Transform Your Supply Chain for Omnichannel – Part II
Omnichannel with e-commerce is retail duality. There are two very different ways to reach customers. One is the traditional store approach which requires customers to go to the store to purchase products from stocked shelves. The other has retailers delivering many individual orders to many individual customers. It is customers going to retail stores; and it is also retailers going to customers via e-commerce. The change is expanding from mass merchandising to tailored direct selling. Retailing is transforming from being about stores to being about a delivered service.
Retailers struggle with omnichannel. For example, they are dealing with slowing store sales and are closing stores. Yet, some use a click-and-collect delivery practice to get customers into stores while, at the same time, shutting them. This presents a contradictory message and can raise questions as to the customer experience that underlines the new retailing.
Omnichannel and e-commerce have changed demands, expectations, and requirements. Order Immediacy—delivering e-commerce orders within 48 hours or less—is the customer experience. Traditional retail supply chains were built to stock stores, not perform order immediacy.
Original supply chains for e-commerce were built to ship parcel orders, not deliver quickly. E-tailers and omnichannel retailers may transition to Tier 1, 2, and 3 based on how they respond to the new retail reality. Customer expectations are delivery of their orders within 2 days—or less—of when they placed it. Retailers and e-tailers that are not able to deliver orders quickly may be looking at their futures in rear view mirrors.
Amazon started the order immediacy customer expectation. And they are not stopping. It is not fulfillment exercise of shipping quickly from distribution centers. It is about the supply chain and how to move products through it—not just ship from warehouses. Order immediacy is driven by supply chain management—the new supply chain management.
They started the idea of drones for order deliveries. Around the world, they pushed same-day deliveries, developed dash buttons, have leased airplanes, started a freight forwarder in China, may be buying container ships, and are looking at using 3D printing delivery trucks; The New Supply Chain directs and manages structured complexity to deliver the Customer Experience, all for easy ordering and to speed movement within their supply chain and to customers. Faster and faster everywhere. It is not just about last mile delivery.
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