Omni-Channel Commerce – A Response to Amazon

Omni-channel commerce is becoming the strategy of choice for most retailers as a way to compete with Amazon’s Supply Chain and supply chain consulting group has taken notice. Companies are using more store stock as the inventory of last resort to fill e-commerce orders. Omni-channel retail strategies are often seen by supply chain consultants as a response to changes in the market place and changes in consumer behavior. Online commerce is growing at a staggering rate and retailers need to build a optimized distribution network to compete with other online retailers.

According to 60% of U.S. retail sales will involve the web by 2017; and a major contributor to this projected increase is mobile purchases.  Consumers are using mobile devices in physical retail stores while shopping to compare prices, reviews, and specifications.  Mobile Phone apps can scan bar codes and search for exact product online for coupons, promotions and price differences.

Same day delivery service might catch on as well but is at least a few years away from being the required norm from customers. Amazon and Ebay are testing this concept in various cities in the united states. This includes their own delivery vehicles so the traditional door to door delivery services might end up loosing if they cannot provide better logistical support than online retailers.

Omni-channel retail strategies concentrate on a seamless approach to logistics and is the evolution of multichannel retail strategies. Customers are desiring to use multiple channels including their smart phones to make purchasing decisions. This trend is leading businesses to learn how to connect to their customers in non traditional ways but this is still fundamentally a communication process.