How to Win the Fulfillment Arms Race

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How to Win the Fulfillment Arms Race

By Lisa Terry - 02/21/2019

Every day, new headlines tout the many ways retailers are pushing the envelope on their fulfillment capabilities to capture the attention of today’s need-it-now consumer.

Research reveals that before they click the buy button, consumers pay careful attention to several make-or-break aspects of the deal. Price leads the list, followed by product availability, brand/location, and uniqueness. After that, consumers consider delivery options: nearly 25% name fast/reliable delivery and 23% a good returns policy as influencing them to buy from a particular retailer, according to PwC’s “Global Consumer Insights Survey 2018.” The cost of failure is high. Consumers abandon shopping carts at an average rate of 69% due to issues they experience in checkout, according to Baymard Institute’s “Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics.”

Unfortunately, many retailers aren’t prepared to keep up with these expectations, thanks to siloed inventory by channel and/or region, latency in inventory updates and limitations in fulfillment locations. One-off integrations and layering can’t scale as demand rises.

To keep pace with shopper demand and win the fulfillment arms race, savvy retailers are investing heavily in their supply chain infrastructure to ensure each and every order is delivered on time, in preferred locations, and that the customer has a good experience. To get there, they’re laying a solid foundation, with customer preferences, centralized inventory, a flexible fulfillment network, and data-enriched customer service as the foundation.

Following the below five steps will ensure you are prepared to keep pace with fast-changing consumer expectations and meet stringent fulfillment demands.