You’ve likely read the headlines about big-name retailers closing locations or going out of business completely. While U.S. department store sales have shown a consistent decrease in recent years, Business Insider Intelligence predicts that digital retail sales will reach $632 billion by 2020. So what can a brick-and-mortar retailer do to remain profitable and make the most of their physical footprint?
Companies with multiple storefront locations are using ship-from-store fulfillment to increase sales and optimize inventory management. Ship-from-store fulfillment helps you leverage your physical retail space to fulfill online sales by using inventory housed in your brick-and-mortar locations—you’re essentially turning your retail outlets into distribution centers and seamlessly connecting online demand to in-store inventory.
This year, an estimated one-third of retailers will use a ship-from-store solution. Target® shipped online orders from more than 1,000 of its retail stores during the 2016 holiday season, compared with 460 during the 2015 holiday season.
“This [ship from store] capability reduces shipping times given the proximity of these stores to the vast majority of the U.S. population,” John Mulligan, Target chief operating officer, said during the company’s third quarter fiscal 2016 earnings call.
The benefits of ship-from-store fulfillment include:
- Reduced shipping time and cost—ship-from-store fulfillment enables retailers to deliver in a timely, cost-effective manner. An e-commerce order comes in and you can ship from within the customer’s zone instead of a far-away distribution center.
- Increased sales and turnover—Expose your entire inventory to an online audience and you can make space faster for new products to attract customers.
- Less markdowns—Too much inventory taking up space in one of your retail outlets? While full-priced sandals at a shop in Chicago won’t do so hot as winter approaches, they’re still perfectly appealing to an online shopper in Phoenix or other warmer climates.
- Improved customer satisfaction—a ship-from-store program enables you to offer your omnichannel shoppers access to your entire inventory (even if their local retail location is out of a desired item, they can still order it online) and receive their order faster.
How Endicia can help
Endicia has developed an easy-to-use and efficient ship-from-store solution that allowing retailers with multiple locations to successfully fulfill orders from stores. Learn more.
Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Postal Service®. We know that shipping can be complex and our goal is to simplify your shipping operations so you can focus on doing what you do best. Visit us at endicia.com to learn more.