Order Online Pick up In Store in most cases is the logical starting point to an Omnichannel Initiative.
There are many elements to executing well on this sort of initiative. And it is not really as easy as it seems at the outset. A lot of key business decisions are required to be sorted out before Technology can step in to enable this fulfillment process as a whole.
Here’s a checklist for retailers who are just embarking or in pilot phase of an ‘Order Online – Pickup in Store’ sort of initiative
1. What is your model for fulfilling the order when a customer comes in-store to pick up his products?
a. Fulfill from store inventory
b. Fulfill from DC which gets shipped to store for customer to pick up
c. Fullfill directly from vendor who drop ships the inventory to store
2. Will you allow in store pick up from all stores or only certain stores? What is the qualification criteria – location, size of store, format etc.?
3. Given the kind of merchandise you stock, which of the fulfillment models would make most sense for you? And which products categories would qualify?
TIPS: If you have huge stores with tens of thousands of SKUs, maybe fulfilling from store inventory is a good starting point
For specific categories like Diary, wines, bakery and deli, perhaps DSV(drop ship vendor) fulfillment is a model to consider.
4. Would you allow a combined cart – i.e. some order lines in a single order to be home delivered and some to be picked up from store?
5. What is SLA you can commit to customers to pick up the orders – 30 mins, 4 hours, same day, next day or pick a slot kind of flexibility?
The fulfillment model will define this or you can start with an business goal to meet a specific SLA and backtrack to align your process and capabilities to support it.
TIPS: Start with Next Day pick up as a safe option to streamline your internal operations and continuously improve on this SLA
6. What is the payment model? Will customers pay for the order upfront or at the point of pickup?
7. How does the order flow to the respective store? Who gets notified? Who owns the customer order? Who picks? Who communicates?
8. Will you fulfill the entire order at one shot or allow your customers to pick up products as they are ready?
9. How will you handle exceptions – if a particular product is out of stock, would you substitute knowing customer preferences or cancel the order line or place a backorder if you know the product is going to be back in stock?
10. If you are unable to fulfill an order or specific items or even quantities in an order, how will you handle refunds?
Finally, for each of the above decisions, what current processes and system capabilities do you possess today, and what do you need to fill the gaps?
What is your road map to enable ‘Order Online-Pick Up In Store’ fulfillment that’s well executed and hassle free for customers?
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