A new generation of logistics solutions: Omnichannel 2.0
E-commerce in Mexico is in full swing with up to 27% of growth per year, and most customers now buy their goods online. But as demand increases, more and more stores are popping up and competition is getting tougher. So how can you stand out? Through reliable and fast delivery.
What looks simple on paper requires a lot of strategy and planning for supply chain, sales, marketing, and logistics operations. The better integrated these are, the more seamless your entire product-to-customer lifecycle will become. The seamless, tech-driven interactions across the entire logistics chain, including partners from production to delivery vehicles, are called “omnichannel.” Omnichannel logistics require integrating brick-and-mortar stores, product distribution centers, and customer ordering processes into one overarching system.
However, recently, omnichannel 2.0 is becoming more and more popular with retailers and logistics providers. So, what’s the difference between omnichannel and omnichannel 2.0? And how can stores prepare for omnichannel 2.0?
What is omnichannel 2.0?
Most consumers don’t care where they are buying from – but how convenient their experience is. Together with the introduction of large digital retailers such as Mercado Libre, Jüsto, and Amazon, we have recently seen a decline in physical stores and a shift in demand for digital commerce. Those marketplaces have set customer-centric strategies, and as a result, in 2021, people spent $3.23 trillion globally on the top 100 online marketplaces alone.
To remain present across all these brands, vendors choose to keep a small physical location, run an e-commerce-only business, and sell their goods through one of the retail giants – or all at once in a hybrid strategy. The complexity of hybrid sales coupled with issues across supply chains (unoptimized inventory, long distances, rising logistics costs) has created the need to redesign omnichannel logistics: to omnichannel 2.0.
A solid omnichannel 2.0 strategy means a reliable, consistent presence across a range of owned and third-party platforms, including planning, marketing, customer service, and logistics operations. Retailers and logistics departments need to improve their expertise and tech adoption across all channels to remove barriers and prepare for the next generation of logistics.
Which logistics channels are key to omnichannel 2.0?
Improving the omnichannel experience requires optimizing existing logistics operations, including inventory, fulfillment, and last-mile transparency first. Let’s look at each in detail.
Most stores’ logistics start with overcoming inventory management challenges. Omnichannel begins with integrating existing point-of-sale systems into the overall supply chain management system. Every time your inventory registers a sale or return of an item, integrated systems can collect, synthesize, and analyze the relevant data elements. Smart, connected inventories can notify manufacturers or suppliers to restock your products or produce new goods.
Another important area for omnichannel logistics improvement is the order fulfillment system. Who stores your goods, takes the order, packs it in a parcel with the recipient’s address, and puts it in a delivery truck? These processes are part of the fulfillment process – and optimizing them is key to a seamless logistics system.
To ensure accurate order fulfillment, it’s essential to keep track of what’s going on:
- Order status
- Location of products
- Shipping rates and custom quotes for orders
- Monitoring shipping status to send to customers and internal teams
- Key performance indicators over time (fulfillment time, total orders fulfilled, etc.).
As with inventory, it is important to record every movement of goods and employee effort to identify bottlenecks and inefficient operations. Fulfillment requires a synthesis of inventory and warehouse management – and only a complete data profile connecting both will improve performance in the long term.
The last mile includes the process where your products leave their current location to be delivered to the customer’s doorstep. But this is where the greatest difficulties lie: Companies lose 53% of their total budget in the last mile. External factors such as customers not being present, long delivery routes, lack of vehicles, and congested cities can make delivery an elephantine task.
Again, data sharing is key. Companies or logistics centers that collect delivery data, integrate real-time route optimization, and notify customers of delivery status, will take operations a step further. Learn everything about last-mile operations here.
How to achieve omnichannel 2.0
Keen on optimizing your current omnichannel logistics? Take one action at a time. You’re optimizing smaller processes to leverage the value of adaptable and flexible supply chains. If each channel helps enhance the other track by integrating it into the previous and following system, your channels become a sustainable cycle.
Realigning your business strategy may be part of omnichannel 2.0 activities as well. You could outsource your delivery or fulfillment processes functions to focus entirely on inventory management or adopt new logistic solutions to save resources.
Finally, customer expectations will evolve as retailers offer new, exciting services (including free or next-day delivery) as part of the omnichannel trend. Regularly engage with your customers and figure out what to do better to provide a great customer experience. This way, you can think one step ahead and set new trends.
Are you ready to optimize your logistics operations? Then, get to know CARGAMOS and start generating new revenue today.