February 20, 2019 | Written by: Matt McGovern
Categorized: Commerce | Order Management
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Innovative technology is redefining what you need to do to appeal to today’s highly demanding consumers – from meeting their ever-higher expectations of convenience to developing deep emotional attachments. IBM Watson Commerce has developed a thought-provoking POV that outlines the recent, dramatic market changes and how they impact your ability to deliver a fulfilling customer experience.
We asked several industry luminaries to offer their insights on the topic as well and will be sharing them in a series of posts. In this one,, Matthew McGovern of IBM discusses the critical importance of a flexible, omnichannel fulfillment strategy.
In 2018, we saw an increase in the adoption of buy online pick up in store and even same day delivery. Now, we see brands continuously evolving to meet and exceed these heightened expectations around order management. The quicker you can get the order to the customer, the faster the turnaround will be for a second order or the purchase of an accompanying item. And the more you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition.
But there is no “one size fits all” equation when it comes to order fulfillment. What works for one brand’s shoppers may not be what works for another’s. The fulfillment bar is set high and keeps climbing higher because tech-savvy consumers know what they want, when they want it. So to succeed in 2019 and beyond, you need to figure out the most profitable mix of omnichannel options for your brand that will ultimately keep your customers loyal.
According to Forrester, while doing this really well may seem like a big hill to climb, starting with a trusted order management system can help get you on the path to being able to serve your customers in the way you uniquely need to. The best order fulfillment platforms provide business users with the ability to build their own dashboards and action panels, features that give you more control over order operations.
79 percent of consumers say it’s important for a retailer to offer visibility into items that are available in the store. 1
Getting shoppers into the store can open the door to additional purchases – another conversion tactic that should drive your overarching omnichannel fulfillment journey.
Let’s take Nordstrom, known for their exceptional customer service. Not only do they offer free shipping and free returns on all orders, but they also offer same-day order pick up to your local store and curbside pickup. The ability to have real-time insights into inventory at each of their stores is what serves their customers’ specific needs and keeps them happy and coming back again and again.
So, what works for one brand might not work for yours. Ultimately, it’s all about putting order fulfillment at the heart of your customer experience strategy. And the continuous iterations of understanding what works for you today – and what might change tomorrow – will decrease risk and quicken the time to value against your competition.
Learn more about how AI can help improve your fulfillment strategy to enhance your customer experiences in IBM’s POV, Deliver happiness: Engage, convert and fulfill your way to a differentiated customer experience – again and again.
1 Forrester Research, 2018, Envisioning The Future Of Omnichannel Commerce https://www.forrester.com/report/Envisioning+The+Future+Of+Omnichannel+Commerce/-/E-RES125561