Increasingly, it seems that retailers seeking to remain competitively relevant will need to find some way of providing shoppers the convenience of online shopping. But to effectively compete in that arena means companies need to determine how to handle the challenges of fulfilling and delivering online orders.
The growing range of choices that operators will make in this process is included in Surviving the Brave New World of Retailing, the most recent study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America. Those decisions alone illustrate how challenging this new world is likely to be for retailers.
The report examines the advantages and challenges of the various methods of providing online service – from delivery to click-and-collect models. No matter which path is chosen, another series of questions and decisions is bound to arise.
For instance, companies electing to offer home delivery need to consider how they’ll execute on that promise. Will they fulfill orders using their own staff or by partnering with a third-party operator? Will the orders be filled at a regular store or in specially designated stores used only for online orders? These are the types of questions retailers must consider.
As the report makes clear, no path is simple, but the reality of retail competition these days mandates that a path must be chosen.
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