Mobile Order Picking Fulfills Omnichannel Customer Demand

| Retail

worker looking on his smartphone

Retail organizations can use mobile data capture to more efficiently pick items needed for omnichannel orders and then ensure the correct products are packed into the proper shipments. Compared to paper-based order picking, retailers can fulfill more orders with mobile order picking in a shorter time period using fewer workers.

As a result, costs as well as the time needed to fulfill orders are reduced. Retail workers can use mobile barcodes in conjunction with other leading-edge picking technologies, such as pick-to-light systems and counting scales. This opens the door to even greater gains in efficiency and reductions in cost and time.

In addition, picking with mobile data capture increases order accuracy by minimizing the impact of human error. This improves the all-important customer experience, which in turn builds loyalty. Retailers also save on the cost of processing returns and shipping replacement items.

Shorter order picking cycle times can also support same-day order fulfillment. Customers increasingly expect same-day availability of online purchases, either through click-and-collect programs or home delivery. Fast, accurate order picking is a crucial enabler of same-day fulfillment, which further boosts customer satisfaction.

Another key advantage of picking with mobile data capture in the seamless retailing era is the ability to pick and pack orders in areas outside warehouses. This includes omnichannel retail touchpoints such as stores, parking lots, or even the homes of third-party contractors.

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The ability to pick orders closer to the customer is a key component of seamless fulfillment programs such as click-and-collect, buy online pickup in store (BOPIS), order pickup from lockers and other remote locations, or same-day delivery. Order picking in a regional distribution center may not fulfill purchases quickly enough to meet the demands of the modern omnichannel shopper.

Finally, mobile order picking can help save sales that would otherwise be lost due to out-of-stocks. A retailer can quickly pick an order for a good that is out of stock at one store from another nearby store and fulfill the purchase in a timely manner.

Customers expect access to the product they want, when and where they want them. Mobile order picking supports the flexible fulfillment needed to satisfy this expectation.