Omni-Channel Fulfillment: The Practitioners’ Perspective

Author photo: Chris Cunnane
ByChris Cunnane
Category:
ARC Report Abstract

Executive Overview
Omni-channel commerce is arguably the hottest topic in supply chain management. Over the last few years, we've seen the term evolve from "multi-channel" to "cross-channel" to "omni-channel." Multi-channel, and to some degree cross-channel, both refer to selling goods and services through multiple channels. As business practices and customer opinions have evolved, this no longer suffices. Omni-channel commerce, the latest incarnation, fulfills the need to integrate channels and the total customer experience. This integration involves business processes and technologies to ensure a seamless customer experience, from brand interactions to product availability, shipment, and post-sales support.

But, executing an omni-channel strategy is a large and challenging under-taking. In fact, the entire concept is in a constant state of flux as new channels and interaction points emerge. It takes more planning than most organizations have had to tackle in the past. As a result, it is still a relatively nascent market and most companies are scrambling to ensure an efficient and seamless experience.

As the customer experience becomes more disjointed, customer confusion sets in. As customers grow confused with brands, they generally will move elsewhere. Omni-channel operations, if done right, can help maintain brand loyalty, drive incremental sales, and increase market share. However, one slip-up along the way with a customer can have the opposite result. The big question is, how can organizations truly become omni-channel?

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • The Customer Experience
  • Research Findings
  • Omni-Channel Fulfillment Technology
  • Recommendations

 

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Keywords: Omni-Channel, Business Processes, Brand Interactions, Product Availability, Shipment, Post-Sales Support, Customer Experience, ARC Advisory Group.

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