TAKU Canada Ltd. is excited to announce a new self-checkout system in Canada together with Samsung Electronics and Moneris Solutions Corporation. This all-in-one kiosk is designed to help merchants across Canada sell more, even while significantly lowering labour costs.
We know how difficult it is to hire, train and keep staff today. Our new self-checkout solution is designed to solve the problem of labour shortages without increasing the technical complexity that merchants often face when they sell in-store and online.
The sleek and modern design of Samsung’s hardware pairs perfectly with TAKU Retail’s clean and easy-to-use screens. Combined together with Moneris payment solutions, the TAKU Retail platform helps merchants offer in-store, online and self-checkout, all under a single login. No more logging into separate systems and checking multiple reports.
TAKU Canada and its sister company ACE POS has been perfecting retail commerce for over 45 years. The experience gained through nearly 5 decades is how we have built the best self-checkout system on the Canadian market to reduce lineups.
Many people think that shipping out an order is the same as ‘fulfilling it’. In reality fulfilling an order means much more than shipping a package out. In retail, the term “fulfillment” refers to everything a retailer does from the moment a customer places an order. While many think that order fulfillment means shipping out online order from a warehouse (this is likely because of Amazon fulfillments centers), this is actually only one of many ways to get orders to a customer.
For example, retailers with existing physical stores can also fulfill online sales by packing online orders for in-store pickup. In comparison, in-store pickup is generally a lot cheaper than shipping online orders out from a warehouse as you don’t need to pay for packing materials or shipping fees.
What is order fulfillment?
As we’ve mentioned – fulfilling orders includes the process of receiving an order then getting it to the customer. It can also include supply chain tasks such as inventory management, quality control and customer support as part of order fulfillment.
The term “order fulfillment” tends to sound complex and seems only suitable for very large businesses. In reality, fulfillment is something businesses have been doing for decades now. In the past, customers often made orders through phone calls, fax machines, or even coming into the store. Stores would prepare these orders for pickup or ship out. In other words, stores had to “fulfill” these orders.
The difference today is that most order fulfillment is for ecommerce and that most retailers have a catalog of their products online because shoppers expect to be able to see what products a store carries. This is why it is so important to have an online catalog that shows off all your merchandise. While an online store is great, having any product showcase (e.g. Google’s free See What’s In Store feature) helps nearby stores be found online. And a modern omnichannel retail system makes it easy and fast to display POS products online in a few clicks.
While there are many different steps in order fulfillment, the main ones are:
Purchasing goods from suppliers
Receiving goods that are purchased
Storing purchased goods until they are sold
Picking and packing goods when they are sold
Getting goods to customers
Most physical stores are familiar with steps 1 to 4. However, since the pandemic, the way many brick & mortar retailers are handling step 5 has changed. While merchants relied a lot on shippers and last-mile delivery services (e.g. DoorDash) in the beginning of the pandemic, as the cost of packaging materials and fuel surcharges has increased, more physical stores are looking at in-store fulfillment options today. For example, with BOPIS orders (buy online pickup in-store), ‘shipping out’ is replaced with customer self-pickup or in-store fulfillment.
The benefits of in-store fulfillment
Some of the perks of in-store fulfillment are:
It helps you compete with bigger ecommerce companies as you can give your local audience a custom and personalized experience during pickup
It’s faster for nearby shoppers to get their orders
It helps you get rid of shipping costs to send products out or return products
It helps you make bigger sales since shoppers often buy additional items during pickup
It lowers return costs as orders picked up in store have lower return rates
Some challenges around in-store fulfillment
In-store fulfillment isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. There are some challenges you need to be aware of if you are going to be fulfilling orders from in-store. Here are some roadblocks you may face:
The need to change the store layout to make it faster for pickup shoppers
The need for better back office processes to allow for quick picking and packing once an order is received
Linking data between store POS systems and online stores
Many POS systems do not offer the tools needed to track everything you need for in-store fulfillment. Modern omnichannel POS systems such as TAKU make order fulfillment a breeze. They make it possible for you to:
Manage all of your in-store and online inventory in one place
Sell any inventory in your POS online with just a few clicks
Always know exactly how much available inventory stock you have with real-time on-hand quantity
Automatically showcase products and real-time stock availability in Google searches, Facebook Shop or Instagram Shop
These are just a couple of the benefits retail stores will gain from using a modern cloud-based system today. Click here to learn more about how TAKU can help you save money and sell more today.
Confused by some words in the retail industry? Read up on the essential retail terms and their definitions with our Retail Glossary here!
The metaverse is a term you’ve most likely noticed being tossed around on the internet in the last year or so. Many predict that the metaverse is the future of the internet. At the moment it is used primarily for entertainment purposes. While the metaverse may seem like a gimmick right now, it will become so much more than that. In the long term, the metaverse has the potential to transform the shopping experience, and create a more engaging and immersive experience for consumers.
These digital worlds (where many will work and play) will be the next step in internet use. There have already been a number of concerts and events taking place in the digital space. While it’s still early days for the metaverse, retailers should get involved earlier, because the cost of entry is lower today.
During the early days of the internet, many businesses were quick to dismiss the idea of shoppers buying online. But the first businesses who started online stores ended up with a major advantage versus their competitors. So the question remains, how can retailers take advantage of the metaverse?
You can own a digital space for your business just like you can own a physical space for your brick and mortar store. A digital space allows you to interact with your customer and introduce them to your products.
When saying digital space you may be confusing it with an online website or ecommerce store. In this situation a digital space is a 3D environment on the metaverse where companies can actually create virtual stores. The virtual stores actually allow users to interact with product and see them in a 3D space. Whereas on an ecommerce store the consumer would only be able to see pictures and videos of the product.
The metaverse would allow you to create a new shopping experience for your customers. Forever 21 used the platform *Roblox to allow shoppers to create their own versions of digital Forever 21 stores. In these user-created stores, digital versions of existing merchandise were sold. The products were then actually delivered to the buyers’ real-life homes.
*For those unaware, Roblox is an online gaming platform which allows users to create their own virtual worlds/games. Similar to YouTube, where users create content for others to watch – in Roblox users create games for others to play.
Simply rehashing your existing store on the digital front will not be a successful way to deliver this new shopping experience. Sky Canaves, a senior analyst at Insider Intelligence says that there is no need to be stuck between 4 walls in the metaverse, she continues that metaverse shopping can be so much more experiential. Imagine shopping for a car and being able to drive the car around in the Italian countryside all from your home. This is the type of experience merchants will want to foster for their metaverse customers.
Merchandising’s new boundaries
Metaverse shopping will help push merchandising to new limits. Showcasing your products in the digital world will allow for new and exciting ways for customers to see your offerings. Similarly to the car example in the last paragraph, companies can allow consumers to test merchandise in the virtual world. Besides the virtual world, retailers can leverage the new technology associated with the metaverse to show off their merchandise. Back in 2017, Ikea introduced their app Ikea Placewhich allows customers to use their iPhone cameras to see what Ikea furniture would look like in their own homes before committing to a purchase. This use of AR (augmented reality) has become commonplace for many retailers.
The beauty of the metaverse is that unlike a traditional brick & mortar store, a retailer’s merchandising is not confined to the physical space available inside the store. Shopping on the metaverse allows retailers to showcase an unlimited amount of products in a limitless space. For example a hardware store could showcase every single type of cabinet, flooring tile, or whatever other product they have in a virtually infinitely sized warehouse. Furthermore searching for these products on a digital store will be much easier than a physical store. Users could hypothetically type in what they are searching for and have the product magically appear in front of them so they can inspect it before purchasing. For a better idea of what this could look like, check out companies’ early visions of metaverse shopping.
Besides building brand awareness, companies can hold other sorts of promotions in the metaverse. Brands can host special events in the metaverse such as classes, conferences, and workshops. For promoting the film ‘In the Heights’ Warner Brothers held a large block party on the Roblox platform. This made for an accessible way for consumers to partake in a promotional event.
Retailer can even start offering promotional exclusives on the metaverse. For example you could pair the sale of a shoe at a shoe store with a digital version of the shoe for an online game like Fortnite. In fact Nike has already filed patents to begin selling digital versions of their products.
A company who wants to succeed in the metaverse will be paying attention to the different ways big brands are interacting with it already. Take the lessons from the big players and see what you can change in your approach. We understand, the metaverse is still young and nothing is concrete yet. But by paying attention to what is going on in the digital space you may come up with the next big idea which will influence everyone else. There is some investment and technical know how needed to get involved in the digital world. Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled as the metaverse will continue to grow. The new digital front will provide a bunch of new opportunities. You don’t want to end up like the brands who dismissed the internet back in the 90s.
With TAKU Retail you can create an all inclusive and integrated omnichannel strategy that will get you ready to move your physical store to an online platform. Find out how TAKU Retail can help you achieve a seamless and successful omnichannel system for your business below!
Are you wondering what “BOPIS” or “clicks to bricks” mean? Are you looking for a reliable list of the top 100 retail terms?🤔
Success in retail today involves an increasing number of technologies and concepts. But who has the time to keep up with new terms when you’re busy running retail stores?
Don’t worry, TAKU Retail has got you covered. Whether you’re a long-time retailer or a new merchant, we’re here to make things easier for you. Don’t waste time looking at questionable resources online.
As former retailers themselves, our founders have prepared a list of the most used retail terms in a searchable, sortable retail glossary. Click below for the only retail dictionary you’ll ever need.
TAKU Retail continues to be the best go-to tool for your retail needs. Besides our retail glossary, check out our free blog resources to find other ways to improve your business. All of our blog posts are written for retail owners.
In addition to store pickup, merchants can also offer ship out fulfillment options. When we talk about ship out, we are talking about local delivery and third party shipping.
So, while it is definitely possible to sell online without offering delivery. If you’re able to add shipping to your operations, setting it up in your online store may be easier than you think.
Let’s take a look at both fulfillment options and review how they can provide added convenience for you and your shoppers.
What is local delivery?
Local delivery refers to fulfilling orders in the same area (same town, city or region) that your retail business is located in. How it works is simple. Customers buy your products online, and someone hand delivers the orders straight to their doorsteps.
With local delivery, a business can either choose to deliver the orders themselves or use an on-demand delivery service such as Uber. Local delivery is different from regular third-party shipping because it often does not require as much packing materials and the delivery time can be much faster. And, of course, the fees charged by on-demand delivery services are the highest.
Regardless of who is handling the local delivery, it’s important to remember that it needs to be done efficiently for it to be cost effective, as it can be expensive if you’re hand delivering products even using your own staff.
Local delivery has been particularly popular since the pandemic started as merchants have been able to keep existing store staff on payroll by assigning them to make nearby deliveries when store traffic is down.
How to set up in-house local delivery.
From your TAKU eCommerce control panel, click on “Shipping & Pickup”.
Click “Set Up Local Delivery”.
Choose which rates you would like to set up. Decide on your preferences for:
Conditional free delivery
Enter the name for this delivery option as well as a description for your customers. This is the name that will be visible to shoppers during checkout in your online store. If you choose to add a flat or custom rate, set up your rates.
If needed, you can limit availability to only store operating hours in order to make this delivery option available on certain business days or hours of the week.
You can click on “Limit Availability by order subtotal” to specify a minimum order subtotal to make sure that you only offer local delivery on orders over a certain dollar value.
Click on “Set delivery zone” and choose “zone on map” or “advanced settings” to make sure you aren’t offering local delivery beyond a certain area.
Add an order fulfillment time. This will be how much time you need to prepare the online orders you receive. For example, 1 business day or a daily cut-off time for next day delivery.
Local delivery with time picker
Since the start of the pandemic, local delivery has been in high demand with shoppers. But if you’re managing local delivery yourself, you want to be efficient with how you manage your deliveries. It is costly for any store to deliver to local shoppers everywhere at the same time.
This is why we offer the option for stores to ask shoppers for both, delivery dates and times at checkout if they choose to use store pickup. You can now offer delivery time slots during the specific times you will be delivering in a given area. For example, you can offer free delivery to addresses within 1km and offer delivery to areas outside of this free zone only on specific days. This way, you and your staff are only delivering orders area by area which is both more cost effective and sets the right expectation for shoppers.
Third party shipping
Many retailers going online for the first time often think that shipping out is the only way to sell online. However, many successful online merchants will pick and choose the products they offer for shipping. They also use shipping strategies to increase their profitability and stand out from competitors.
4 things that affect the cost of shipping
1. The package weight and dimensions
Carriers such as FedEx, UPS and USPC calculate shipping costs based on weight or dimensional weight of products. This is something you want to think about before selling a product online. With TAKU eCommerce, it’s possible for you to specify the shipping method for every product. This means that you can offer only store pickup and exclude ship out options for products that are too fragile or costly to deliver.
2. Delivery location
Shipping costs will vary depending on destination. For example, if you offer shipping to remote locations or internationally, shipping fees will naturally be higher.
3. Delivery times
Some shoppers may want to pay for expedited shipping for faster delivery. This option is usually calculated and offered automatically by the carrier you choose to use based on availability for the destination.
4. Value of shipped goods
If your products are of high quality or higher value you may want to insure your shipments which will again increase your shipping costs.
While shoppers always prefer flat shipping fees (where free shipping isn’t available), TAKU eCommerce also gives you the option to charge shoppers the actual cost including things such as insurance if you use the integrated shippers in the system.
Different shipping strategies you can use
1. Free shipping
Shipping fees are the number one reason behind abandoned shopping carts. If you can afford it, consider offering free shipping to increase sales on your online store. It’s best to offer free shipping on products where you make more profit but do not often require extra packaging or handling. You can also offer free shipping only on products that are being shipped locally, as the cost for local orders will not be as high.
To make up for shipping costs, you can increase the price of your products slightly or you can set a minimum order size to ensure that the orders are worth accepting.
2. Charging exact shipping cost
Retailers using mainstream shipping services for example USPS, FedEx, UPS or Canada post, can charge shoppers the actual cost that they’re being charged by these carriers. E-commerce platforms such as TAKE eCommerce allow merchants to receive automatic online shipping rates from carriers directly during checkout. Depending on the shipper, it may be possible to add additional features such as Signature Required, Proof of Age Required, etc.
If you need more complex calculations for shipping costs, consider using tiered rates that you can base off of order subtotals or order weights.
Remember that you also have the option of manually adding the carrier’s shipping rate for various order weight ranges if you’re using a carrier that is not already integrated with TAKU.
3. Flat rate shipping
Flat rate shipping is best for retailers who deliver products themselves, or sell products of similar weight or size. For example, merchants can charge 10$ for every local delivery from their store. Many merchants will use flat rate shipping even when their shipping costs aren’t the same to make it simpler for shoppers. In cases like this, the idea is that you may not always cover the cost of your shipping. But on average, it should even out as you will get larger orders and smaller orders that will cost you less.
Many stores consider shipping costs to be an indirect cost of business now. This is similar to how you would think of marketing to sell online.
We hope that you have enjoyed our blog post and video series. For more information on how you can take leverage your physical store to sell online easily, please visit our blog or follow us on social media.
Take a look at our other steps by clicking one of the chapters below!
Now that you have successfully taken payments and orders online, the next step will be offering store pickup for your online orders. Step 4 focuses on why setting up store pickup is more cost-effective for retailers offering e-commerce.
In this blog post, we’ll cover how you can offer store pickup as an easy way for your local customer to get the products they order online quickly, and at a lower cost to you.
Benefits of offering pickup, to both retailers and customers.
Store pickup gives customers the option to buy the products online and stop by your store to pick up their order. With store pickup, staff place prepared orders in a specific store pickup area or place them right into customers cars outside.
Compared to in-store shopping, store pickup allows retailers to continue selling even when people aren’t allowed in the store. During the pandemic, this allowed stores to reduce contact, making it a safer option at the time.
Some people might ask, “Why offer store pickup when shipping is available?” but there are some major benefits to both retailers and customers including:
1. Reduced cost and waste.
As a retailer, you save on the shipping and packing costs including both materials and the time for staff to pack orders when you offer store pickup. This helps to keep costs down for shoppers since you don’t need to buy packing materials, charge delivery fees to cover your costs or offer free shipping, and shoppers don’t need to deal with all the waste created by shipping cartons, etc.
2. Fewer lost sales
Shoppers expect free shipping today with online shopping, but stores can only cover the cost of it when orders are above a certain size. Yet having a minimum for free shipping makes shoppers more likely to not complete checkout online. Pickup allows you to reduce, or get rid of online order size minimums. This will increase the chance that every shopper buys something. Similarly, customers that pick up in store are more likely to buy other things when they are already in the store.
3. Selling bulky or fragile items
Even if a store sells mainly large or delicate products that are not suitable for delivery, you can still offer online ordering to your customers if you offer store pickup during online checkout.
4. Faster turnaround time
Even before the Pandemic, shipping delays were a problem, especially during peak periods. Given the overall increase in e-commerce and the ongoing labor shortage, this has only gotten worse. Store pickup gives merchants the ability to turn around local orders faster. There’s no packing involved and nearby customers can get products they need faster, even while supporting their own local main street stores.
5. Reduced returns
While there are more tools available now to help shoppers buy online, e-commerce sales continue to have a higher percentage of returns versus in-store sales. Store pickup is one way to reduce costly returns. This way, merchants can avoid extra shipping costs and damages during the return shipment. Shoppers are less likely to return items they have already checked when they pick up in store.
6. More flexible payment options
Online processing fees are usually more expensive than in-store payments using card terminals. While getting upfront payment is useful to reduce the risk of the customer not showing up, an omnichannel platform such as TAKU will also allow stores to offer in-store payment during store pickup. Not only does this lower the cost of payment processing, offering in-store returns or exchanges on online purchases can help to reduce the extra processing costs of refunds too.
7. Supporting local businesses
E-commerce has been a great innovation, but the real benefit for small business comes when it is easily offered with store pickup to give local merchants an advantage compared to larger competitors who often cannot match nearby stores for speed and service.
How to start offering store pickup with TAKU.
Using TAKU as an example, here is how store pickup works once you have products and payments set up in your system:
Add a pickup option in your online store. TAKU eCommerce gives retailers the option of displaying pickup dates and times at checkout. Make sure to include pickup instructions including how and where customers can pick up their orders. Don’t forget to include the store phone number and what ID is necessary to verify the order.
When a customer places an order on your website, the customer can now select a pickup date and time.
Once an order is finalized, you and your customer will get notified about the order. Depending on when the customer is scheduled to pick up his or her order, you or your staff can start preparing the order. TAKU has a built-in packing list for staff to easily pick orders
If you’re using the scheduled store pickup feature, you just need to have the order ready for the confirmed date and time. Otherwise it’s always recommended for you to notify the customer when their order is ready for pickup by changing the Fulfillment Status within TAKU to Completed. Once that it done, the customer will automatically get a notification that the order is ready and your Delivery Status will change to Ready for Pickup.
Make sure that you have clear signage at you store to direct customers to your store pickup area. If your pickup area is unmanned, include instructions for your pickup process.
Remember to remind shoppers about your store pickup person verification policy so they are ready with their IDs if necessary.
If you are limiting exposure and there is parking nearby your store, you can offer the option for staff to bring orders out to customers’ cars.
Hopefully this blog post has helped to explain the many benefits of offering store pickup. Don’t forget to check out the next blog post and videos in our series which covers how local delivery and shipping works with online stores.
Check out our other steps on moving your store online by clicking on the buttons below.