Global supply chains experienced unparalleled disruption over the past two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Brick-and-mortar retailers were caught unprepared during government-mandated shutdowns and social distancing. Meanwhile, big-box retailers’ target sales jumped 20% in 2020 and profits surged for others. So, why did some retailers come out prospering, while others went out of business or significantly downsized?
The answer lies in omnichannel technology, which separated those who merely survived from those who thrived. Retailers that earlier made omnichannel technology investments such as an order management system (OMS) were able to deploy solutions such as ship from store, dropship and buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS). Through unified commerce, which combined front-end and back-end operations, these organizations maximized e-commerce sales and offset brick-and-mortar losses to become competitive.
More retailers are realizing the benefits of unified commerce:
- Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences: Today’s customers expect a seamless and personalized brand experience both in-store and online, from order capture to delivery. An OMS exposes inventory available to promise throughout the enterprise with a single view, allowing retailers to route and fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. Omnichannel fulfillment options such as BOPIS/BORIS, ship to/from store, curbside pickup/click-and-collect and dropship enable retailers to meet customers where they are and create convenience for the demanding modern consumer.
- Improve Cost Savings And Profitability: Leveraging inventory closest to the customer lets retailers cut fulfillment costs including safety stock, transportation, and inventory carrying costs, as well as sell more at the lowest cost and with fewer markdowns.
- Drive Agility To Rapidly Scale: Covid-19 reminded us of the importance of adaptability as many businesses were unprepared when supply chains and consumer buying behavior shifted. Eliminating siloed systems and technologies, and unifying physical and digital commerce empowers retailers to address unanticipated shifts in demand and capacity.