July 16, 2018 by Jim Bengier, Chief Customer Officer
Where will shipping materials be stored? Who will train store associates how to package fragile items so they don’t get damaged? These are just some of the change management considerations for Ship from Store.
A retailer’s greatest liability is their inventory. It represents a huge capital investment. One on which the return must be maximized. Yet competition in retail is fierce. And not just because of downward pressure on item prices. Rivalry now includes the cost of delivery, consumer expectations for fast delivery, and their unwillingness to pay for speed. Thanks Amazon. So, what can multi-channel retailers do?
In the quest to compete with Amazon’s fast delivery speed, stores are a key advantage. Ship from Store, where ecommerce orders are shipped from a local store to the customer, is one of the fastest growing trends in retail. Stores do double duty as mini Distribution Centers (DCs). And it’s not surprising. With at least 80% of their inventory in the stores, at a location so close to customers, it is a great way for retailers to deliver faster, and for less money. Think about Walmart in the United States…
Their 4,700 stores are located within a ten-mile vicinity of 90% of the U.S. population. This means delivery from a Walmart store to a customer would be a fast, and easy way to reduce shipping costs. Now, not all retailers have 4,700 stores. But if they have more stores than DCs, there are still many advantages to Ship from Store. For instance:
But the complexity of Ship from Store should not be underestimated. Implementation requires store associates to learn new processes and skills. And like any other omni-channel fulfillment initiative, preparation is key. So here are some change management questions to consider:
Ship from Store is the most complex of all store fulfillment. Stores were not designed to be distribution centers. They were designed for cash and carry. But it’s a great option to leverage all inventory within the omni-channel journey. And with ‘Ship from Store’ you can take full advantage of your entire store network to fulfill online orders. To learn more about Ship from Store change management, please Contact Us.