The phenomenal rise of the consumer economy and the emergence of omnichannel retail have drastically changed how retailers operate. The transformation calls for a complete reinvention of the role of the store and fulfilment for stores to remain profitable. Therefore, retail CEOs must steer their companies into uncharted territory by reorganising and repositioning their companies’ for omnichannel success.
An organizational audit
The most crucial step in any journey is to know your starting point. Most retailers have established organisational silos and complex global operations aided by legacy tools that can’t solve modern retail problems. Therefore, CEOs must kick off a top-down organisational audit of their companies’ processes, operations, and staff.
Once the audit is complete, the CEOs will be able to see any barriers that may inhibit them from being part of the omnichannel revolution. Admittedly, in a dynamic world of omnichannel integrations, it may not be easy to figure out where you need to be in future. So, the audit should also define the future state that best suits the vision of your organisation on its trajectory towards omnichannel customer engagement. To achieve this, retailers should consider seeking outside help, preferably retail consultants, to assist.
Omnichannel fulfilment integration
In modern retail, most brick and mortar stores are facing serious challenges in merging their physical and online stores. The problems range from visibility, inventory, planning to fulfilment. As a result, most retailers are struggling to offer consistent offers across different channels. Actually, the most significant challenge that retailers are facing is on providing a reliable, consistent and profitable fulfilment.
Strikingly, most CEOs are less keen on supply chain improvement, but how can they offer customers an excellent omnichannel shopping experience if they don’t stock the appropriate inventory? How can customers shop online if retailers don’t have merchandise in their stores?
Therefore, for retailers to succeed, CEOs must ensure that all the omnichannel options that customers prefer have an integrated supply chain that is efficient, rapid, and offers profitable fulfilment of orders, irrespective of the channel used.
Leverage omnichannel integration for better planning
CEOs need to understand the role their stores, eCommerce channels and distribution centres will play for them to plan and produce ranges effectively. Product ranges can be planned by brand, channel, cluster, and region to maximise on sales while cutting down on inventory costs. Some online retailers have managed to use such a strategy, based on demand patterns, to pre-stage inventory.