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Outsmarting Amazon was never this easy

Blog | Outsmarting Amazon was never this easy

The ship from store model as a secret weapon

In case you haven’t noticed yet, we live in the age of the consumer. The fact that we are able to Google product information any time and anywhere makes us empowered and demanding shoppers. Especially if we consider the amount of choice we get these days.

When faced with poor customer service, there is nothing stopping us from moving on, and trust me, the competition is huge.

Today, the key to profitability lies in customer happiness. With the prevalence of social media, customers have gained the power to make or break a brand’s reputation within minutes by simply publishing a negative review for others to see. Customers live in the reality of a multitude of channels and multi-device usage. An omnishopper could research a certain product via a mobile app, then visit a number of websites on their computer to compare the prices, but buy the chosen product at a brick and mortar store.

Consumer 3.0 uses new technology to gather information, share opinions and experiences, shop and communicate with the brand. In an omnichannel environment, all these channels are used interchangeably, in a seamless way during the purchase decision process — and it is very challenging for retailers to control this use.

Ship from where?

Considering its position as a retail giant, Amazon is very new to the world of physical stores, despite having started to open brick and mortar locations in the US in 2015. This includes a couple of Amazon Go and Amazon Books stores, with Whole Foods still comprising the majority (80%) of Amazon stores in the US.

In other words, the biggest part of their physical stores mainly specializes in selling groceries and are only located in the US for now.

What does this mean for your business?

It’s clear that this is a crucial moment for retailers, especially those located on other continents than the US, to get ahead of Amazon by establishing an omnichannel sales model in the best way they can using their already existing physical stores.

Multiple ways to complete a purchase naturally lead to more orders. A great way to handle this is the implementation of the ship from store concept. Retailers fulfill online orders using the space at the back of the physical stores instead of their remote distribution centers. This ability to efficiently pack and ship items from stores to e-commerce customers gives retailers the much needed competitive edge.

That’s exactly why retailers need to be prepared to provide an equally charming service to their clients through all the various channels they could be approaching the brand.

Now that the customer expectations are shifting from waiting for days to just a couple of hours for a delivery, shops should be prepared to make it possible by getting their warehouse space ready for the storm.

  • Cut down the shipping time and cost

See it as a cost-effective delivery system where you can forget about transporting the goods from a remotely located distribution hub. Once an online order comes in, you can ship it from a mini-hub (yes, your own store!) significantly reducing the delivery time.

It gets even better than this! Modern day technology, like URBANTZ, allows you to further plan such a delivery to automatically determine the closest store to the recipient and to generate the best route to make sure the package arrives in the shortest amount of time possible, without any interruptions on the way.

What’s the added value, you wonder?

Well, just think about the kilometers spared, the lowered environmental impact of driving countless rounds to the remote storage locations outside of the city, the cost of vehicle maintenance, the cost for the overtime hours of the drivers, not to mention the cost coming from storing unsold items at the back of your shop and lack of storage space for new products.


  • Let your sales go through the roof

Once your stores function as mini-hubs, there’s nothing stopping you from selling your entire inventory not only to the in-store visitors but also those who’d rather shop online. This also means that the product turnover would be bigger since you can easily make space for new items to attract customers.

  • Happier customers

It doesn’t end there. The ship-from-store model makes it possible to offer your omnichannel shoppers access to the whole inventory. In case a local retailer runs out of a product, the customer can still order it online and have it delivered from the next closest location instead of the remote warehouse. As a result, the customers are happy to be able to receive their order quickly, even if their go-to shop might be out of stock.

  • That’s what we call real convenience

According to eMarketer, the main reasons why people are reluctant to buy groceries online is that they simply want to touch the products they buy, because of quality concerns, or they want to be able to take their shopping home right away.

In case they want to arrive home after a day of roaming around the city to find their groceries already there — your store can be the one to make that happen before Amazon does!

With ship from store you can both welcome your customer to your shop and give him the freedom to have the products bought in-store delivered at a later, more convenient time.

Happy shipping! 🎉

If you’re still not quite sure how you can turn your shop storage space into an efficient omnichannel sales hub, don’t hesitate to contact one of the URBANTZ experts for advice!