Your stock is sitting in stores. If it’s sat there too long, it’s costing you money. What’s the solution? Well, you need to get it out of the store and into customer baskets, whether that’s in-store or online. A true omnichannel presence means you can get the most out of stock that you might otherwise struggle to shift, along with some other pretty great benefits.
Every retailer should be trying to optimize their stock so that it meets the perfect balance between meeting customer demand and also not impacting their bottom line. Stock that sits idle costs money and also impacts the potential revenue generated by products that could be selling well. Getting stock moving is all about giving it more chances to get to the customer, and the best way to do that is to make it accessible from anywhere.
To be able to ship directly from the store, you need a way for your systems and staff to treat your stores as mini-warehouses. For example, if you have a central warehouse and forty stores, then you can use the stock from those stores to ship more locally and in a more agile way. It’s been called urban warehousing before, but whatever name you want to give it, there are serious benefits for retailers – providing they’re serious about making omnichannel a reality.
Let’s say a customer goes to your web store to order a new coffee machine. They find the item they want and unfortunately, it says that you’re out of stock. Maybe they wait, or maybe they contact a member of your customer service team to find out when it will be available. But, more likely, they go to your competitor. What if you actually have twenty of these machines scattered throughout your brick-and-mortar stores? You just missed a sale. Maybe you just lost a customer. That could have been avoided if your stock systems were joined up.
Taking a step further, what if the coffee machine that customer wants is at their local store? You then have the opportunity to invite them in to check it out or to get some accessories to go with it – the chance for an upsell. Or, even just for convenience’s sake, you could send it from that store on a same day service and really impress that customer with your speedy delivery.
This all goes beyond just the sale. Connecting up your stock so that it can be better-utilized impacts retention, LTV, and brand. It’s a big deal. So with all this upside, how do you make it happen? You need a few things in place to make it happen, but with the right solution, it’s all very possible.
Why Wouldn’t You Want This?
One of our customers, Simon Levelt, fit that coffee machine case perfectly. They’re an online retail operation with a bunch of franchise-operated stores. Each store is effectively run by an independent entrepreneur. These people want to be able to maximize their revenue and reach, so they can join the stock in their stores with the main Simon Levelt web store, or at least they can now that they use Wolfpack.
There were some key considerations to make before putting the system in place. Most importantly, you need to know how much stock is in store, in as close to real-time as possible. Mispicks or incorrect stock values create unhappy customers, and unhappy customers go to your competitors.
You also need to be able to route online orders to the right store. Not just the store with the stock, but preferably the stock that is closest to the customer. That keeps shipping costs down and speeds up the time it takes to get the right item to the right person. In many cities now, there are varying options for delivery that help minimize environmental impact. For short distances of a few km, and based on item size, you can have goods delivered by bicycle or for larger items e-bike. Smart routing cuts down costs, speeds up delivery, and is more sustainable. What’s not to like?
Combining these sorts of options with the right tech in-store is key. For instance, picking lists delivered to staff tablets or mobiles, with triggered emails sent straight to the client the moment the packing list is signed off by the team member in the store.Or the ability to generate shipping labels that can be printed or downloaded in-store. All this needs to update stock in real-time, or as close as you can get, to ensure it doesn’t have an impact back at the start of a customer’s online sales journey.
Best of all, this can all be tailored to your specific needs. You might only have a handful of stores that can cope with the additional stock movement and have enough people to make it happen. That’s fine, just roll it out where it’s most appropriate and grow it over time. With Wolfpack, you can make your Omnichannel setup better, no matter its shape or size.
If you want to make the most of your stock, you need to connect your channels. That’s what Wolfpack does better, so get in touch with us today.