Why are retail stores changing to be more like fulfilment centres

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image of pick and pack

We are all learning to live with the changing demands of our business now COVID-19 is here to stay.

Many retailers have changed the way their businesses operate because of the pandemic and the effect it has on their management, staff and of course, customers.

Some of the really noticeable changes we have seen are within the e-commerce sector.

As the demand for e-commerce continues to rise, we have seen some larger retailers turning some of their real estate into fulfilment centres as the pandemic forces them to adopt an integrated approach to order fulfilment. Why? To improve customer satisfaction, user experience and ensure effective delivery of products and services.

With consumer footfall on the decline as shoppers remain nervous about the spread of coronavirus, many retailers are putting their empty shops and centres to good use and repurposing them as distribution centres. The need is evidenced as the surge towards online shopping continues.

Many shop owners were the victim of lockdown measures introduced by the UK government and even as the economy attempts to recover a business’s re-open, there are still limitations in place that restrict return to anywhere near the pre-coronavirus levels. With the slowdown of footfall and the growth in online shopping, it makes sense for some companies to use their retail properties as e-commerce fulfilment centres focusing on packaging, shipping, storage and logistics.

We have seen this progression become more feasible for businesses of all size as they adjust their operations to meet the changing needs during this COVID-19 era. To some companies, change to e-commerce sales is a must and a preferable option to closure and bankruptcy.

Evidence of this is visible even with the titans of e-commerce industry. The ‘Amazon Effect’ refers to the impact created by online, e-commerce or digital marketplace, on the traditional bricks and mortar model’ as we see massive changes in the way people shop, online purchasing habits, and the higher expectations of customers post-purchase.

For the small to medium-sized business though such changes may bring higher costs and more stress as many now consider passing the chalice to a 3PL – third-party logistics company. Customer demands and expectations increase with the efficiency of companies such as Amazon, and growing your online business will rely on you meeting customer expectations and competing with other online companies.

A recent survey showed that 88% of people shopping online would pay for same-day delivery. Fulfilling that need and keeping the customer happy ensures they return to buy again, and perhaps recommend you to friends and family.

The road to faster, safer fulfilment

So, if changing the way your business operates to accommodate the change in consumer shopping habits worries you, then maybe consider the use of 3PL providers. This is a widely used solution to the problems and stress of trying to cope with fulfilling your orders and meeting the demands of your customers.

Keeping the customer happy is vital as one wayward delivery; one incorrect order can lead to bad reviews online. Working with a reputable and experienced fulfilment company such as Pointbid Logistics takes care of the warehousing, storage, delivery and customer satisfaction concerns and leaves you, as the business owner, free to manage our business and promote your products.

There are significant benefits to outsourcing your order fulfilment, for example:

  • Lowering your shipping costs
  • Reducing your operating costs
  • Extend your audience globally with ease
  • Improve Your Customer Service.
  • Using Technology and the latest software to streamline delivery of your orders
  • Free up your time and staff to focus on growing your business.

Here are some of the way that Pointbid can help you with the process:

  • Enable end-to-end order visibility.
  • Supply chain functions involved in receiving, processing, and delivering customer orders to their final destinations
  • Choose the right shipping/freight supplier.
  • Enable exception-based order management assisting with operations, planning and risk management
  • Improved customer communications
  • Returns management

If you are changing the way your business operates to meet the ever-changing needs of customers and increase sales, then talk to us at Pointbid, we have this process streamlined to near perfection. Many of our customers see us a vital part of their business strategy moving forward, and we would welcome the opportunity to become part of your business growth and success as we try and move out of these testing times.

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