Customers expect a seamless shopping experience no matter where they shop, but omnichannel logistics can be difficult to navigate. From different payment methods to incompatible shipping options, there’s a lot to consider when you’re setting up your e-commerce store to ship across multiple channels. To meet customers’ high expectations and overcome omnichannel logistics problems, try the following tips and strategies in order to streamline your processes while still delivering excellent customer service.
What is Omni-Channel Logistics?
Omni-channel logistics is the simultaneous and continuous flow of goods and services to customers through any combination of distribution channels. Omni-channel logistics includes online sales, retail stores, and call centers. The key to success in today’s business world is providing a seamless experience for the customer by delivering what they want, when they want it, how they want it. Marks & Spencer found this out the hard way when their Click & Collect service failed to impress.
They quickly realized that omnichannel means having physical stores as well as web shops; something they had neglected during their focus on web development with an agency.
This mistake has cost them dearly because those who used to shop at M&S now flock over to competitors like Tesco or Asda instead who are doing much better with omnichlish solutions.
What are some challenges in omni-channel logistics?
There are many challenges when it comes to omnichannel logistics. The first is that the logistics team needs to have an understanding of both the online and physical channels, which can be difficult as these worlds are different. A lot of companies struggle with maintaining a balance between inventory availability and costs. And some retailers still don’t get it when it comes to shipping customer orders in a timely manner, especially during peak periods like Christmas. It’s also important for logistics teams to be aware of last-mile delivery.
Retailers need to think about how customers will want their items delivered – will they go into store pickup or do they want them delivered? The most important thing though is making sure order accuracy is at its best. Many times errors happen because the system doesn’t know what you ordered, so you end up receiving something else.
For example, if someone bought two TVs but accidentally put one TV on two orders, then chances are the customer won’t receive either TV until there is enough stock for both orders. Having a strong fulfillment team who understands order management systems helps ensure accurate fulfillment rates and prevents errors from happening in the first place.
Let’s look at some:
Siloed logistics processes
One of the problems with logistics is that processes are often segregated and don’t take into account the entire customer journey. For example, a customer may place an order through one company, but needs to receive it from another company. This leads to a lot of miscommunication and wasted time, not to mention increased costs for both companies. Siloed logistics processes can help avoid these issues by bringing all aspects of the customer journey together in one space.
Legacy(manual) inventory systems
Legacy inventory systems are the reason that many warehouses have more space than they need. Legacy inventory systems use a single system to track inventory. When a product is re-allocated or sold, any connected systems that should know about the change are not notified. It’s also typically require manual input of data, which can lead to errors and time spent entering data.
E-commerce has changed the retail market in more ways than one. The rise of e-commerce has led to an increased demand for logistics automation and agility. Fortunately, there are many solutions on the market that help retailers and wholesalers keep up with the demands of omnichannel shipping. Web application development agencies can provide the technical expertise needed to build a Web app that makes it easier for customers to buy products from multiple vendors, track their orders through multiple shipments, and manage their delivery schedules all at once. With web application development agencies helping them stay ahead of the curve by developing new features and improvements every day, retailers can focus on what they do best: selling products.
Reverse logistics is an important aspect of any e-commerce business, but it can be difficult to find the best way to manage. Here are some tips for overcoming inefficient reverse-logistics. Customers want from your company’s returns process, and make sure you offer that service. If customers aren’t happy with your return process, they may not order from you again.
Poor selection of 3PLs
Omnichannel logistics can be tricky to navigate. There are a lot of options and many of them seem to offer the same basic service. So how do you know which 3PL is the best one for your company? Here are some tips that will help you find the right 3PL for your business:
- Research first-hand what previous customers have said about their experience with each potential 3PL.
- Find out if the 3PL has all the capabilities that your company needs, such as distribution centers, transportation, etc.
- Be sure to ask any questions or voice any concerns before making a final decision.
- Talk to more than just one 3PL so you have more than just one opinion!
Five knobs for omnichannel logistics success
- Have a plan for each channel: Before you start delivering your product on multiple channels. What the goals are for each channel and how they can work together to meet those goals. Make sure you’ve thought about the following before going omnichannel:
- Manage inventory efficiently across channels to minimize stock-outs:
- Deliver products in an appropriate order based on customer needs and location:
- Leverage technology for cross-channel visibility and streamlined operations.
- Implement processes that make it easy for customers to buy from any channel without feeling inconvenienced or confused.
For example, if a customer places an order through one of your stores but wants to use their mobile device to pay for their purchase, provide the ability for them to complete their purchase via mobile device. Not only will this help reduce wait times for customers. It helps eliminate mistakes caused by not understanding payment methods. Providing the convenience of paying with a variety of methods ensures customer satisfaction. Creates a memorable experience which will keep them coming back to your business time after time!
Omnichannel logistics providers offer consumers the ability to shop any time, anywhere and on any device. However, it can be hard to find the right partner for your business needs. When seeking an omnichannel provider, make sure they provide a robust web application development agency that’s able to help you establish a cohesive brand identity across channels. That way, you can ensure all of your customers have a seamless experience when interacting with your company. Omnichennl payment providers also play a vital role in order fulfillment by giving companies more flexibility in how they accept payments from their customers. They also allow merchants to accept both digital and physical payments.
For instance, Square allows users to take credit card payments as well as trade merchandise in person at craft fairs and farmer’s markets without having to do any additional work or purchase expensive equipment like iPads.