Omnichannel is a term used to describe a retail sales strategy that allows customers to shop across multiple channels, including brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, social media, and call centers. Omnichannel retail sales aim to provide customers with a consistent and cohesive experience, regardless of the channel they use.

Blog: Selecting DC Automation for Omnichannel Retail

An omnichannel approach to retail involves using various technologies and strategies to integrate different channels and create a seamless customer shopping experience. Omnichannel shopping includes services that allow customers to:

  • Browse and purchase products online and have them shipped to their location.
  • Buy products online and pick them up at a store (BOPIS).
  • Choose from multiple payment options, such as mobile payments, and buy online – pay in-store.
  • Experience consistent branding and messaging experience across all channels.
  • Benefit from a personalized shopping experience based on data gathered and analyzed by the retailer.

Real-time warehouse automation systems integrated with flexible material handling solutions play a prominent role in creating an efficient omnichannel order fulfillment operation.

The Evolution of Omni-Channel Distribution

Before the advent of e-commerce shopping, wholesalers and retailers managed their inventory at a distribution center (DC) primarily used for replenishing the physical stores and secondarily to fulfill mail-order sales.

As e-commerce shopping quickly grew, many companies added an e-commerce sales platform to their traditional sales channels. They began using their distribution centers to fulfill e-commerce orders in addition to store replenishment. Also, individual store locations began to be considered inventory locations to fulfill online orders as a ship-from-store (SFS) strategy.

This shift in retail sales has required companies to adopt new technology to support the end-to-end sales and fulfillment process. To succeed, a retailer’s order management, warehouse management, inventory control, and fulfillment operations must now seamlessly process orders received from all sales channels and provide real-time visibility into order and delivery status.

Infographic: How to Create a More Profitable Warehouse

Omni-Channel and Inventory Visibility

A true omnichannel solution provides a company with full visibility into all of its inventory, whether it’s in a distribution center or a brick-and-mortar retail store location, thereby making it possible to source inventory from any of its facilities and fulfill orders from the entire inventory pool in the most efficient way.

Questions to Consider

At a high level, omnichannel retail is essential because it allows companies to meet the preferences of customers who routinely use multiple channels to shop and interact with brands. Omnichannel strategies can help businesses to increase customer loyalty, improve the shopping experience, and drive sales.

However, when a company is considering adopting an omnichannel fulfillment model, there are many questions to consider. If your company is expanding into an omni-channel environment, the Numina Group can help you determine your warehouse automation requirements.

Warehouse Design & Automation Expertise

As a leading warehouse software developer and independent warehouse systems integrator, Numina Group brings over three decades of warehouse design, software, and implementation experience to your project.

We offer consultative warehouse automation design services to identify the right lean processes for your operations. We help you turn your design into reality by combining the power of RDS™ WCS-WES, our real-time warehouse control and execution software, with cutting-edge material handling technologies.

Learn More

Blog: The Basics of Warehouse Automation

Blog: Balancing Work Across Multiple Pick Zones 

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