The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shipping From Store - ChicagoShipper

Do you have any physical storefronts? Is the volume of your online orders increasing? 

If you answered “yes” to both, your company may be a good fit for a ship from store approach. 

Shipment of e-commerce orders from actual storefronts rather than distribution centers can be an excellent strategy to increase shipping speed while decreasing shipping costs. 

However, it will not work for every firm; smaller enterprises, for example, may lack the necessary sites, resources, and people. 

In this post, we’ll define ship from store, explain how it works, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using ship from the store as a fulfillment strategy, and explain how ShipBob works as an alternative to shipping from shops. 

Ship From Store Definition 

Ship from store is a fulfillment technique in which orders placed on an e-commerce platform are completed in physical stores rather than warehouses. 

In this concept, the inventory of the actual shop is utilized to fulfill online orders (rather than inventory maintained at a warehouse), and store staff chooses and pack online orders. 

Ship from store differs from in-store pickup and curbside pickup in that it does not need the consumer to visit a shop and instead sends the purchase to the end customer from the retail location. 

How Do Merchants Ship From Their Stores? 

The following is the procedure for shipping from a store: 

  1. A consumer visits an e-commerce website and orders an item.
  2. The merchant transmits the order to the nearest retail location to the order’s destination (presuming the time is in stock at that location).
  3. An employee in the store’s backroom selects the item from the store’s current inventory, puts it in a box, and sends it to the end customer. 

This concept essentially converts retail sites into tiny distribution facilities. This increases your company’s regional footprint, allowing you to save transit times and shipping costs. 

However, putting a ship from store plan in place is difficult. Here are a few things to think about before committing to shipping from the company. 

  • Determine the Number of Orders 

Order quantities change, but understanding your typical order volume will assist you to assess whether your company can ship from a shop. If your company distributes a small number of online orders to clients on a regular basis, using local businesses as distribution hubs should not overburden the store’s capabilities.

However, bear in mind that if your company grows and internet sales increase, fulfilling all online orders and handling in-store clients and walk-ins will become increasingly difficult. 

  • Determine The Sort of Packaging That Is Required 

If you are sending an order from a store, you must consider the packaging for each purchase. The packaging in which an item is sold at a store is not always the best option for shipment. 

When dispatched to a customer’s door, some things will require a special sort of poly mailer, SIOC packaging, or even eco-friendly packing. Having distinct criteria for online vs. in-store packaging is crucial, but keep in mind that the two can easily be confused. 

The weight and size of your products will also be affected by the type of packaging you use. Keep note of the weight and size of your orders, since these factors will affect your delivery charges. Some carriers charge for shipments based on the actual weight, while others charge based on the DIM weight. 

  • Where do you ship to? 

Shipping charges are also affected by which shipping zones your orders are shipped to and from. International fulfillment, in particular, is more expensive due to the greater distances that the shipment must travel. 

When orders must ship from many locations rather than a single warehouse, negotiating bulk shipping discounts becomes more complex. 

Advantages of Shipping From Store 

When orders must ship from many locations rather than a single warehouse, negotiating bulk shipping discounts becomes more complex. 

  • Increases Inventory Turnover In-Store 

When online purchases are fulfilled using inventory allocated to brick-and-mortar establishments, inventory turnover is inevitably higher at such locations. 

This can be beneficial to a company (particularly if physical locations have lower order volumes than other channels), because it keeps inventory moving and helps you avoid deadstock. 

  • Shipping Time And Expense Are Reduced 

Keeping inventory near to the online shopper allows for speedier transportation and delivery of consumer purchases. It also minimizes the number of delivery zones your shipment must pass through, lowering the average shipping cost. 

  • Risk Is Distributed In The Event Of A Calamity 

If the bulk of your inventory is held in a single warehouse, a calamity (such as a hurricane, tornado, or flood) might damage virtually all of your goods and make meeting demand difficult. 

Splitting your product over various delivery hubs — or, in this example, multiple retail locations — protects you from losing all of your goods. 

Disadvantages of Shipping From Store 

For many shops, especially smaller ones, shipping from storefronts is not the greatest option. Here are some of the major disadvantages of the ship from store technique. 

  • Increased Operating Fees 

There are several hidden expenses when shipping from a store.. 

To begin, keeping inventory and fulfilling and delivering orders at physical retail locations is extremely labor-intensive, so you will need to recruit more shop personnel or educate your current workforce to manage the online fulfillment process. This raises personnel costs and necessitates more time and effort. 

In order for shipping from store to significantly reduce shipping distance, you will also need a vast network of retail outlets, which involves a considerable capital commitment. Additional safety stock may be required to prevent stockouts, raising procurement and carrying costs. 

  • In-Store Processes Are Disrupted 

Fulfilling online purchases at the same area where you serve in-person clients might cause delays and inefficiencies. Customers in-store may not receive the attention they require, and online order accuracy may suffer when personnel attempt to multitask. 

  • Inventory Management Has Become More Challenging 

Tracking and managing inventory levels becomes much more difficult when shipping from a shop. 

Because online and in-store sales draw from the same inventory pools, you are considerably more likely to stock out or sell products that you already have, resulting in backorders and unsatisfied consumers. 

You’ll have to manually coordinate inventory levels across channels unless you have the means to invest in an omnichannel order management system and inventory management system (or IMS). 

The Poor Side of Ship From Store 

Although ship from store appears to be a cost-effective option at first glance, the terrible fact is that ship from store is a waste of resources and time for firms with huge order quantities. 

The expense of redesigning your inventory management approach, adding additional order fulfillment workers, training them, and increasing storage space will almost certainly exceed any profits gained by cutting shipment time and shipping prices. 

When you include in the time and effort required to carry out a ship from store plan, it’s just more bother than it’s worth. 

That time, money, and energy would be better spent developing omnichannel capabilities in your supply chain and boosting customer happiness and the quality of the customer experience across all channels. 

Consider spending that time and effort in a 3PL partnership that can manage warehouses and fulfill DTC and B2B orders for you swiftly and easily.