Omni-Channel retailing takes the historical buying experience of the brick and mortar store to a level that offers consumers a multitude of methods for product research, buying and order fulfillment.
Omni-Channel Retailing offers consumers a variety of channels for their buying experience. This includes brick and mortar stores, online stores, mobile stores, mobile apps, telephone and multiple combinations of these channels.
- What does it mean?
A consumer can make a purchase from their smart device and pick it up on their way home from work that evening. A consumer can find the best price on an item in a store, purchase it from their smart device and have it delivered directly to their home.
- What does it mean for pallets?
Pallets have traditionally moved goods from manufacturer to distribution center and then to retail stores. E-commerce has changed the model such that DCs and other fulfillment centers are now processing and shipping goods directly to the consumer. In these scenarios, pallets are not needed to deliver goods in bulk from distribution to the retail stores. Instead these shipments are made through parcel channels.
- As omni-channel retailing continues to expand, what will be the role of the pallet?
Pallets will still be needed to transport goods from manufacturing to regional distribution centers. If the brick and mortar stores then become a fulfillment option for e-commerce, pallets will still be needed for transport from distribution to retail stores.
Consumers are buying more and more goods online or through a mobile device to avoid the hassle and inconvenience of driving to a retail store(s). The role of the pallet will change, but the net impact to the number of pallets in use on any given day has yet to be determined. I can envision a system in which fewer pallets are needed for bulk shipments and more shipments are made in parcel form.
So how do you think Omni-Channel Retailing will affect the pallet? Is this good for pallets overall or will fewer and fewer pallets be needed?
Post by: Rich Reiher, Vice President
Use of Woolworths Store Closing by Dave Croker licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.