Stock Inaccuracy and Omnichannel Operations
How much stock inaccuracy can you actually get away with in omnichannel operations?
Not much, in fact, very little. If a customer places an order online and doesn’t get it within the expected delivery window because it wasn’t in stock, odds are high that customer won’t be returning.
Likewise, if a website tells customers a product is available “in store” and it isn’t, that experience will erode customer loyalty. Understanding why those errors happen is key to preventing them.
Omnichannel operations that POS systems such as Retail Pro Prism give retailers lessens the likelihood that these scenarios that are detrimental to customer loyalty and business overall will occur by updating the inventory across channels automatically.
Challenges in the world of instantaneous omnichannel
With omnichannel fulfillment, online orders are filled from brick and mortar store locations. This type of fulfillment provides retailers tremendous flexibility: For example, customers can buy online and then pick up their orders directly from the store, or retailers can have inventory shipped from a fulfillment center to the customer.
Using stores to fill ecommerce orders offers advantages such as:
- Faster delivery
- Increased profit margins
- Lower shipping costs
- Fewer returns
Problems arise when retailers use the store to fulfill online orders but don’t account for a scenario in which a single item is sold twice: once online and then again in the store. Such sales generally happen simultaneously – or close to it.
Omnichannel encourages different order types, such as retail orders, e-commerce orders, or wholesale orders, but they all must be filled from the same inventory stock.
That’s why it’s critical to have a system that communicates with each channel, allowing seamless management of inventory and stock replenishment.
Safety Stock and Dropshipping
Safety stock is always held by traditional and ecommerce retailers to buffer against the supply of an item and its demand.
While a high safety stock level means a retailer is more likely to be able to respond to uncertainty, the carrying cost also increases. The amount of safety stock must therefore be carefully considered. Inventory management is crucial for companies to contain costs and remain profitable.
Dropshipping, where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock, can help alleviate out-of-stock scenarios. Orders are passed to their suppliers, which pack and ship orders directly to customers.
Dropshipping eliminates the middleman and reduces the timeline to delivery. If a retailer has limited stock in-store to fill online orders, it can use dropshipping from its suppliers to deliver orders seamlessly to customer.
Research indicates that dropshipping in omnichannel leads to increased revenue as well: Inventory is handled by suppliers or manufacturers, freeing up shelf and floor space at retail and eliminating costly holding expenses.
Omnichannel fulfillment helps retailers provide customers the best service at the best prices. That’s a potent combination that leads to loyalty at a brand’s digital as well as real-world outlets.
With Retail Pro Prism, you have access to omnichannel operations that become more and more necessary with every year, and to every integration your business might need for existing or new sectors of your operations along the way.