Omnichannel has quickly become one of the most widely utilized approaches for enhancing and personalizing the customer journey, but it’s gone through many changes to reach this point. Beginning with single channel in which products were only sold in stores, companies have evolved to multichannel by adding new channels and touchpoints such as websites, digital storefronts and social media to their strategies. However, with the rampant growth of eCommerce, competition for providing seamless customer experiences has given birth to omnichannel shopping.
The Rise of Omnichannel
An innovative step forward from multichannel, in which a company’s parallel channels are experienced individually in the customer’s journey, omnichannel offers customers the ability to interweave between different channels. With an omnichannel approach, companies are able to offer dynamic, flexible experiences and give customers the ability to maneuver between channels based on their current or general preferences – a crucial element in achieving customer satisfaction today. Furthermore, omnichannel refers to a company’s initiative to combine its own channels to maximize efficiency.
Some of the more popular methods of omnichannel we see today include BOPIS (buy online pickup in store), also known as Click & Collect, in which customers retrieve their orders from a location instead of having it delivered, and Ship from Store, in which companies simultaneously use their stores as distribution centers to fulfill online orders since they’re often located with greater proximity to their customers than their warehouses are.
The Keys to Supporting Omnichannel Operations
As companies are increasingly seeking ways to provide omnichannel experiences, the keys to reinforcing their capacity to do so can be boiled down to the following five factors:
- Excellent Inventory Management: Essential for ensuring that products are readily available, especially with diverse channels, integrated experiences, and multiple points of purchase.
- High Proximity: Having a high volume of stores and fulfillment centers to be close to all customers and offer a full range of omnichannel experiences.
- Strong Logistics: Using backend systems for supporting frictionless order fulfillment across various channels, such as last-mile deliveries, curbside pickup, and more.
- Open Communication With Customers: With more channels and dynamic experiences, customers today value transparency and frequent, accurate updates on the status of their orders, requiring companies to rely on internal accuracy.
- Intricate Data Collection: Continuously assessing omnichannel experiences to discover customer preferences and apply new channels to meeting them.
Driving Omnichannel Deployment With Hyperlocal Logistics
Having many notable benefits, hyperlocal logistics is a proximity-based logistical strategy that enables companies to maximize operational efficiency and achieve rapid deliveries. Utilizing proximity as an advantage, companies apply hyperlocal fulfillment logistics by installing fulfillment centers throughout highly populated areas, which lifts many of the constraints presented by traditional warehouses on the outskirts of cities (long distances for deliveries, large teams, manual inventory management, etc.).
Supporting the keys to omnichannel strategies success above, it’s simultaneously surfacing as a leading method for supporting companies in providing omnichannel experiences. Creating high proximity to customers with a network of fulfillment centers across cities, hyperlocal logistics provides companies with outposts allowing for faster deliveries as well as many locations for BOPIS, adding to convenience across channels through exceptional logistics.
Furthermore, the most advanced fulfillment centers on the market today are designed with cutting-edge technology and are built to implement automation (or collaborative automation) throughout various processes including inventory management, which increases both accuracy and product availability. Operating on AI and an advanced tech stack to receive, prepare and package orders, these fulfillment centers also support companies in tracking relevant data points with heightened item visibility and tracking up to order pickup or delivery, as well as leveraging localized data towards better localized offerings. The capabilities provided by fulfillment centers also reinforce companies in offering greater order transparency and easing logistical tension on the stores used as distribution centers for online orders, which in turn smoothens supply chain operations on a macro level.
The Pathway to Taking Omnichannel to The Next Level
In the modern era of shopping, customers want to shop with companies who have strong omnichannel strategies that cater to their preferences because it makes them feel valued and understood. As customers increasingly expect faster deliveries, have a growing range of needs, and choose the companies that offer the most flexible experiences, hyperlocal logistics powered by fulfillment centers is becoming recognized as the leading method for satisfying customers in an ever-changing shopping environment. Adopting hyperlocal logistics empowers today’s companies in maximizing the factors that determine the success of their omnichannel deployment, helping them stay ahead of the curve.