The Next Wave of Retail Fulfillment

Published on 07 May 2022

Retail Fulfillment

The worldwide pandemic has irrevocably altered the globe, and the retail industry is no exception. In reaction to the pandemic, last year's survey results revealed unique shifts in consumer behaviour; this year's replies indicate that many of those changes will persist. Both consumers and merchants have intensified their behaviours.

Customers want to shop their way. They seek alternatives to in-store buying or just want a more convenient and intuitive purchasing experience. Adaptable technological solutions enable consumers to interact with shops on their terms.

The majority of decision-makers (92 per cent) agree that more consumers are utilizing mobile ordering. And hopes for mobile ordering span the Food, Drug, Convenience Store, and Mass Merchant (FDCM) market groups.

Meeting Enhanced Customer Expectations

Before the pandemic, merchants were already contending with increased consumer expectations due to digital disruption. The increase in multichannel shopping has increased these expectations and imposed additional pressures on inventories and delivery.

When it comes to finding a solution, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Today, success requires a creative and novel approach to satisfaction. For these new models to deliver on-demand, agility, speed, and a forward-thinking approach to inventory management are required.

Market Disruption Drives Innovation

The shopping experience goes well beyond the store's four walls. Customers begin their trips online, in-store, or through a mix of the two. As the retail industry moves toward the future of fulfilment, technology offers a better consumer experience on any platform and empowers employees to provide the best service possible.

Disclosing Retail Trust and Satisfaction Gaps

While consumer happiness has increased marginally from last year (79 per cent, +3 pp YoY*), merchants (87 per cent) and associates (86 per cent) continue to overestimate real customer contentment, leaving space for improvement. Intriguingly, employee happiness rests on the use of technology to enhance their productivity and overall experience.

Retailers Recognize the Need for Change

Historically, retailers have managed brick-and-mortar and e-commerce fulfilment independently. Blended channels provide a unique challenge to merchants in this regard. Popular fulfilment streams increase operational complexities, such as BOPIS (purchase online, pick up in-store), curbside pickup, delivery to other shops, and same-day home delivery.

As the epidemic subsides, 64 per cent of buyers want to purchase in shops more often. As foot traffic increases, businesses must emphasize fulfilment, efficiency, and security within the physical retail environment. 65 per cent of buyers are worried about cleaned surfaces/exposure to others, and 73 per cent of consumers would rather have products delivered than pick them up themselves. Sixty per cent of customers like stores that allow them to pick up their items in-store, curbside, or at another place such as a locker.

 

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