No-one argues against the fact that the key to modern retail is flexibility, however putting that flexibility into practice is harder than it should be, due in part to aging technologies.Earlier this year, Retail Expo released their 2020 Vision and overwhelmingly more than half of the consumers surveyed (54%) said that delivery is all about convenience, with 19% saying they would pay more for a more convenient experience, although most expect retailers to cover the cost.You can download the full report here
With convenience the key word, the ability for people to place orders and have them fulfilled in the way that is most convenient for them is not going to go away anytime soon, particularly after the turbulent year that has been 2020!
What’s open to retailers is the ability to react quickly to what’s happening in the wider world.
An agile order management system, for example, should facilitate the ability to quickly divert fulfilment to any location or device, either permanently or temporarily, without having to hard code anything.
For example, during lockdown, some retailers were able to divert online orders to click and collect fulfilment at their local stores. This meant they could still use many of their assets (i.e. stores and trucks), their people, and reduce reliance on 3rd party delivery companies that were overwhelmed.
Not everything is as drastic as a pandemic, this type of shifting reduces temporary impacts that impact retailers, such as stores and DC’s going offline, perhaps due to flooding or staffing issues.
As well as reactionary reasons for diversion, there are also opportunity reasons as consumers require more and more flexibility, and this can extend beyond the traditional remit of just order management. For example, customers don’t want to just order and deliver/pick up anywhere, they want to pay conveniently too. Flexible OMS should offer the ability to offer mobile and remote payments, as well as integrate into new payment platforms such as Klarna.
The point is that the world is changing all the time, can your OMS keep up? Both with what we know now, and what’s waiting for us around the corner.
Why not read here about how modern OMS is different?