While many retailers are grappling with operations in the face of store closures imposed on them to minimise the spread of Covid-19, they also continue to consider the evolving role of their store as a logistics hub.
Retail software provider Cegid has shared its top tips for how brands can successfully adapt their store network to accommodate new procedures like ‘ship from store’ in order to grow e-commerce.
Invest in a distributed order management (DOM) solution to control logistics costs
Retailers can use their use their stores as shipping points to increase inventory and order preparation capacity, as well as reduce logistics costs. According to a Cegid blog post, “a dedicated DOM tool will provide an accurate, real-time view of inventory, as well as determine the best shipping point for any order based on analysing the location and stock levels of stores able to match delivery times.”
Set up alerts to reduce impact on in-store customers
Retailers must be able to balance e-commerce orders with providing a high-quality experience for in-store shoppers.
“Managing e-commerce orders shouldn’t be done at the expense of customers already in the store,” said Yves-Alain Ligaut, retail product manager at Cegid. “Alerts can be set up to minimise disruption to staff – for instance, certain stores or time slots can be programmed into the system so they’re not used when there’s only one employee available on the shop floor.”
Provide training guidelines for preparing orders in-store
Sales assistants may not be familiar with preparing parcels for shipment. As such, they may require training in how to find the correct items and package them for shipment. Brands must also pay close attention to their packaging as “it often represents a link between the customer and the brand, which you don’t want to tarnish.”
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