Cross-Channel Fulfillment Takes Priority Over Other Omnichannel Initiatives

Many retailers are establishing their plans for creating a seamless, omnichannel customer experience. New research from OrderDynamics and Forrester Consulting reveals that cross-channel fulfillment programs, such as buy online, pickup in-store, are taking priority over other strategies, such as cross-channel loyalty programs.

Nearly half (47%) of European retailers and 26% of U.S. retailers indicated that they currently have ship-from-store capabilities, while 10% and 18% of these groups respectively plan to soon implement this offering. Moreover, 47% of all retailers noted that the ship-from-store capabilities have resulted in higher online revenue. An additional 23% of retailers have already implemented a buy online, pickup in-store program, while 20% have a reserve online, pickup in-store program.

For the study, which is published in the white paper, titled: The Retail Order Management Imperative, Forrester Consulting conducted a survey of 337 retail executives with knowledge of their firms’ multichannel fulfillment strategies in Asia, Europe and the U.S.


As many as 78% of retailers believe implementing an order management system (OMS) would help provide a strategic omnichannel advantage, allowing them to reduce inventory costs and improve fulfillment efficiencies. However, less than half (49%) of respondents have invested in any form of order management technology.

Overall, the study honed in on four key findings:

  • Omnichannel supremacy is a priority for the C-suite: More than one third (34%) of retail CEOs are now taking personal responsibility for the strategy and execution of their companies’ omnichannel initiatives. As many as 39% of retailers have created a new executive or C-level position specifically dedicated to the implementation of these initiatives;

  • OMS is expected to “underpin” omnichannel initiatives: The majority (82%) of retailers said that retail OMS would play an “important” or “very important” role in their omnichannel strategy execution; and

  • Omnichannel programs are having a positive impact across a range of store and channel metrics: As many as 41% of retailers reported that their buy online, pickup in-store initiatives delivered positive improvements to customer loyalty metrics.

“Omnichannel fulfillment represents a strategic advantage for many retailers by leveraging inventory across multiple locations, and streamlining fulfillment processes,” said Michael Turcsanyi, President of OrderDynamics. “These initiatives ultimately lead to reduced operational costs, and more importantly, an enhanced customer shopping experience. It is clear retailers recognize a retail order management system as a strategic solution for enabling next generation fulfillment tactics and gaining an advantage over direct competitors and nimble web-only retailers.”

Click here to download the white paper, titled: The Retail Order Management Imperative.

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