Supercharge online growth

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The evolution of e-commerce and its impact on physical stores continues at pace. In the past year click and collect has evolved to include kerb-side collection and other contactless iterations on the theme.

But some retailers are going even further to optimise and expand their order fulfilment services, leveraging their stores to improve the customer experience and drive significant growth. 

eStar has recently been recognised by Gartner as a global leader in Distributed Order Management (DOM) systems, which is allowing its clients to leverage their stores in ways that go beyond click and collect.

Sophisticated Distributed Order Management systems allow retailers to maximise order fulfilment while balancing two considerations: 

  • The customer’s expectations of receiving their order on-time and in-full.
  • The company’s desire to meet these customer expectations at the lowest possible cost.

eStar OMS can orchestrate and optimize the process of customer order fulfillment across a myriad of inventory-holding locations, whilst managing these two key considerations.

Depending on the complexity of the retailer, inventory may be held across stores, distribution and fulfillment centers, dark stores, micro fulfillment centers, suppliers, and third-party providers holding inventory and managing fulfillment and dispatch (3PL). 

At its core, eStar OMS includes a configurable routing engine that determines and orchestrates how orders can be fulfilled. Orders are then seamlessly routed to the fulfilment location that can provide the best customer outcome at the lowest cost to the business. 

The routing engine considers capacity, capability and order priority to ensure that orders are only routed in the correct priority to fulfillment locations that are setup to handle the order. For example, a small store may not be able to process as many online orders as a larger store with more space and staff. So, the smaller store should be sent fewer orders. Or a store that doesn’t have employees with the necessary training to fulfil a certain product should never be allocated orders containing those products.

One of the most impressive features of eStar OMS is that it balances load across the network and reduces the time between allocation and stock picking. This significantly improves efficiency and accuracy driving improved Difot (Delivery in Full and On Time) and lower costs, whilst improving the overall customer experience. 

eStar achieves this by using a unique pull-based routing model instead of push-based. That is, the stores pull down orders they have been deemed able to pick when ready to do so, as opposed to having orders allocated to them several hours or even days before they are ready to pick the order. By giving the control to the store to pull down orders when ready, it reduces the time from allocation to picking to real time. This drives massive improvements. 

eStar’s pull-based fulfilment solution was implemented at New Zealand Retailer, Briscoe Group. The optimised allocation of orders to stores reduced freight costs and minimised split orders. Voided orders fell from 10 per cent to less than 1 per cent. Better fulfilment meant more happy customers and sales grew by 50 per cent after the first year of implementation. Online sales have continued to surge and are now 14 per cent of total turnover.

This graph demonstrates the reduction in short picks and the sales growth better fulfilment helps fuel. 

Bed Bath & Beyond deployed eStar’s OMS to enable store-based fulfilment. This was a huge and immediate success with sales increasing upwards of 80 per cent within three months. During 2020 eStar’s click & collect solution was launched during a wildly testing time for retail due to Covid-19. It has provided Bed Bath & Beyond customers with an exciting new channel for purchasing goods online and are already contributing to 18 per cent of total online orders and 14 per cent of online sales. Moreover, online sales YOY have increased by 150 per cent powered by the capability of eStar’s fulfilment solutions. 

Improved confidence in the fulfilment operations allows retailers to offer their customers a wider choice of order collection, delivery services and fulfilment speeds. This can help them compete very effectively with pure play retailers that do not have a wide network of fulfilment options and locations. Moreover, the improved fulfilment drives better customer experience and better sales.

For more information on how eStar can help your business, visit:

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