(with Richa Gupta, Director)
Retailers with physical storefronts face mounting pressure today. Department store chains nationwide are closing hundreds of stores, e-fulfillment is on the rise, and changing consumer habits are forcing many brick-and-mortar retailers to re-evaluate their operations and move towards a more omnichannel sales model. Brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for over 90% of overall revenues. Despite that, retailers are feeling the pressure to create meaningful and highly engaging in-store experiences that align with shoppers’ expectations in order to facilitate customer conversion Consumers’ access to non-traditional retail channels, including online shopping (both desktop and mobile), and click-and-collect, has transformed retail and logistics, perhaps forever. Organizations today need to handle an increasing number of SKUs, and carry out accurate order fulfillment faster than ever before across disparate sales channels. The element of customer experience and engagement directly ties in to the availability of and access to merchandise. With store foot traffic declining (by about 12%) per reports from the 2016 holiday season, VDC sees retailers actively seek out investments to help drive it back up while also increasing cross-selling opportunities.
Order Management Solution (OMS) provider, SalesWarp recently announced a new strategic partnership with Pitney Bowes, a global leading logistics technology provider to deliver an exceptional retail and logistic solution for retailers looking to develop a “buy anywhere, fulfill from anywhere model”. The solution essentially adds a layer of functionality on top of Pitney Bowes’ Complete™ Shipping platform with an aim to take a huge burden off the retailers’ logistics and transportation network. Founded in 2009, SalesWarp is an OMS vendor that enables retailers to fulfill orders from disparate channels across a retailer’s network via a unified platform, with the aim of making both in-store fulfillment and e-commerce easy. SalesWarp drives inventory exposure by bringing inventory visibility across stores and warehouses into a single dashboard to see where available inventory is and fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. Using advanced algorithms to rank metrics such as order, size, location and inventory, the OMS is able to identify the best way to fulfill orders from in-store or online to customers either via pick-up in store or home delivery options. Clients for SalesWarp include both brick and mortar and e-commerce retailers such as Zumiez, ANSgear, S&S Sports and Natori.
The cost of a single error and its negative impact on customer service is so much more elevated in today’s age of e-commerce and omnichannel retailing. If inaccuracy, delays, and other problems occur in operations, it may lead to customer dissatisfaction, which can result in lost profits for the company. By combining and improving the visibility of inventory across both retail stores and warehouses – clients are able to improve foot traffic by giving users the option to be directed to their closest store or organizing shipments for optimum delivery. SalesWarp explains its product as mobile and tablet friendly, an important component in an increasingly mobile workforce, and can send instructions directly to the store associate or warehouse associate to fulfill orders quickly. Through the partnership with Pitney Bowes, SalesWarp will integrate with PB’s latest Complete Shipping solution, a SaaS based, transportation management system that enables clients to select a carrier, comparing rates and print shipping labels for quick and effective delivery of products to customers.
Over the past few years, a number of vendors have introduced similar OMS solutions into the market including TradeGecko, Ordoro, Goecart, Brightpearl, SAP Hybris Order Management, and Netsuite SuiteCommerce to help retailers get more competitive. Going forward, VDC believes scalable solutions such as these will gain greater attention amongst retailers, especially those with brick-and-mortar operations, as they strive to streamline their businesses and support fulfillment via online and in-store. According to a recent press release, The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts total retail sales to grow 3.7-4.2% in 2017 with online retail sales to grow 8-12% over the same period.
For more information and insights on omnichannel enablement, look out for VDC’s upcoming reports on the topic. You can also contact us at 508-653-9000 or email@example.com to hear more about our 2017 research plans.
View the 2017 AutoID & Data Capture Research Outline to learn more.