Do you have different storefronts and your online orders are growing?
If this is the case, you may want to consider the ship-from-store strategy. The shipping from this uses stores rather than distribution centers to help with driving down the costs.
However, this doesn’t work for every business, it may not have the location, employees, resources, and the like to make this work.
What shipping from Store Entails
This is pretty much a strategy used for fulfillment that involves having orders placed directly into platforms for ecommerce, having them fulfilled, and then have it at the store, rather than directly at warehouses.
This also is used to fulfill orders online, rather than those inventories that are stored at warehouses, and also are using employees from the store to pick and pack these.
This is different from curbside or in0-store pickup as it doesn’t require the person to directly go to the store, but it is shipped from the store to the customer.
How this works is simple:
- First, the customers orders the item
- The retailer then sends the order to the closest location to the customer.
- The employee picks from current inventory and then ships this out
In a sense, you’re making stores distribution centers of the sort, which can improve the presence geographically, and reduce both the shipping costs and transit times. But this is not easy.
What to Consider
The thing is you should know the average order volume that you have. if the business doesn’t ship a ton of online orders on a daily, then you can use the stores without overwhelming them. but if you have a ton, you may need to reconsider this.
The type of packaging matters. The packaging for the store items may be different from what may be needed for shipping. You should also make sure that the store has the bandwidth and packaging to ship this all out.
The sizes also matter too, as it may be cheaper to ship directly from the warehouse than the store if the shipping dimensions are odd.
You also need to figure out where to ship. The right shipping locations can be hard, and this is something that’s hard to get bulk shipping for, so be mindful of that.
The benefits of this
There are a few benefits to this.
First, it offers better in-store turnover, which can definitely be good for those stores that don’t have a bunch of volumes, as it helps with avoiding deadstock and pushes inventory around.
It also can help with cutting down shipping times, depending on where the package is going.
It also is good for a lot of people who are worried about possibly shipping from one place, so that you don’t have to worry about possible disasters rendering you useless.
One of the biggest downsides is that the operating costs are higher. This can get very labor-intensive for some people, so you’ll want to make sure that you have enough people to train, fulfill, and do this. It also does create more costs.
It also can disrupt the in-store processes, as the customers won’t get helped enough, and if you have employees multitasking, this can end up being a disaster.
It also can be something hard to manage, especially if you have to look at the inventory. This can make it super complex, since it may put the company at risk for backorders.
Unless you invest in omnichannel order management, you’re going to have to coordinate at all levels, which can be very overwhelming for lots of businesses as well.