A new white paper by GS1 UK and Planet Retail has identified that the key to becoming a successful omnichannel retailer is by implementing a robust and varied fulfilment strategy.
Addressing key pain points often felt throughout the shopper journey, ‘Delighting the Modern Shopper’ highlights six key elements for omnichannel success and how to create a seamless consumer experience across all channels.
Of the six fundamental steps for omnichannel success, fulfilment capabilities have emerged as a competitive differentiator. With 50 per cent of shoppers saying their choice of retailer is influenced by the option of same or next-day delivery, according to Planet Retail, focusing on speed and reliability is no longer enough to win the consumer.
Providing flexibility and choice, while shortening the distance and time between product and consumer, needs to be a priority for retailers.
The six key elements for omnichannel success identified by Planet Retail are as follows: provide seamless online experiences, empower smartphone users, create a compelling in-store environment, contextualised and personalised shopping, social media can influence purchasing decisions, and fulfilment capabilities are a competitive differentiator.
Speaking on the new research, David Smith, head of digital at GS1 UK, commented: “Many retailers have difficulty obtaining a consolidated, accurate view of real-time inventory across stores and distribution centres. This makes it impossible to efficiently implement simple omnichannel capabilities like store pick-up."
Only by implementing unique global standards will the smooth exchange of products and information be possible, providing the necessary level of stock visibility to support a successful fulfilment strategy, he explained.
Malcolm Pinkerton, research director at Planet Retail, added: “Fulfilment has become a key weapon in a retailer’s armoury as they battle to delight shoppers. Getting the final mile wrong could result in lost advocacy and sales. Providing flexibility and choice is no longer sufficient to gain a real competitive advantage."
Exceeding expectations requires granting shoppers complete product transparency through inventory optimisation, supply chain agility and visibility across all channels. By leveraging industry standards that assist in achieving this, retailers will be well placed to deliver true omnichannel experiences, he said.
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