By Ryan Germann
TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL SHIP-FROM-STORE FULFILLMENT If you’re considering implementing this trend, don’t be caught unaware; the impact on the customer experience is far-reaching.
ith online sales continuing to grow at double-digit rates, retailers are looking for innovative solutions to improve the customer experience as well as minimize costs. A trending strategy is the implementation of ship-from-store (SFS) fulfillment. This fulfillment model benefits brick and mortar retailers by improving speed-to-customer, capitalizing on existing retail store inventory, and reducing costs associated with fulfillment, such as shipping. Cost reduction is at the core of this fulfillment strategy, and it is imperative for retailers as price wars are waged through online marketplaces. Let’s take a look at one opportunity to reduce cost by analyzing
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the economic impact to deliver a 30-pound package being shipped by FedEx. A Zone 5 shipment for that package, sent from a centralized fulfillment center, would cost $21.84, while a Zone 2 shipment, sent from a local store, would only be $14.28 — a 35% difference! Multiply that out over thousands of packages, and it’s easy to see how the financial impact to the retailers becomes significant. TIME TO EMBRACE THE CROSS-CHANNEL EXPERIENCE As consumer behavior is changing, retailers can no longer expect potential customers to walk in their stores for certain items. Products that are difficult to get home (large and/or heavy), as well as consumable products that need
replenishment, are likely candidates to be ordered online and fulfilled directly to the consumer’s home. The good news for brick and mortar retailers is that a positive online experience strengthens customer loyalty and drives them back into stores for items that consumers prefer to see and touch prior to purchasing. By focusing on cross-channel customer experience, brick and mortar retailers also leverage their distinct advantage over pure-play e-commerce retailers — their stores! This advantage is not only in the physical store experience, but also in the opportunity to use the locations as mini-fulfillment centers. CHALLENGES IMPLEMENTING SFS If this implementation feels daunting
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