The consumption habits of Belgians are constantly evolving. But in recent months, they have really changed! A number of new concerns have led consumers to adopt a new lifestyle, and therefore a new way of consuming.
The question now is: are these changes temporary or lasting? And what will be the consequence of these two and a half months of confined life on the retail trade ?
New strategies to adopt
The health crisis has underlined the importance for companies to offer omnichannel services. It is in this context that “Click & Collect” and “Ship-from-Store” are becoming essential functions to be implemented in order to meet customers’ demands and offer them the possibility of making their purchases without contact.
Indeed, despite all the security measures taken by the shops, some people are still reluctant to go there. However, the need to consume still exists. The brands that will emerge from this crisis as winners will be those that respond in a relevant way to the people’s expectations.
Ship-from-Store, the alternative to be exploited
Ship-from-Store is a very interesting and profitable alternative to continue to satisfy your customers while avoiding physical contact. With home delivery from their various shops , retailers can maintain the profitability of their points of sale by using them as a place for storing and preparing orders. In addition, using the shops’ stocks means that delivery times can be reduced for greater customer satisfaction.
How can it be set up?
The basis of this service is real-time visibility of stock. It is necessary to have a centralised view but also an individual view in each shop. Retailers must now think in terms of “unique stock“.
Employees must then be trained in order preparation. The tools that will be used are those which are generally seen in the warehouse rather than at the point of sale.
As far as dispatch is concerned, an order orchestration tool such as an OMS will make it possible to specify the dispatch methods. Intelligent stock management will prevent one shop from having too much stock while another is out of stock. This software will determine from which shop the order should be dispatched, according to various criteria such as the stock level in the shop, the distance to be covered, or the deadlines to be met.
Examples of companies that offer Ship-from-Store
From July 2020, Darjeeling will offer a Ship-from-Store service. Orders placed on their e-commerce site will be processed by the shops, which will ship them taking into account the geographical proximity of the shop, its ability to satisfy the entire order, etc. The e-commerce warehouse will therefore not be the only place where orders are processed.
Subsequently, the brand plans to install an Order-in-Store tool in the various shops, i.e. sales tablets allowing orders to be placed in the shop. The aim of this approach is to meet the needs of customers by offering them access to the entire Darjeeling product catalogue from the shop nearest to them. The shopping experience remains one of the company’s priorities.
The toy brand was already paying close attention to digital transformation long before the pandemic arrived, but the pandemic accelerated decision-making and new strategies were developed faster than expected.
King Jouet launched its e-commerce site in 2000. They then installed in-store touch-screen kiosks in 2011, positioning themselves as a pioneer in the toy industry through phygital and offering in-store ordering of products that are not in stock. In 2015, sales staff became “connected sales staff” thanks to mobile phones and mobile printers that were provided for them to facilitate their day to day work. In 2016, King Jouet innovated again and launched its “ToyScan” application , which is a kind of “toy Shazam”. The company was also one of the first to offer a Click & Collect system. And today, it is innovating even further by introducing the Ship-from-Store.
What about you?
Tomorrow’s stores will have to become more modular and evolve according to customer demand. If you want to be the leader in your market, don’t wait any longer to optimise your strategy !
Delivering to your customers from all your outlets will allow you to generate more sales and offer your customers an ideal delivery experience.