"Omnichannel retail environment implementing Ship from Store strategy
6 min

Ship from Store: definition, operation and key benefits

What if your stores were transformed into logistics centres, thus allowing you to ship more orders, improve customer experience and maximise your turnover? This is the Ship From Store promise, with unique business benefits for omnichannel retailers.

So what exactly is it? What are its benefits? How can it be integrated?

As Europe’s Order Management System and Ship From Store leader, we can tell you all you need to know.

What is Ship From Store?

Ship From Store is a well-known omnichannel solution that allows online orders to be shipped from stores.

How? Thanks to an Order Management System (OMS) that unifies stock, and a powerful orchestration algorithm that allocates the order to the right store to reduce delivery costs and time.

In this way, the point of sale becomes a mini-warehouse, used when the e-commerce warehouse doesn’t have the product in stock, or when it is more advantageous to send the order from a store. 

The goal? To combat stock-outs, a real problem for retailers. 

In the clothing, footwear and cosmetics sectors, the average rate of unavailability online is 22% at the beginning of the season and 41% during the clearance sales period (source Google/Ipsos).

A major challenge for retailers

Faced with strong competition from online pure players and new consumer expectations, retail must reinvent itself. Rolling out an efficient omnichannel strategy with services like Ship From Store, Click and Collect or even In-Store Returns is essential to deliver an optimal customer journey. 

The fight against product unavailability is no longer an option for brands. Especially since a stockout often results in the customer going to a competitor. 

A OneStock survey of 5,000 European consumers reveals their behaviour when faced with a stockout:

  • 79% of online shoppers switch to another brand when faced with a stock-out
  • 38% of them are less likely to buy from a brand after again having experienced a stockout.

In addition to the loss of turnover, there are indirect consequences such as customer dissatisfaction and brand image damage.

Faced with this situation, big retail names such as Phase Eight, Pets at Home and Jigsaw have taken the plunge into unified commerce and Ship From Store.

How does Ship From Store work?

The basis for Ship From Store is the Order Management System, which unifies stock. 

As a result, each stock point in the network has access to the entire catalogue, regardless of the location of the product.

Here are the different steps to implement a Ship From Store solution: 

  • Implementing an OMS

The OMS manages the technical unification of stock and provides an accurate, real-time view of available stock. An orchestration algorithm then allocates the order to the right shop according to the state of its stock, its turnover rate and its geographical location.

Of course, OMS can be configured according to the retailer’s needs and strategy.

  • Adapting the stores

Each point of sales must be transformed into a point of stock capable of preparing and shipping an article. As such, sufficient reserve space is required. 

This also implies the implementation of order management and logistic tools. Moreover, effective collaboration with delivery services is essential. 

  • Training the store staff

The implementation of Ship From Store implies new tasks for the shop staff. Change management is, therefore, necessary to train and share the benefits of the initiative. As such, most retailers allocate the sale to the store that ships the item. In this way, web sales can contribute to the store’s commercial objectives.

The benefits of Ship From Store

An effective solution to avoid stockouts 

This solution allows an online sale to be made even if the product is unavailable in the e-commerce warehouse. In this case, the stock in stores is used. 

This is a very effective omnichannel solution to avoid the financial consequences and bad customer experience caused by stock-outs. 

A clear increase in online revenue

With Ship From Store, no more lost sales. The deployment of this solution allows an immediate return on investment, with growth in online sales of up to 30%. 

Better stock management

The unification of stock allows for better product rotation. As an example, if a store doesn’t have an item in stock, another store will be asked to send it. 

Moreover, many rules can be configured to optimise stock. For example, it is possible to organise discounts on the web in order to sell off end-of-line items present in shops. 

More involvement of store staff

Motivating your store associates is essential. Enabling stores to fulfil online orders is an effective way to help staff achieve their sales targets.

Transform your stores

With Ship From Store, the store takes on a new role. It is no longer just a classic point of sale, but rather a logistics platform.

Interested in implementing Ship From Store? OneStock can help you with your project.

Further reading