How to Cut Costs & Up Order Sizes: Ecommerce Trends in Order Fulfillment

Once upon a time, there were warehouses. The warehouses shipped products to stores. Customers bought products at those stores and brought them home.

Ecommerce Trends in Order Fulfillment

Fulfillment evolution (photos from Flickr, by Mike Miller, Keoni Cabral, Midorisyu & Wilson Hui)

Many years later, warehouses and stores started to merge, and turned into big-box retailers, like IKEA and Home Depot and BestBuy. People would drive to them and buy products and bring them home.

Then we tried getting rid of the stores altogether, shipping directly to consumers from warehouses, à la Amazon.

Now a new breed is emerging.

Welcome to the World of Hybrid Stores

The new store model is a combination retail store/warehouse/shipping point/pickup point.

This ecommerce trend is appearing in many places, and in today’s interview we look at how one of Canada’s first stores to get into e-commerce, London Drugs, is letting customers “have it their way”, using the stores however the customer wants.

Why Turn Your Store Into an Ecommerce Shipping and Delivery Point

As Josh Johnston, Ecommerce Manager at London Drugs, explains in the interview, there are huge benefits from taking this customer-friendly approach.

  1. By filling and shipping orders from your stores, you can reduce shipping costs and increase the speed of deliveries. No longer does the customer have to pay (or seller have to subsidize) and wait for a product to be shipped from thousands of kilometers away. This makes a big difference in a country the size of Canada.
  2. Having an in-store pickup option gives staff a chance to up-sell. When you ordered your camera online for in-store pickup you might not have thought about getting an extra memory card or batteries. Since the staff know you’ll be coming in they can have those little extras waiting beside your parcel, ready to add in quickly if you like their suggestion that these items might be worth buying while you are there.
  3. Giving customers the flexibility to buy whenever and wherever suits them, you’ll keep more of them as loyal purchasers. Customers just won’t let stores dictate to them any more about what they can buy, and when or where they can buy it. Stores still clinging to that model are on their death bed.

Josh will be speaking at eTail Canada, in Toronto May 5 – 7, 2014. My readers and listeners get a 25% discount! Register at and ETCA14TFRANK to get your discount!

Want to learn more about online shopping?

Come hear the experts discuss trends in online shopping at eTail Canada! 3 day passes are already sold out! But 2 day passes are still available. See you there?

Frank Online Marketing readers get a 25% discount. Use code ETCA14TFRANK
Frank Online Marketing readers get a 25% discount. Use code ETCA14TFRANK

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