In a multi-vendor marketplace, brands and suppliers are brought together on a single platform, where they can list their products and make them...
An Order Management System(OMS) is a single, centralized system that supports orders, inventory, fulfillment and returns from multiple sales channels including brick-and-mortar stores, websites, kiosks and more. It organizes and automates key parts of the processes for retailers and customers. It has become increasingly important to drive customer experience and optimize inventory utilization. Do you know that OMS plays an indispensable role in a successful endless aisle strategy?
What is Endless Aisle?
Endless aisle is a strategy retailers use to help in-store customers order products through an online store during their visit. It is a contrast of buy online, pick up in-store service (BOPIS) which is also known as click and collect. Customers can order out-of-stock items that aren’t available at the physical store they visited and ship them home directly a few days later.
Retailers often offer endless aisle service in various ways. Retail outlets have invested in kiosk systems at the counter where customers can browse the product catalog, make purchases and have them shipped to their homes. Alternatively, they can offer virtual carts for customers as they shop and complete the orders later on. This is suitable for retailers that are selling heavy and huge products including home appliances and furniture. The customer might want to have a look at the actual item but it is not convenient for them to carry it home.
Benefits of Endless Aisle
A brick-and-mortar store has limited space within the store and a finite amount of shelf space. Stores can only stock a limited number of products, therefore offering endless aisle service is like carrying all your products available online to your physical store. Retail outlets can offer products beyond their space limit. It offers fresh buying intent when a customer scrolls through the screen and gets interested in products that weren’t what they looking for initially.
Endless aisle can capitalize on the customer buying intent without losing sales due to low stock. They enter the store with buying intent and out-of-stock products will definitely disappoint them. Leaving empty-handed is really an awful experience that will affect customer loyalty toward your shop. Shoppers can now easily visit a different store if the item they’re looking for is out of stock. It ensures that if they can’t find the product, the shop will deliver it to their doorstep within an agreed timeframe.
Inventory management is becoming a real struggle for a retail outlet as customers expect as much product selection as possible. However, keeping a large number of product variants and stocks will eventually turn into a risk factor for individual shop outlets to reconsider. With endless aisle service available, they can have a lower inventory stock without affecting the customer expectation.
How OMS tackle the challenges in implementing endless aisle?
Overcoming inventory management challenges is critical in executing endless aisles service. Communication between the supply chain and retail stores can be better managed with an order management system that updates in real-time and states the real-time data about the current stock. This can prevent you from selling a product and then finding out it is actually out of stock later. This will lead to a canceled order.
OMS can centralize the inventory and orders from multiple touchpoints and track the requests from the different stock lists. With more than one retail store, the staff can check another store’s product stock in real-time accurately. By doing it, you can make hassle-free delivery to the customer with confidence. Besides the delivery option, the staff can actually advise the customers to get the product in the nearest outlet with stock. This can further assist those who have urgent needs. Customers who made the purchase with a good experience will further enhance their loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.
Aside from facilitating your endless aisles service, a robust OMS like CLEARomni OMS has diverse features. It is able to smoothen order fulfillment operations across multiple channels through pre-built integration with major brand.com eCommerce platforms and 3rd party marketplaces. The employees can have one single overview for all orders which can further reduce errors and efforts needed.
On top of that, it can customize order routing and fulfillment workflows that suit your company’s operational needs to send information to suppliers/warehouses/stores promptly. The automation of determining the best party to handle the fulfillment will further reduce the manual efforts needed. In a B2B2C setting, business is also able to delegate order management to suppliers. Our experienced team can integrate the system with the existing POS & ERP, different 3PLs, warehouses & couriers.