2015 Should Be the Year of Omni-Channel Commitment for Retailers

Less than half of retailers currently offer order fulfillment solutions like in-store pickup or ship from store to consumers


San Luis Obispo, Calif.Jan. 13, 2015—A New Year is an opportunity to make changes and new commitments. For retailers, 2015 provides a chance to improve their business operations, and invest in technologies that will improve the bottom line and create quality customer shopping experiences in all channels. According to Shopatron, a provider of cloud-based distributed order management solutions, retailers must view 2015 as the year when omnichannel commitment becomes the priority. 

In a new e-commerce study conducted by Shopatron in December, 59 percent of retailers said they did not have plans to deploy new order fulfillment solutions like ship from store or in-store pickup. The study also revealed that 71 percent of retailers reported that they do not have a position in their company with “omnichannel” in the title. What’s more, many retailers put off implementing an enterprise-grade order management system because of the high investment costs, lack of integration with existing systems, and the lack of time and resources dedicated to deployment. 

According to the recent EKN Research report, Second Annual Future of Stores Benchmark, retail stores need to move from a destination of commerce to a hub of omnichannel customer engagement. The report states that the lack of process integration, limited software capabilities and limited inventory visibility are the top three challenges retailers face in offering store fulfillment of online orders.

“Last year we heard from many retailers of all sizes on their reluctance to make the full omnichannel leap because of these barriers for implementation. We announced the free two-year pilot program to give retailers the opportunity to use a world-class order fulfillment platform on a trial basis,” said Ed Stevens, founder and CEO, Shopatron. “Cloud-based distributed order management removes those barriers of cost, allowing application program interface (API) integration with retailers’ existing systems and deployment of a scalable solution within 90 days.”

Retail Fulfillment Partners Should Not Fear Brands Selling Direct to Consumer Online

The Shopatron e-commerce study also revealed that 41 percent of retail fulfillment partners would reduce their buying from a brand they stock in their retail channels if the brand offered direct to consumer” and 23 percent reported they would stop buying from the brand all together. However, 57 percent of the retail fulfillment partners in the study said they would like brands that they stock in their retail channels to sell on eBay and other marketplaces if the resulting orders were routed to their store for fulfillment.

“There is a very significant opportunity for retailers and brands to offer direct-to-consumer order fulfillment options. For brands, it is an easy way to drive online sales, and for retailers, it is the perfect opportunity to strengthen their relationships with customers because you are getting their online orders to them quickly with the possibility to have a paying customer in the store,” said Stevens. “Retailers need to know that they are at a critical point where they need to commit to omnichannel now. It’s no longer in store or online, it’s in store with online.” 

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