The Path to Omni-Channel Retailing

February 28, 2019

Just like the famous paths in Robert Frost’s poem, there are clear choices retailers must make as they seek to add eCommerce options to their traditional stores. Not surprisingly, all the options come with benefits and challenges.

As outlined in Surviving the Brave New World of Food Retailing, the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, the move to eCommerce is all part of the important process of expanding options for the shopper. The main options outlined in the report are:

  1. Click and collect, where the shopper creates an order online and picks up the completed order in the store;
  2. Home delivery, where the order is placed online and delivered to the shopper’s home; and
  3. “Point of convenience,” in which orders can be sent to flexible locations such as office parking lots, commuter areas and more.

Within each selection are even more options and countless considerations to create a solution to today’s shoppers’ issues in profitable and cost-effective ways. For example, the click-and-collect model, which is becoming increasingly common for all kinds of retailers, can be conducted through existing stores, small fulfillment centers or dark (i.e., closed-to-shoppers) stores. Home delivery comes with other considerations, such as whether companies fulfill and deliver orders with company staff or use third parties, and where to fulfill those same orders.

As the report makes clear, numerous factors must be considered in any of these decisions, and retailers must recognize that these new options are becoming increasingly essential. The report, which can be downloaded for free below, includes a self-diagnostic tool that companies can use to consider many of the new options and challenges facing traditional operators.

Download Surviving the Brave New World of Food Retailing here: