The way in which people shop is changing faster now than at any time in the past as consumers increasingly look online to spend their money. This means retailers are having to move quickly to keep up and must look ahead to anticipate further moves in trends.
Shoppers have little patience today and want to know that their goods will be dispatched quickly, so businesses have to diversify and go multi-channel rather than simply having a bricks and mortar shop.
Multi-channel has benefits because it enables businesses to appeal to a wider customer base and customers who are not based locally to the shop. Plan this well to maximise the strategy.
If you are not sure of the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel, Shopify has an excellent guide.
How multi-channel affects your warehouse
When customers change the way they shop, it follows that the distribution line will have to change, from picking and packing through to shipping and delivery. Storage will also change, of course – if your warehouse is not set up correctly, cracks will start to show int eh form of lost revenue and customer satisfaction.
Consider logistics and stock control. Understand how you will prioritise orders and how your inventory will work when there are several channels in operation.
Increasing the channels will mean that there is more stock coming through the warehouse and more requirements for space to store goods. Staying on top of the orders is the best way to keep everything flowing properly.
Consider the space you have and whether you are using it as efficiently as possible. Mezzanine floors might offer a solution and increase space; alternatively, you might benefit from new shelving. Specialist firms offering industrial shelving in Ireland such as https://www.rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving can help you to maximise your warehouse space.
Above all, the layout must be easy to navigate. Keep your most popular lines closest to minimise travel time for staff. Finally, think about packing areas – do you want a different packing area for each channel or will you do it all in the same space? Putting in some extra effort up front will save time and ultimately money. Add in additional space to make your warehouse future-proof for when the business grows and order numbers increase.