Optimize store inventory for omnichannel success
Good inventory management means ensuring the right products are in the right place at the right time. The idea is simple to understand, but difficult to achieve due to the new demands of omnichannel retail and today’s turbulent trading conditions.
Brick-and-mortar retailers have a lot of investment tied up in store inventory so it makes sense to ensure that the management of that inventory is optimized not just to improve financial performance but also because of the big impact on customer satisfaction.
If the retailer carries too much inventory, it will be saddled with an excessive cost base, which will reduce competitiveness and hinder agility because it cannot adapt quickly to market trends and new demands.
Conversely, if a retailer holds too little stock in its stores and cannot rapidly obtain a requested item for a customer, the retailer risks not only losing a sale but also disappointing the customer.
This was the challenge facing Conserverie la belle-iloise, a French gourmet food retailer that recently adopted Openbravo POS, a key component of the Openbravo Commerce Cloud suite, to help its store staff better manage its inventory, which consists of tinned food that requires strict control of expiry dates.
The platform supports new fulfillment options, so if a la belle-iloise store does not have sufficient inventory to fulfill a customer’s request, the store associate can arrange home delivery of the item with the fulfillment managed from its central warehouse.
The balancing act between holding too much and too little inventory has become more difficult in recent years due to the explosion of eCommerce, which fragments purchase journeys and complicates fulfillment.
But in today’s environment, marked by the continuing uncertainty due to COVID-19 and the intense competition from online stores, brick-and-mortar retailers are having to rationalize their store portfolios, reduce the store footprints and optimize the inventory their stores carry.
Retailers need to make their in-store inventory work harder. One strategy to achieve that is to increase in-store inventory turnover, which means giving preference to new, fast-selling lines in the stores and reducing holdings of slow-moving or less profitable items.
Another strategy that optimizes store inventory is Click and Collect, which has the advantage that it unifies the physical and online channels. As well as offering customers greater convenience, Click and Collect allows retailers to increase traffic in their physical stores and track customer behavior across both the physical and online channels.
The most cost-effective and convenient way to do Click and Collect involves using store inventory to fulfill online orders. This is the ideal solution because it incurs no additional costs, increases the turnover of store inventory and boosts customer satisfaction as the product may be available for collection in a matter of hours.
However, to correctly implement Click and Collect, detailed and real-time visibility of all inventory is required, as well as a perfect integration between the eCommerce platform and store systems.
👉🏼Find out how Openbravo helped la belle-iloise manage its inventory better or visit our website to discover how Openbravo Commerce Cloud helps physical stores play a new expanded role in today’s omnichannel reality.