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Omnichannel Fulfilment: Tips from Industry Experts

As retail businesses expand, they inevitably engage with multiple sales channels. Integrating these channels often results in omnichannel fulfilment. However, this approach presents specific challenges. Below, we outline the most common hurdles, alongside expert advice from the fulfilment industry.

Jump To:

  1. What is Omnichannel Fulfilment?
  2. Omnichannel Fulfilment Challenges
  3. In-house vs Outsources Fulfilment



What Is Omnichannel Fulfilment?

Omnichannel fulfilment involves managing the complete logistical workflow for products sold across diverse sales channels, including physical stores, online webshops, and marketplaces like Amazon and This process spans from receiving and warehousing goods to picking, packing, and shipping orders, and finally, handling returns.


The Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Fulfilment

The process of order processing when selling through multiple sales channels is called multi-channel fulfilment. In contrast, omnichannel fulfilment is a more centralized approach, where the total available inventory is accessible across all channels. This requires precise integration of the different sales channels, ensuring inventory levels and order processing remain consistent, regardless of the channel used.


Key Challenges of Omnichannel Fulfilment


IT Integrations

Integrating your platforms into one centralized system provides clarity and ensures smooth and efficient operations. This not only enhances visibility but also streamlines your operations. By seamlessly connecting your e-commerce platforms, inventory management system, order management system, and shipping partners, you can gain a comprehensive insight into your entire supply chain, from order placement to customer delivery. Without a centralized system, you risk losing important information across various systems, leading to duplicate data entry, errors in order processing, and a lack of real-time visibility into your inventory levels and order statuses.

 TIP: Invest in an integrated and intelligent IT system capable of synchronizing and coordinating all essential aspects of your omnichannel operations.


Inventory Management

Inventory management becomes significantly more complex when dealing with multiple sales channels. It's crucial to centralize all your inventory data from different channels in real-time into a single overview. An advanced inventory management system not only provides visibility into your total inventory but also helps prevent overstocking or understocking and enables accurate forecasting. This ensures you can always guarantee availability for your customers. Additionally, the system offers real-time updates on sales, including tracking information, allowing you to communicate precise shipping and delivery times to your customers. Without effective inventory management, you risk inefficiencies in your operational processes. The absence of a centralized inventory management system can lead to errors in order processing, duplicate orders, and even stockouts.

  TIP: Invest in an integrated and scalable inventory management system that supports all aspects of your omnichannel operations. Ensure that this system is capable of sharing real-time data across all sales channels and operational processes.


Packaging Requirements

Each sales channel has its own specific requirements. For physical stores, it often involves efficiently sorting and packaging products on pallets or in shipping boxes. Online marketplaces such as Amazon, Sainsbury's and have specific packaging requirements, such as the correct placement of barcodes and labels. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in delayed shipments, incorrect deliveries, and even fines from the sales platforms. It is therefore essential to accurately follow these requirements to ensure smooth delivery to customers.

  TIP: Opt for a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that provides the capability to specify the correct and specific packaging method for each recipient.


Specific Delivery Instructions

In addition to specific packaging requirements, companies in omnichannel fulfilment must also consider specific delivery instructions. For example, some locations such as warehouses or distribution centers may only accept pallet deliveries. It is essential to adhere to these delivery conditions accurately to prevent delays. Companies should also consider other delivery aspects, such as scheduling appointments or using delivery time slots, to ensure efficient logistics and meet the recipient's needs. Inadequate handling of these delivery aspects can lead to operational issues, delays, and ultimately dissatisfied customers.

  TIP: Ensure a variety of shipping partners with whom specific delivery instructions can be arranged.



Omnichannel Fulfilment: In-House vs Outsourcing?

Whether it's better to handle your fulfilment in-house or outsource it to an experienced 3PL depends on several factors.
Costs: Outsourcing fulfilment to a 3PL can often be cost-effective. You no longer have to worry about the expenses of maintaining your own storage space, WMS, labor, and operational overhead.

Scalability: Consider whether your business has plans for growth. Handling fulfillment in-house can make it difficult to scale up, given the need for additional space and personnel. On the other hand, a 3PL partner can more easily scale up in terms of space and personnel without significant additional costs. They can also better handle seasonal peaks.

Expertise: Do you possess the necessary knowledge and resources to handle logistics internally? Outsourcing fulfilment grants you access to extensive logistical expertise and experience, allowing you to focus on what you excel at, such as developing new products.

With our extensive experience in e-commerce and B2B fulfilment, we understand the challenges of omnichannel fulfilment inside out. For years, we've been dedicated to supporting e-commerce entrepreneurs, retailers, and wholesalers with their complex fulfilment needs. In addition to our top-notch standard fulfillment services, we go the extra mile by offering comprehensive value-added services, including personalized packaging, quality control, and kitting and assembly. Our intelligent state-of-the-art software solutions provide real-time insights and reporting, giving our customers complete control over their inventory and orders.

With fulfilment centers worldwide, we are the ideal partner to support your business in entering new markets and reaching global customers. Contact our team of experts today to discover how Fidelity can benefit your business.