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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Pick, pack and ship from store is a recent evolution in retail. It is relatively unknown to most store managers until they are asked to handle the responsibilities that come along with it. As more retailers learn how omnichannel can benefit their organizations, especially through ship from store, this is becoming a fast-growing global trend. As more store managers are asked to assume these responsibilities, let’s talk about exactly what it is and how will it impact you.
Pick, pack and ship is exactly as it sounds. It is the process of collecting the right items for an order (or orders), putting it into a box and/or packing materials and then shipping it off to the customer. Sometimes this is shipment by shipment and sometimes in a bulk fashion. Tactically, the pick, pack and ship process gives the employee a list of what needs to be collected for an order. Historically, these pick lists were used in warehouses. They streamline the process of collecting merchandise for an order fulfillment. Whether in-store or in a warehouse, pick lists provide pick priority. They can also show the physical location of goods. It makes sure express or priority fulfillments are picked first and fast.
Store managers now suddenly find out they need to have a grasp of the details around fulfillment and logistics. This can be quite intimidating. But it’s not as scary as one might think. And the current evolution of retail and the acceptance, or rather demand for, omnichannel solutions means store teams must adapt! The good news is that certain organizations provide great tools to allow merchants to cater to their customers’ needs; all the while still supporting staff and providing easy-to-use tools for them. Today, customers demand more flexibility. Retailers must transition their teams to meet these demands.
Yes, ship from store can potentially mean more work and responsibility for store associates. However, it also brings more allocated revenue. Sales attributed to a store go up. Increases in inventory turn velocity lead to fewer markdowns. It reduces the need for clearance sales (and lost margins).
A big part of customer satisfaction is about getting their order shipped to them accurately and quickly. A purpose-designed, clearly designated fulfillment area is a big part of this. Have the standard shipping boxes on hand, packing material ready and a clear process associates understand. Also, make sure to have the catalogues, promotions, coupons and flyers on hand to include. Make it easy for your teams, well laid out and ready to go. With the right pick, pack and ship application, your store will start making an impact as a new shipping center. Yes, it will be a learning process at first, with more work added to the roster. However, a store fulfillment strategy transforms your store into a much more valuable asset to the retail chain. Not only does it become a shipping center in its own right, but it also increases your revenue-boosting potential and staff morale. That’s good for associates, store managers and retail chain alike!