Scale Up Your Store’s Order Fulfillment in Time for Peak Season

| Retail

Retail Grocery Order Fulfillment

Heading to the supermarket for the big shop of the year – or the stores to buy gifts – has traditionally been a major part of the holiday season for families worldwide.

Thanks to Covid, a sizeable chunk of this activity has moved online. So reliable online order fulfillment has become even more important.

The following numbers bear out the overall trend. According to McKinsey, the 25% of consumers who already bought online “at least occasionally” pre-pandemic want to increase their online purchasing even further.

Globally, Mastercard found an additional $900 billion was spent on retail e-commerce in 2020 following the pandemic.

The challenge for retailers is to scale up and down with online demand.

One order fulfillment solution is smartphone scanning. Here, stores provide store associates with barcode scanning smartphones that can be easily integrated into existing systems.

In the videos below*, Scandit takes you through a range of options available for developing smartphone scanning solutions for retail.

Consider a BYOD strategy

Delivery capacity requirements are a key consideration for retail businesses during peak season. This will frequently result in bringing in temporary workers.

These workers will need the right technology. One way to do this quickly is to opt for a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy.

In this case, the worker can be quickly up and running with an enterprise-grade scanning solution on their phone.

Get more out of existing resources

In some cases, a store may have enough workers. But it is limited by the number of dedicated scanning devices that are available.

Scandit’s mobile computer vision technology does more than turn smartphones into high-performance barcode scanners. It ensures every employee has a scanning and communications device for a range of tasks.

For example, retailers can use Scandit’s MatrixScan and Augmented Reality features for Bopis fulfillment. A store associate would scan a selection of items and have the correct item for collection highlighted on the screen.

While ID Verification can mean a simple scan of an ID document can help with delivery. Order picking and grocery delivery service Instacart is currently using this for age verification on age-restricted items.

More on how Instacart uses smartphone scanning

When the pandemic brought a sudden rise in orders, Instacart knew it needed to move fast and be flexible. And this is where its smartphone scanning application played a crucial role.

Instacart shoppers download the Instacart Shopper app onto their mobile device to accept, pick and deliver customer orders.

Smartphone scanning can be implemented in weeks

The holiday season is only five months away, so now is the time to ensure your store is ready. By building a smartphone scanning application and linking it into the IT infrastructure, stores will be able to flexibly respond to any seasonal surge.

In just a few hours, a retailer can implement Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK within an existing app. Allowing for testing and rollout, an enterprise-grade scanning application could be up and running in only 3-4 weeks.

The Scandit team outlines how this could work for both native and web applications in the video above.

Now is the time to look at order fulfillment

Last year, Salesforce estimated a growth potential of around 90% year-on-year for retailers who offered curbside pickup.

To do this, products need to be picked and sorted for delivery and pickup. The only way to do this is via barcode scanning devices in the hands of store associates.

Smartphone scanning is the simplest, fastest, and most flexible solution.

In addition to potentially handing out one device per employee – they can use the same device on various tasks, right through the order fulfillment workflow.

So don’t disappoint your customers this holiday season. Ensure you have the capacity to fulfill their online orders – or they will find someone else who will.

* All videos are taken from our webinar Prepare for the Seasonal Surge.