5 Ways to Fulfill Web Orders (for Retailers)
Web order fulfillment is not a one-size-fits all solution. There are a variety of ways to deliver products to consumers who purchase online. Here are five ways retailers in the past, and currently, have fulfilled web orders. There is no doubt that new developments in retail will show new ways to fulfill web orders in the future. For now, most retailers can get by fulfilling web orders through these channels.
- Store location fulfillment – When your customer goes through the online check out, you’ll need to get their physical delivery address. When that happens, you can fulfill their web order from the nearest store location. This decentralized approach to product delivery has worked for retailers, and it can work for you too.
- Warehouse fulfillment – Some retailers prefer to fulfill orders from a warehouse. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. But it’s not necessarily as simple as fulfilling all orders from one warehouse. You can speed up delivery, as Amazon does, by using multiple physical warehouses spread out geographically and fulfill customer orders from the nearest warehouse.
- Dynamically from nearest location with minimum on-hands – Another way to fulfill web orders is by configuring your fulfillment solution to pull from the nearest location with a minimum number of on-hands. That could be the nearest store location to the customer, or it could be the nearest warehouse. If the nearest location doesn’t meet the minimum on-hand count, you can fulfill the order from the next nearest location.
- Establish your own fulfillment rules – Maybe the nearest location isn’t the best approach for your retail operation. You can fulfill orders from the location with the highest inventory count or the slowest rate of sales. That way, you can ensure that store locations that sell a particular product in high numbers is not short when in-store customers want that product.
- Drop-shipping – Another way to fulfill web orders is to drop-ship products directly from manufacturers. With this model, you do not need to stock the inventory. As long as you can ensure products are available when customers order them, you can have a successful online retail operation.
Fulfilling web orders is challenging. To be successful, you have to work out the logistics that works for your retail operation. ChainDrive can help.