In-Store Fulfillment Is No Defense Against Amazon
Facing a growing threat from Amazon.com Inc. and its e-commerce imitators, many traditional retailers and supermarkets are trying to turn a weakness—their costly brick-and-mortar stores—into a competitive advantage. The so-called omnichannel solution envisions those outlets operating both as familiar sites for merchandise display and as fulfillment nodes for online sales. The idea is that customers that buy goods online can pick up purchases at the store or receive deliveries at home from the store. The goal is to outflank the e-tailers’ cost advantage by using the physical store network to serve the online buying channel. In reality, however, there are critical flaws in the strategy, and without adjustments retailers won’t get the gains in efficiency and lower costs they need to compete with online marketplaces. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.