Last week we learned that Amazon dethroned Walmart as the largest retail seller outside of China, reflecting a shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping. Target said its curbside pickup service, Drive Up, and its home delivery service, Shipt, continue to be popular with customers, with sales through same-day services growing 55% in the second quarter — on top of more than 270% growth a year ago.
Clearly consumer preferences have changed and retailers who support the new ways of shopping are rewarded. Whether it’s the Amazon model of being mainly an etailer (yes, they have Whole Foods/grocery stores, book stores and are rumored to be opening a department store), or the Target, Walmart, Best Buy, or Home Depot model of leveraging stores as part their e-commerce strategy, businesses that meet the needs of customers and offer good customer experiences are distinguishing themselves.
While it may appear that those on the leaderboard have an insurmountable head start and that other retailers can’t catch up, that’s not always the case. While it is true that Amazon is the behemoth, and other retailers such as Target and Walmart saw skyrocketing growth in e-commerce sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is room in the market for both types of businesses.
The pandemic taught retailers that customers will try new stores and brands in order to find what they are looking for. Product availability trumps loyalty during the pandemic. We can all remember what happened last year when shipments were delayed, and products were out-of-stock at our favorite retailers. We searched far and wide for our coveted merchandise at new stores. In the world of business, today’s laggard might just leapfrog their way to the top due to the right macro conditions. You have to be ready to jump-in headfirst.
At Blue Yonder, we tell our customers there is never a bad time to embark on your digital transformation journey. We have worked with businesses that added speed and convenience options such as curbside pickup and buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), included real-time product availability information from the beginning of the shopping journey, and utilized fulfillment optimization well before COVID-19. And we have also helped many retailers who realized during the pandemic that they needed to upgrade their technology stack to support customer preferences.
Let’s take a look at how Blue Yonder is helping businesses achieve their financial goals and improve the bottom line.
Optimally managing inventory and providing accurate fulfillment dates are must-haves today. One sporting goods store wanted to show store inventory online and provide more accurate fulfillment dates to customers. With Blue Yonder’s Inventory and Commits microservices, they were able to show customers inventory availability across all their stores, leverage inventory from stores for online orders to reduce markdowns, and provide accurate fulfillment dates to customers from the beginning of the shopping journey.
One pharmacy chain leveraged Blue Yonder to accelerate their digital transformation as customer preferences changed during the pandemic. They wanted a single source of truth for all orders, to enable same-day delivery and store fulfillment and to provide customers with accurate fulfillment dates prior to order placement to create better customer experiences for online orders. Using Blue Yonder’s Inventory and Commits microservices, they were able to provide customers with real-time inventory availability from the search page, enable same-day delivery and store fulfillment through sourcing optimization, and offer customers accurate fulfillment dates prior to order placement. Their partnership with Blue Yonder allowed them to increase conversion rates, improve fill rates, and optimize the cost to fulfill orders.
As we say, it’s never too late to accelerate or begin your digital transformation journey. Blue Yonder’s Luminate Commerce microservices can help your organization increase conversation rates, reduce the cost to fulfill orders and accelerate e-commerce growth.
Learn how our microservices can help you in your digital transformation journey.