This blog talks about supply chain issues in the backdrop of back-to-school and how Oracle Retail solutions can help.  

Earlier in the year, it was predicted that persistent high inflation and supply chain issues could result in back-to-school supplies being more expensive this fall. Fearing the rise in price of school supplies, parents started shopping as early as July. However, major American retailers have been offering back-to-school sales since August 2022, relieving some financial burden placed on parents and guardians and teachers as the school year nears. With inflation at 9.1% in June, parents have reported cutting back in other areas to prioritize school supplies, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.  

Back to school trends in  2022

Supply chain issues, however, continue to make school supplies harder to find. Retailers are navigating a storm of challenges – higher production costs, cargo delays from China and other Asian countries, and sky-high shipping rates – as they gear up for the industry’s second-biggest selling season. Neil Saunders, managing director of consultancy GlobalData Retail, was quoted by an American news outlet that he expects demand will be high on products like backpacks, sneakers, some gadgets and stationery. 

Stock-outs cause walk-outs 

Supply chains depend on the availability of products to stock warehouses from where products are sold to customers. Unless a retailer’s warehouse is stocked, it’s just one click to navigate away to a competitor’s storefront. Depending on the product category, 7% to 25% of consumers faced with a stock-out will continue shopping but won’t buy a substitute for their desired item at the store; 21% to 43% will actually go to another store to buy the item. Overall, our study suggests, retailers can lose nearly half of intended purchases when customers encounter stock-outs. Those abandoned purchases translate into sales losses of about 4% for a typical retailer. For a billion-dollar retailer, that could mean $40 million a year in lost sales. 

In the era of unified commerce, much like physical stores, ecommerce too revolves around warehousing and order fulfillment. Low stocks equal ‘out-of-stock’ labels, which push unhappy customers to take their business elsewhere. However, with Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service, brands never have to worry about inventory shortages ever again. By giving customers the option of alternative order fulfillment measures, retailers can get options to source from other warehouses that belong to them, stores under the same brand, and other viable options.   

Order Broker – A Retailer’s real broker 

In a post-pandemic world that’s evolving at breakneck speed, brands have had to implement and adopt new shopping strategies, yesterday. Can a company enable omnichannel capabilities in just four months? It’s possible, with retail solutions by Oracle.   

Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service is a distributed order broker and drop ship software solution that enables retailers to fulfill a customer’s order where and how they want. Oracle Retail Order Broker Cloud Service provides the real-time inventory information necessary to complete transactions on-demand by having the available to promise inventory numbers for the enterprise.  

Oracle Retail Order Broker gives complete real-time inventory information and helps complete multiple transactions through efficient coordination of cross-fulfillment softwares. With round-the-clock inventory and stock details on their fingertips, retailers can make instant decisions on alternative fulfillment. Smarter warehousing choices help customers get their products from other stores under the same brand, or from one of their many warehouses.   

This Forbes article cites a whopping $2.5 billion profit loss in 2022 for carmaker Ford, attributed to COVID-19’s supply chain disruption effect. Retail companies can mitigate adverse retail reactions to the current shopping scenario by sending the products customers want from another warehouse, or from one of their many store locations. As long as they get what they want, where it comes from hardly matters to customers.  

5 ways to send orders 

Oracle Retail Order Management System Cloud Service is an omnichannel fulfillment that facilitates the way retailers help customers get their products. Starting from the order process. It runs up until the time that the product is delivered to the customer. Fulfillment flow paths include product pick-up, warehousing, packaging, and delivery to the buyer on time, in a streamlined manner.  

Retailer’s favorite warehouse-to-customer 

The most popular way to ship before the pandemic, products are shipped from brand warehouses straight to the customer. To save on warehouse and inventory overheads, drop shipping helps products go straight from the manufacturer or supplier to the buyer.   

Store it, ship it  

In instances where the warehouse does not carry a particular product, omnichannel facilitates the finding and locating of products at physical store locations.   

Buy-online-pay-in-store (BOPIS) 

Regaining popularity after the pandemic hit, buy-online-pay-in-store (BOPIS) is enjoying its heyday once again. Customers choose and order online and collect from the store.   

Buddy shipping system  

Finally, partnered stores and warehouses under the same brand that have the product will be roped in to fulfill orders. With omnichannel, logistics is easy.   

“The order is on its way” with omnichannel  

Omnichannel order fulfillment allows brands to fulfill orders using many channels. This happens from a central inventory and workforce base. Imagine multiple streams of order fulfillment monitored and optimized in one place! Here are some more benefits:  

Faster deliveries   

Whether it’s an online storefront, brick-and-mortar store, or a warehouse, companies can streamline the entire supply chain so that they get happy customers, every time. By eliminating redundancies in the supply chain workflow, quicker deliveries are made possible.   

Smarter, cost-efficient decisions   

Powered by artificial intelligence, omnichannel order fulfillment solutions can analyze and offer the most cost-efficient way to sort products, and help products be on their way to the customer, faster.   

Perfect inventory companion   

Better than a warehouse manager, omnichannel order fulfillment is error-free and delivers calculated and intelligent predictions, decisions, and analytics on where one should procure, and which warehouse they can select a product from, for instance.

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