In-store fulfillment provides retailers wide-ranging benefits like decreased shipping costs, increased delivery speed, and prevents stockpiling at the wrong location. Even though there are some compelling reasons for using this method, companies should consider their infrastructure before deciding whether they are suited to it. It’s because implementing and maintaining the correct technology infrastructure is one of the most challenging tasks. Here is additional information regarding the same unseen downsides of In-store Fulfillment.
- Disturbs customers’ in-store shopping experience
Unsurprisingly, in-store pickup facilities create chaos at the shop, as employees are busy gathering and packing up the items for e-commerce orders. Rather than helping on-site customers to find goods or rearranging the stock on shelves, shop retailers will focus on packing boxes, leaving visitors unattended and shops disorganized.
In addition, it can create a shortage of demanding items, congestion in store aisles, and slip-ups. Inventory visibility is also vital to pick objects quickly, pack and distribute them on time. These kinds of activities can land store retailers in an unbalanced scenario of the digital and in-store shoppers, hence frustrating customers and lower sales.
In order to run online and offline stores smoothly, retailers must plan ahead to fulfill the work efficiently and give a good customer experience.
- Struggles to hire experienced service-providers
Businesses cannot run well without the help of employees having proficient skills. Retailers will have to invest time and money to give training to employees to handle different duties simultaneously. It is laborious to take items off the shelves and put them in cartons for shipment. Special training and methods are required to pack different products, incredibly fragile and delicate ones.
Also, it would help if you worked on limiting the locations and hours of services offered by you. It will provide sufficient time for workers to manage the work well and energetically.
- Increased expenses
Mostly retail stores are not well-equipped with packing supplies and do not have enough space to operate an e-commerce business professionally. Therefore, expenses are required to either expand or manage space for its optimal use and if not invested then rather than generating revenues, you will be overspending.
In addition, retaining quality employees by tempting them is a challenging task for retailers in the era of the competitive market. Hence, labor expenses like providing up-to-date training and fulfilling the demands can be terrifying.
Investments in packing material and labor make in-store fulfillment expensive, especially for small retailer shops.
- Dispatching wrong or damaged inventory
An obvious downside of e-commerce shipping to customers is waiting for a few days or even weeks for orders to deliver. However, unknown factors like receiving incorrect or broken items can be annoying, and customers demand replaced items instead.
Issues like swapping products can cost you money and leave a negative impression regarding you in the customer’s mind. Hence, you need to go for insurance, quality packing, and time investment to ensure proper and safe delivery.
- Dissimilar order types
In-store fulfillment allows customers to fulfill and order different types of products from an inventory stock at a given time. It means you need to manage retail orders, e-commerce, and wholesale orders simultaneously. You need the right technology, sometimes automated, to handle these inefficient variations, especially for small-scale retailers.
- Communicating with suppliers
The silent majority of retailers buy supplies from third parties. To make an in-store business successful, retailers must have good communication skills. It is necessary to choose suppliers wisely who provide quality services and are efficient in contact. However, if you lack in this area, you can miss the best opportunities and lose money.
- Technology issues
Technology is quite essential to make a business grow these days. Retailers face low-tech and high-tech issues while pursuing in-store fulfillment trade. On one side, retailers usually have difficulty keeping up with orders during peak hours and hesitate to handle e-commerce fulfillment while handling in-store work since doing so is time-consuming and requires the use of gadgets. Usually, the solution is investing in automated and well-defined technology. However, simple up-gradation is not enough when the multistep processes such as shipping, tracking, and storing are processed and need pro handling.
- International coverage
If your supplier is overseas, you have to wait for weeks or months to receive the orders and further manage to deliver the parcel to customers on time. To become effective, retailers have to opt for a domestic fulfillment strategy to cut air shipping and avoid delays.
Transforming a retail store into an in-store fulfillment center needs efficient planning and execution. Despite the challenges mentioned above, it slowly transforms traditional brick stores into supply-chain market space. To overcome these issues, get additional info by visiting websites that help in integrating retail through technology.