Omnichannel marketing is now a top priority for retail comms pros (or it should be), and new research from fulfillment platform Deposco and content studio studioID takes the pulse of more than 150 retail leaders from online/e-commerce, specialty, department, and grocery stores about their omnichannel efforts. The firms’ survey asked respondents about their omnichannel readiness, their current investments, and what to look for in omnichannel retail management software.
While omnichannel fulfillment may not be for every retailer, the new joint Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Trends & Strategies report reveals that it’s a priority now—and will continue to demand retailers’ attention down the road.
Five important survey findings about omnichannel fulfillment:
Most retailers indicate that omnichannel fulfillment is important to their organizations
Nearly 60 percent say it’s either “very” or “extremely” important. Only 13 percent say that omnichannel fulfillment isn’t important to their organizations.
Retailers are likely confused about what’s possible with omnichannel
For example, when asked about the status of their omnichannel fulfillment, 25 percent of respondents indicated complete satisfaction. This number suggests retailers may not fully understand what’s possible with omnichannel, or they may lack the tools to visualize it.
Retailers prioritizing omnichannel fulfillment are experiencing several benefits — but one stands out
Among the survey respondents currently investing in omnichannel fulfillment, 59 percent are achieving greater customer reach. Because their products are available and easy to purchase through whatever channel(s) their customers use, they naturally reach a wider group than retailers that offer products across only one or two platforms.
The top obstacles to deploying omnichannel fulfillment solutions
Over one-third (35 percent) of respondents named lack of time and resources as their biggest deployment challenge. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents cited a lack of in-house tech expertise as a barrier to adoption. Meanwhile, 21 percent get by with manual processes and say there isn’t a pressing need for fulfillment solutions yet.
Retailers know where they want to improve
Most retailers admit that they have room for omnichannel enhancements. Respondents identified three main areas they need to improve: 37 percent want to personalize the online experience better, 21 percent want to bring a more human element to the online experience, and 29 percent want to improve the in-store experience with technology.
“Retailers that don’t see the value of omnichannel now will eventually experience growing pains as the evolution picks up speed,” said Will Lovatt, general manager and vice president at Deposco, in a news release. “When their customers pull them toward it, they’ll have to respond.”
But it’s never too late to start prioritizing omnichannel fulfillment. “If you’ve got a brand that a customer wants to buy,” said Lovatt, “then they’ll buy it where and how they want to buy it, and you better be present and ready to sell it.”
While there are obstacles to deploying omnichannel solutions, retailers that invest in blending online and in-store fulfillment are seeing benefits. Prioritizing warehouse management alongside order management and distributed order management (DOM) software will extend customer reach, reduce profit erosion, meet evolving customer demands, and maintain a competitive edge, the researchers affirm.
The survey, conducted by Deposco and studioID, was taken by 150+ retail executives in the United States in December 2022. Respondents answered questions about their omnichannel readiness, the impact of omnichannel on their business, obstacles that stand in their way, and the most important enhancements to facilitate better omnichannel software experiences.