping. So, retailers must implement omnichannel retail systems now, before Amazon puts them out of business, explains Jordy Leiser of WWD.com.
Delivery Windows Are Growing Tighter
The Amazon-effect is also impacting delivery windows. Amazon PrimeAir is already in testing mode, and soon, Amazon will push the delivery window down to near-instant delivery. For today’s retailers, this means being able to get products to consumers faster than ever before, and retailers will need to have omnichannel systems to make this possible, which will allow for immediate shipping of products to consumers from the nearest location.
Consumers Will Go Somewhere Else
Consumers are fickle, and they will not hesitate to go to your competitor if the competitor offers lower shipping or product price points. In addition, up to 30 percent of customers will shop with another retailer if their preferred method of shipping or order pickup is unavailable, reports a Milo Local Shopping Infographic.
Mobile Is Here to Stay
Mobile technology revolutionized retail shopping, and it is only growing. Having an online shopping portal is not enough. Retailers must have app shopping options, complete with the bells and whistles of omnichannel retail shopping.
Retailers Must Implement Omnichannel Retail Supply Chain Strategies Now
Small businesses may not be concerned about the growing threat of omnichannel retail, but it will have an impact. Retailers must invest in omnichannel retail technology today, or they risk their businesses. Fortunately, 47 percent of retailers, polled in 2015, are planning to upgrade or replace their omnichannel systems within the next two years, reports asserts Kaitlyn McAvoy of Spend Matters. This will help ensure their survival.