Omnichannel Retail: How Retailers Can Compete in the Omnichannel World of Amazon.
Amazon Prime Day 2017 was a major success. The e-commerce giant shattered online sales records for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and previous Amazon Prime Days. According to CNBC, Amazon’s third Prime Day garnered the attention and money of shoppers in 18 different countries and grew sales by 60 percent over 30 hours. In addition, Walmart and Target offered online deals in an effort to compete with Amazon’s notoriety during the online shopping holiday. But, their sales still fell short Amazon’s competitive prowess. While the outlook sounds grim for smaller businesses, competing with the omnichannel retail capacity of Amazon is still possible, and retailers need to know how.
Ship-From-Store Will Enable Competition With Amazon.
The key to successful competition with Amazon lies in options. Consumers are willing to pay an annual fee to take advantage of free, fast shipping options, Amazon Prime, reports Steve Banker of Forbes. In response, Walmart lowered its free-shipping threshold, but consumers are still flocking to Amazon. Meanwhile, Walmart also launched new services this past year, ranging from an online order pickup vending machine in Texas to grocery pickup. Throughout each new launch, Walmart sales have increased, but all new services have something in common. They promote a seamless, omnichannel retail experience, and Walmart has been working on this concept since 2013.
In fact, Manhattan Associates was named as a possible vendor of the distributed order management (DOM) system Walmart considered in 2013, highlighting the demand for a better, more integrated solution to stay competitive with Amazon.
Over recent years, Walmart managed to reattract some its consumers from Amazon, but the pressure for lower prices and more services seems to be increasing. In other businesses, the cloud-based nature of today’s WMS platforms will allow small and mid-sized businesses to take advantage of ship-from-store, omnichannel retail strategies.
Better Vendor and Supply Chain Collaboration Will Reduce Technology and Organizational Silos, Reducing Prices.
Part of the driving force behind greater adoption of omnichannel retail strategies derives from the reduction in technological and organizational silos among supply chain partners, explains Steven Osburn via eMarketer.com. When all entities in a supply chain, including vendors and logistics providers, can communicate their needs and wants, risk decreases. More importantly, better communication and understanding helps to keep costs down by eliminating unnecessary activities. So, working together with other supply chain partners, even businesses you would otherwise compete with, can help you compete with Amazon.
Entice Shoppers With Free-Shipping Programs.
You should also work on creating a free-shipping program for consumers, but you need to remember the value in fast shipping too. Your program should not put the burden on consumers. In other words, ditch the free-shipping threshold, and get your operating costs down as much as possible. Therefore, you can divert the savings to offer free shipping.
Market Your Omnichannel Sales Options During Major Shopping Holidays.
Amazon Prime Day 2017 was marketed widely, including notifications via app, email, television and every medium possible. But, the most notable marketing of Amazon Prime Day took place through social media. An omnichannel retail strategy must put information at the fingertips of consumers through every channel and medium possible. The role of marketing through word-of-mouth advertising and drip-style campaigns cannot be overstated, and it will expand in the future. This is essential to competing with Amazon.
Leverage Your Whole Supply Chain With the Right Technology and WMS.
Regardless of your hopes and dreams, Amazon is Amazon. No one can reach the same level as Amazon, but you can stay competitive. Use these tips to level the playing field, and leverage your supply chain to its fullest potential by integrating your systems, working with supply chain partners and making your omnichannel retail sales options known to your consumers. Amazon is great, but you can have your own distribution center in your store if you follow these tips.