Modern Stores Are Fulfilling

Store Fulfillment is the fourth of the five essential elements to creating modern store experiences. Optimized store fulfillment satisfies the customer's desire for immediacy, creating a positive experience and encouraging repeat business.

Meeting Customer’s Heightened Demand for Immediacy

Modern shoppers increasingly opt for the convenience of buying online and picking up their orders in-store, also known as BOPIS. This trend has highlighted the importance of store fulfillment services for retailers. Modern retailers are also expanding their use of store fulfillment to ship orders, reducing shipping costs and meeting the customers’ increasing demand for fast delivery.

Modern retailers must strengthen their store operations to become reliable sources for digital commerce fulfillment. This initiative includes optimizing inventory management, fulfillment execution, and human performance. By prioritizing store fulfillment performance, stores can consistently meet order fulfillment commitments, handle increasing order volumes, and satisfy customer demand for faster delivery.

Equipping Store Associates to Succeed

Store fulfillment performance is heavily dependent on store associates. They play a crucial role in delivering reliable fulfillment to customers. It is essential to keep them promptly informed of orders, tasks, and other activities while they continue to perform their daily store work. By doing so, they can consistently fulfill order commitments.

Store fulfillment tools, such as visual fulfillment dashboards, should be unified with other store tools, such as point of sale, to help associates efficiently manage their growing workload. With clear visibility into prioritized tasks, enhanced by proactive notifications, associates can keep on top of time-sensitive activities.

To execute fulfillment tasks quickly and accurately, associates should be equipped with clear digitized guidance, ideally on mobile devices. This capability will enable them to perform at higher levels and deliver customers a consistently reliable fulfillment experience.

Outcomes of Successful Store Associates

"84% of retail employees feel more valued by their employer when provided with technology tools to help them work."


Employing RFID for Greater Efficiency

Enhancing store fulfillment performance is a top priority, and it hinges on the accurate location of inventory items. By making inventory rapidly discoverable, RFID tags and technology can significantly boost inventory accuracy. This, in turn, accelerates fulfillment as associates can quickly locate and pick items. Adopting RFID technology is a proven way to improve fulfillment performance, instilling confidence in the reliability and efficiency of store operations.

RFID technology automates store inventory management. During inventory management processes, RFID tags on inventory items and RFID scanners work together to find store inventory in real time, streamlining inventory management automatically.

RFID technology delivers significant productivity gains in fulfillment by removing location complexities and accelerating order picking, which enables associates to be more productive. RFID is essential for stores to achieve distribution center-like accuracy and efficiency, ensuring a consistently reliable store fulfillment experience.

Outcomes of Employing RFID

"RFID in stores can boost inventory accuracy levels to as much as 98%."


Raising Store Inventory Accuracy

Today, store inventory is an integral part of a retailer's global inventory network, enabling the sale of store inventory across a retailer's sales channels. The rise of omnichannel selling and store fulfillment places more significant pressure on stores to enhance the precision of inventory management.

Stores can no longer use manual inventory management processes. They must execute like distribution centers, instilling greater discipline in inventory management from receiving to store shelves. Stores must rectify the root causes of inventory accuracy errors through disciplined standard operating procedures that ensure precise inventory management executed with greater frequency.

Modern stores can achieve distribution center performance by digitizing, mobilizing, and automating store inventory management, such as receiving or cycle counts. Although stores may never achieve execution like distribution centers, incremental improvements can significantly improve sales and customer satisfaction by reducing inventory inaccuracies.

Outcomes of Raising Store Inventory Accuracy

"60% approximate inventory accuracy in retail stores while distribution centers typically are at 89% to 99% accuracy."

Logistic Viewpoints

Scaling Fulfillment Capacity

Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), and ship-from-store meet growing consumer demand for convenience and delivery speed. However, typical retail stores find it challenging to operationalize store fulfillment to meet increasing demand while controlling fulfillment costs.

Physical stores and store employees are typically not optimized for picking, packing, and preparing orders for pickup or delivery. If stores cannot keep up with rising demands, costs can increase, and customer satisfaction and sales can decline.

Store associates must be sufficiently prepared to execute fulfillment efficiently and precisely. Store solutions that assist associates in picking orders, such as mobile applications with guided pick paths and integrated RFID readers for quickly finding items, can significantly improve productivity and precision and reduce costs. Such capabilities reduce order fulfillment cycle times, enabling the capacity to meet order commitments, particularly during peak times.

Outcomes of Scaling Fulfillment Capacity

"Store fulfillment can be 1.5x to 2x more costly on a per-pick basis than orders fulfilled from distribution centers."


Turning Pickup into a Service Differentiator

Store fulfillment is often considered a back-office function that prepares orders for fulfillment. However, it is also a vital customer service function that can differentiate a retail brand through convenience and value-added interactions.

Customers rightfully expect to receive their orders at the promised time without the hassle of waiting in line. Stores and customers must be in constant communication regarding pickup progress. Clear customer notification about order readiness, pickup location, identification requirements, and other relevant information is essential. Two-way messaging between customers and stores facilitates seamless communication and helps resolve any issues quickly.

The pickup process should be fast, easy, and secure, with proper customer identification executed carefully to avoid fraud. Store associates should be equipped with store functions such as assisted selling or point of sale at pickup, making it easy for customers to purchase complementary products that add value to their original order.

Outcomes of Pickup as Service Differentiator

"67% of BOPIS users buy additional items from a retailer when picking up their original order."

International Council of Shopping Centers

Contact Us

Ready to Optimize Store Fulfillment?

Embrace customers’ demand for immediacy with technology built for digital commerce fulfillment.