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The Benefit of Omnichannel Fulfillment for Your Business

You and fellow stakeholders in your company must be aware that your business is only as strong as the supply chain and logistics services you rely on to move products into the marketplace.

To gain a competitive edge over other businesses operating in your industry, it’s important to gain a better understanding of the process of omnichannel fulfillment. Read on for insight into B2B fulfillment services as well as services for retail fulfillment and efforts to improve your direct-to-consumer fulfillment capacity.

What is Omnichannel Fulfillment?

Omnichannel fulfillment is a way for companies to dramatically improve how they process orders, which involves centralized, automated systems over multiple channels (including TV, radio, text, chat, email, web forms, phone, web, and in-person contact) to accomplish these vital tasks as efficiently as possible:

  • Receive orders
  • Maintain warehouse inventory
  • Process the orders
  • Pick the items
  • Package the items
  • Ship the packages to customers

Benefits of Omnichannel Fulfillment

If you’re on the fence about whether to pursue an omnichannel fulfillment approach, here are the chief benefits:

1. Enhanced Customer Experience

Customers appreciate that they receive their orders faster and can track them in real-time, or are able to pick them up locally from your store or warehouse. Your brand will grow in popularity when customers share with others their stories about how easy it is to purchase from you.

2. Increased Sales Opportunities

With the integrated approach that comes with omnichannel fulfillment, you will be able to open your sales opportunities, such as guiding customers through the sales funnel via a web contact form, then an online chat, followed up with a text message to confirm the details. Or, customers viewing a late-night infomercial respond by phone.

3. Improved Inventory Management

The automated system gives you current insight into the state of your inventory, which helps as you forecast demand, such as more sales during the holiday season or a downturn when your college-aged customers are back home during summer.

4. Flexibility & Convenience

You can sell warehouse-to-customer, store-to-customer, customer-to-warehouse, and so on, giving recipients more flexibility to receive your products in the most convenient manner for them, respecting their valuable time.

omnichannel fulfillment in a warehouse, a driver using a motorized forklift

5. Real-Time Visibility & Data Insights

Computerized systems for 3PL track all the relevant sales data, so you can identify patterns, such as noticing an uptick of purchases from small businesses in a region experiencing economic development that you can capitalize on with more targeted advertisements.

6. Cost Savings in Fulfillment

Omnichannel fulfillment gives you cost savings as you scale up your operations, as the software tools you use will help you manage the torrent of information. More efficient operations mean you can fulfill more orders with less staff, often supported by automated, robotic systems.

7. Brand Consistency

No matter what sales channel your customers use to engage with your offerings, you can achieve greater brand consistency, whether D2C via social media or B2B marketing through an emailed newsletter.

8. Adaptability to Market Trends

The data-collecting aspect of omnichannel fulfillment helps you spot trends and then respond to them, such as the system prompting you to hire more workers to complete pick-and-pack operations. If you identify a growing number of product returns in a particular category, it could signal a shift in customer awareness of the drawbacks of a product.

9. Competitive Advantages

You can pick, pack, and ship orders faster with omnichannel fulfillment systems than you can by employing the traditional approach to selling products to businesses or customers. The resulting competitive advantage will help you grow in scope and size over rivals in the marketplace.

10. Faster Order Fulfillment

The computer systems and automated equipment allow you to process more orders, faster, and with greater accuracy (to avoid preventable errors that would prompt returns, and dampen customer enjoyment).

11. Scalability

You can grow organically without worrying about being unable to meet a sudden change in demand. Whether you are launching a new product line through a crowdfunding campaign to test the waters or moving into a new geographical region, omnichannel fulfillment enables you to scale up your business smoothly.

Challenges of Managing Omnichannel Fulfillment in-house

Some companies will have sufficient staff to handle omnichannel fulfillment on their own, in-house.

But given the often seasonal nature of the business, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy bottom line and still keep enough workers on staff to provide flexibility in your response to consumer demand.

You might find it difficult to manage inventories with multiple SKUs when selling through more than one channel. Or, you have a variety of options for customers to choose from in your subscription box service.

And if your team lacks the technical expertise to work with automated systems, you will be hampered in your efforts to take care of omnichannel fulfillment under your own roof.

Strategies for Omnichannel Fulfillment

a picker checking orders for omnichannel fulfillment

What strategy might be best for your organization, when it comes to omnichannel fulfillment? For many businesses, it makes sense to outsource omnichannel fulfillment to third-party experts.

A hybrid approach may be beneficial. For example, you have a warehouse or even a retail location from which you can make direct sales to local customers (D2C or B2B), or allow for curbside pickup, but use a third party’s warehousing and fulfillment services for ecommerce sales to the rest of the world.

B&C Logistics: Your 3PL Service Partner

The third-party logistics experts at B&C Logistics have years of experience providing customized solutions to businesses in need of omnichannel fulfillment services, and other fulfillment and logistical requirements.

Since omnichannel fulfillment enhances your customers’ experience, delivers more sales opportunities for your staff to explore and will optimize how you manage your inventory, you can anticipate seeing improvement in your processes. When you add deep data insights and faster order fulfillment that scales up as consumer demand increases, it’s easy to see how omnichannel fulfillment can help you grow your business.

However, if your staff has limited experience with these advanced logistics techniques, it makes sense to partner with 3PL professionals, such as the team at B&C Logistics. To learn more, contact us today.