Going digital is the modern consumer’s shopping method of choice. CapitalOne found that online order fulfillment reached a global value of $109.56 billion in 2023, up 12.6% year-over-year.
Shoppers appreciate convenience — and there are few things more convenient than ostensibly having a retailer’s entire online catalog right at their fingertips.
Here’s the rub: many large retailers struggle with efficient online order fulfillment due to problems with warehouse organization, inventory management, and un-optimized workflows. That same study by CapitalOne found that 60% of online retailers at least partially outsource their fulfillment service, while 20% completely outsource their fulfillment process.
Retailers don’t have to break the bank by hiring third parties to enable faster online order fulfillment. Instead, they can leverage more cost-effective fulfillment strategies using Pointr indoor mapping. Our solution allows retailers to streamline their online order fulfillment processes and deliver goods with the immediacy consumers expect.
It also helps retailers save on costs in the long run. In fact, we helped a major retailer reduce its online order fulfillment time by 5%, yielding an estimated $1.5 million in systemwide savings from labor cost reductions alone.
Pointr indoor mapping helps enable efficient online order fulfillment by providing access to up-to-date storage layouts, enhanced employee onboarding and training, and the dynamic routing and logistics that large retailers need to successfully and speedily find, package, and deliver in-demand goods.
Up-to-date storage layout
What plays the number one role in influencing fulfillment efficiency? The physical layout of where goods are stored. When retailers have a clear eye on where products live (whether that’s in-store or in a warehouse), they can significantly reduce the time it takes to locate products and fulfill orders.
Pointr’s content management system (CMS) and APIs make it easy for inventory map teams to implement and upload layout updates to their digital maps. Plus, our maps can help managers identify where to best allocate their staff and resources across fulfillment centers.
With a clear view of the storage space illuminated by our maps, managers can view the layout of the facility and the locations of pending orders. These supervisors can then strategically assign employees to where their energy is needed most, ensuring the highest level of productivity across the fulfillment process.
Our CMS and APIs also help map management teams reflect changes in storage layout — an occurrence that can happen frequently due to seasonal shifts or changing trends in product popularity.
Enhanced employee onboarding and training
One of the clearest-cut ways to make the fulfillment process more cost-effective is ensuring every employee — even the newest one — can quickly and confidently navigate through fulfillment centers.
Getting acquainted with warehouse layouts can be extremely difficult for new hires and take far too much time than consumer demands allow. In fact, research shows that 38% of consumers will abandon their online order if delivery is expected to take more than a week. Retailers need to keep tabs on how to best optimize online order fulfillment pathways to accelerate packaging and delivery, all while eCommerce sales continue to increase.
Plus, retailers are constantly tasked with getting new employees up to speed. McKinsey reports that they’re the industry with the highest turnover rate, outpacing other sectors by more than 70%.
Pointr indoor maps can help mitigate the pain of constant onboarding. Our maps are engaging, nice to look at, and user-friendly, making them the perfect tool to help new hires get oriented around large storage areas. Our maps can help streamline employee training (and, therefore, the fulfillment process) by:
- Reducing employee dependency on supervisors. Indoor maps allow new hires to rely less on guidance from their more experienced colleagues, allowing them to independently navigate storage facilities and locate the products they need to find. This also frees supervisors to tackle more complicated, critical tasks.
- Accelerating task execution. When employees know where they need to go and how to get there, they can do the job faster. Indoor maps deliver an immediate familiarity with storage space, allowing even new staff to work confidently and efficiently.
- Enabling efficient navigation in fast-paced environments. Navigating new spaces, especially under the pressure of a job, can be difficult. Indoor maps provide clear, step-by-step directions that mitigate the probability of any hires getting lost or disoriented.
Dynamic routing and logistics
Small process improvements can add up to huge savings of time and money — and tackle compounding challenges.
One such challenge is the so-called “traveling salesperson problem” — or , as the number of items in an order increases, the possible walking routes to pick all items from stock increases dramatically. For example, for a four-item order, there are just three different routes, but for a six-item order, there are 60 possible routes!
Pointr provides retailers accurate data on stock item location. We’re working with a major retailer to use this data and a powerful algorithm to identify the optimal stock-picking route for each order in real time. That way, all staff members can fulfill orders much more quickly and efficiently than previously possible.
Make online order fulfillment easy with Pointr maps
Pointr maps can transform online order fulfillment's status quo from a massive headache into a map-powered, well-oiled machine. With an optimized warehouse layout, even new employees can easily onboard and navigate complex facilities with ease.
Along with dynamic routes that cut down on travel time, these critical features help retailers execute online order fulfillment with the efficiency and immediacy they need to stay competitive in the ever-booming world of eCommerce.
Make sure your teams operate with the efficiency customers demand with Pointr maps. But don’t just take our word for it - speak to us today for a demo.