Same-day Delivery Transforms Retail

Dec 18, 2012 11:18 PM  By

While various shipping options such as same-day delivery and in-store pickup are becoming common place for many retailers, the concepts are beginning to change the way consumers shop, according to a blog post from Shop.org.

Retailers such as Toys “R” Us, Office Depot and Home Depot have given shoppers a myriad of options when it comes to fulfilling consumer needs, according to the blog post.

In fact, earlier this month Office Depot announced that customers can now pick up most of its online inventory at a traditional brick and mortar store within an hour of ordering from the web.

In its blog post, Shop.org states that even though the fulfillment options retailers can create vary, the challenges are the same. In order to implement “optimized, streamlined delivery services” retailers should look into the following options, according to the blog post.

Infrastructure and partnerships.
Retailers that have launched quick delivery options, according to Shop.org, “involve an elaborate web of infrastructure requirements.” The major retailers that launched these initiatives, Shop.org said, “have implemented sophisticated platforms necessary for product visibility from the heart of the supply chain to the hands of the consumer.”

Shop.org also pointed out that most retailers have yet to perfect this kind of fulfillment because it “is incredibly difficult and requires an ongoing give and take across the operational board. Additionally, retailers have acquired or partnered with leading companies in key markets including courier services.”

Robust data
If you are looking to create a speedy fulfillment option, Shop.org said the services cannot be launched “without significant technology improvements on the back-end for accurate data snapshots.”

The blog post states that merchants need to understand inventory positions in order to match consumer data to execute the fulfillment options effectively. “This involves everything from analyzing the trickle-polling of data at the store and distribution center level in all of the markets where the services are implemented.”

Front-line champions
One of the most important resources when creating same-day or in-store shipping options is the store associate, according to Shop.org. The store associate, the blog says, is a “vital” piece especially for those retailers who are looking to launch pick up in-store or ship-to-store options.

“The challenge here involves the attribution of the sale and the benefit or reward for the store associate. These things cannot be overlooked due to the countless individual details involved in giving consumers the best experience possible,” the blog states.

Erin Lynch is the associate editor at Multichannel Merchant. Erin can be reached by emailing her at erin@multichannelmerchant.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @LynchMCM or on LinkedIn.

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