With over 80% of customers willing to pay more for same-day delivery, businesses have searched for more cost-efficient ways to bring order fulfillment closer to consumers. As a result, many vacant storefronts are being converted into fulfillment centers, and while the ample space makes the decision seamless, there are a few challenges to keep in mind before making the switch.
Unlike traditional warehouse spaces, retail storefronts are generally cheaper and located closer to potential customers enabling faster delivery times and lowered TCO. In doing so, faster delivery can help increase team productivity, enhance competitiveness, strengthen brand identity, and even double year-over-year sales. However, despite these benefits, the challenges of effective order fulfillment persist in the converted storefront. As more and more retailers make the switch, businesses now find themselves in a unique opportunity to mitigate issues before they arise.
How to prevent the top 3 order fulfillment issues from entering the new storefront:
To help businesses make the most of their new storefront space, Bar Code Direct and Zebra Technologies explore the common warehousing issues transitioning into retail.
- Maintaining accurate inventory management for incoming shipments – Research has shown that traditional store inventory is about 70% Lack of inventory visibility can lead to product shrinkage, misplacements, and longer pick routes as workers struggle to find products. To resolve this issue, real-time visibility solutions such as Zebra’s RFID locationing devices work alongside your workforce to track in-motion inventory, providing a 99.99% accuracy rate in your inventory management system. Simply tag incoming items as they arrive to the receiving dock and track them via your RFID handheld manage movement, storage, and any incoming updates for less surprises.
- Preventing backorders and out-of-stocks – Backorder costs can reach as high as $20 per order, and that doesn’t factor in the incalculable cost of a negative customer experience. To prevent out-of-stocks, stock counts must be readily updated and visible to your team before dropping below a set threshold. Technologies like modern touch computers provide a cost-effective connectivity solution as workers are able to seamlessly update stock counts with streamlined data capture and processing through one device.
- Simplifying reverse logistics for seamless returns – Inconvenient returns discourage at over half of shoppers from completing a purchase. In addition to locationing and sustained connectivity, businesses have also turned to wearable and hands-free technologies in order to accelerate processing while preserving scanning accuracy, worker comfort, and affordability. Furthermore, hands-free order processing is relatively easy to use, eliminating worker confusion for faster deployment and optimization. This allows your team to quickly process returns and lower instances of wasted labor as items are stored properly.
For more information on how to tackle the challenges of post-pandemic retail, contact Bar Code Direct for a careful assessment of your current workflows to pinpoint optimization opportunities in your operations.