After the mad Christmas rush, when UK shoppers are expected to spend more than £17 billion online, many retailers will be coming under close scrutiny for the effectiveness of their online operations.
The major criteria that retailers are judged by is the speed with which they can deliver an order once it is placed. But while swift delivery is the most visible indicator of how effective an online retail operation is, it is certainly not only that aspect that is important when it comes to effective ecommerce. With the immense pressure of the Christmas season, having the stock available in the first place is key. And this is dependent on having accurate historical order data, as well as being able to predict future sales by analysing purchasing trends.
And when it comes to picking the stock, accuracy and speed are similarly critical. The order needs to be processed fast, and the right items need to be picked. It all comes down to the data being correct in the first place, so that the automation of tasks can be undertaken accurately. And for this, real-time management of inventory is vital.
Ultimately, it will be the technology that will set apart those who deliver the best online retail experiences for their customers this Christmas.
Delivering orders accurately and speedily requires integration expertise. There are so many different IT systems between the consumer and the delivered purchase that designing a process for one will not necessarily be compatible with other links in the chain.
Systems are fraught with problematic situations. For example, the user chooses a delivery option but the order doesn’t fit within the carrier’s box restrictions. Or the warehouse staff picks the order but stock is missing. Perhaps a credit card payment is processed but the goods didn’t leave the warehouse. Delivering excellent customer service requires tightly integrated systems and processes and retailers will need to innovate to compete effectively in a market that sees around 15-20% of purchases being made online.
But end-to-end, bespoke design is a luxury that fast moving ecommerce businesses can ill afford. Working with a technology partner like Balloon One that encounters these problems on a day-to-day basis is key to success. We have proven experience in helping to integrate and implement effective systems for our warehousing, distribution and ecommerce clients.
So if your retail operations seem to be struggling under the strain this Christmas, we’ll be pleased to assist you comfortably in time for when it all starts again next year. You can call us on 020 8819 9071 or contact us today.
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