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Cross channel order fulfillment is vital for retailers in improving customer shopping experience says Aberdeen Group Survey and Mindtree

Published 22nd August 2010 : Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty is a measurable outcome of retailers putting cross – channel integration strategies in place, according to an Aberdeen Group Survey. The survey outlines how ‘best in class’ retailers are 50 per cent more likely than the industry average to create services and offerings across all channels which enable cross channel brands to acquire a unified look, feel and experience to customers.

IT and R&D Services company MindTree Ltd supports the findings which sees that with the growth of cross channel customers, retailers are putting channel integration strategies in place to meet these customer’s expectation of fast, easier and convenient shopping experience.

The same Aberdeen Group report also recommends distributed order management as an important enabler.

“This is a key recommendation as a distributed order management system extends the virtual supply chain across the channels hence increasing merchandise availability and bringing down operational cost,” says Pradeep Goel, retail consultant of MindTree. “As all the orders are captured through various channels such as web channel, mobile channel, stores, call center and catalogue are aggregated in distributed order management, a real time complete demand is available in the system.”

Distributed order management is capable of matching demand with inventory available at various points to meet customer expectation. The system stores all the orders from inception and information and events are related to an order. Any order can be reviewed at any point in time and any action if required can be taken.

“Retailers should take advantage of building ‘Save the Sale’ capabilities while implementing a distributed order management system as part of their cross channel integration efforts” adds Pradeep Goel. “‘Save the Sale’ accelerates the ROI on system and significantly contributes to meet cross channel customer expectations.

Pradeep recommends the following “Save the Sale” capabilities should be considered for implementation:

  • Capabilities of buy online – pickup at the store helps in saving the sale where customer is reluctant to pay shipping and handling charges
  • Capabilities of buy online – return at store helps in saving the sale as customer tends to exchange then returning
  • Capabilities of order at store – delivered from a fulfillment store helps in saving the sale for out of stock goods at store