6 min

Ship from Store: Reducing stockouts & increasing business performance

Ship from Store has emerged as a crucial retail solution. This approach not only meets evolving customer expectations for a seamless, omnichannel shopping experience but also optimises logistics operations. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the foundations, benefits and best practices of Ship from Store, with a focus on the expertise offered by the Order Management System (OMS) from OneStock.

Product unavailability: a real customer frustration

Product unavailability poses a significant challenge for retailers, leading to lost sales, dissatisfied customers and diminished loyalty. This issue is particularly pronounced in sectors like fashion, footwear and cosmetics, where collections change frequently, products have numerous variations and sales channels are diverse.

While traditional methods use substitutes and real-time personalisation to address unavailability, they often fall short when customers are set on a specific product. Even with RFID and advanced replenishment software, the effectiveness diminishes towards the end of seasons and during peak demand periods.

Ship from Store eliminates stockouts by leveraging unified inventory, allowing retailers to ship from an alternative point of sale in the event of online or in-store stockouts. A OneStock study of retailers across the UK and France revealed alarming unavailability rates ranging from 22% to 41%, emphasising the need for innovative retail solutions.

Benefits of Ship from Store

  • Boost sales & profitability

Ship from Store creates synergy between online and physical channels, leading to a 30% average increase in online revenue for brands. This strategy improves product flow, increases turnover and reduces the need for end-of-season discounts, enhancing overall profitability.

  • Efficient inventory allocation

Transforming physical stores into online order fulfilment centres optimises inventory usage. This approach limits end-of-season residuals, reduces inventory management costs and minimises the need for multiple warehouses.

  • Cost savings in transportation

Ship from Store positively impacts delivery costs by leveraging local stores, reducing travel distances, and utilising local and regional transport networks. This not only results in significant transportation cost savings but also contributes to faster distribution and reduced carbon emissions.

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction

Shipping orders from store helps retailers meet customer expectations for speed and availability. By shipping directly from local stores, retailers can offer shorter delivery times, improve customer experience, and increase loyalty.

Foundations of Ship from Store

Ship from Store transforms physical stores into fulfilment centres for online orders, allowing items to be shipped from any location within a brand’s distribution network. This creates a network of dispersed mini-fulfilment hubs.

Supported by an Order Management System, this solution offers advantages that traditional fulfilment models lack. The OMS manages order lifecycles, integrates with store systems and plays a pivotal role in inventory visibility, order orchestration, competitive order allocation, picking assistance, packing assistance and shipment tracking.

Implementing Ship from Store

Implementing Ship from Store requires a thorough review of operational processes:

  • Staff training: Comprehensive training ensures that store staff can efficiently handle processes related to online order preparation and shipping.
  • Store configuration: Optimise store layouts for Ship from Store processes, providing dedicated storage areas for online orders.
  • Preparation processes: Define precise procedures for picking, packing and labeling online orders.

Before deployment, conduct real-world tests, collect employee feedback and continuously optimise processes for efficiency and profitability.

Best practices for Ship from Store: The INTERSPORT Success Story

INTERSPORT is a model example of prioritising proximity and accessibility for its customers. Their strategic move towards having stock close to the end consumer, rather than centralised in a typicall e-commerce warehouse, laid the groundwork for a highly successful collaboration with OneStock.

The shift towards phygital

Matthieu Pellet, Chief Digital Officer at INTERSPORT, emphasises the significant internal transformation undergone by the brand. The decision to use OneStock’s Ship from Store solution became instrumental in propelling INTERSPORT into the realm of a fully phygital company. This shift saw certain stores outperforming the central warehouse in product shipments, marking a substantial shift in the traditional retail paradigm.

Unifying stock for expanded offerings

The initial challenge addressed by OneStock’s Order Management System was the need to extend the online product range. The OMS seamlessly aggregated stock from across the entire store network, unifying it and presenting it as available for purchase on the INTERSPORT website. This unification allowed INTERSPORT to offer a staggering 90% of its product catalogue with the option of home delivery.

The OMS also played a crucial role in deepening the available stock. The online inventory was no longer confined to the retailer’s warehouses; instead, it encompassed stock from all stores thanks to Ship from Store. This approach mitigated online stockouts by increasing the availability of sizes and quantities for each product.

Implementing Ship from Store for seamless omnichannel experiences

The unified and reliable overview of global stock levels facilitated the implementation of the Ship from Store solution. Order orchestration rules were customised by INTERSPORT to prioritise fulfilment by the store linked to the online customer’s loyalty account. This not only provided customers with a seamless omnichannel experience but also empowered associated stores to enhance their sales opportunities.

Today, an impressive two-thirds of INTERSPORT orders are shipped from stores, contributing to a substantial growth in online turnover. Just nine months after implementation, INTERSPORT had seen a remarkable 200% increase in online revenue.

The impact on INTERSPORT’s stores has been transformative, with one store in Mandelieu, France exemplifying exceptional performance by shipping 780 parcels in a single day. The successful implementation of Ship from Store not only elevated global turnover but also prompted an increase in the recruitment of store staff.

The collaboration between OneStock and INTERSPORT is a testament to the power of innovative omnichannel solutions. The journey towards phygital, unifying stock and implementing Ship from Store has not only met but exceeded expectations, showcasing the potential for profound transformations in the retail landscape. 

Ship from Store is now fundamental to the success of omnichannel retailers. By leveraging the expertise of an advanced Order Management System like OneStock, retailers can not only address the challenge of product unavailability but also significantly improve business performance, customer satisfaction and overall profitability.

To learn more, download our Ship from Store whitepaper.

Further reading