eCommerce Fulfillment Strategies for BODFS
BOPIS, BORIS, BOSS, and now BODFS - What does it all mean and how can retailers keep up?
BOPIS, BORIS, BOSS, and BODFS are just a few acronyms that are commonly used across eCommerce omnichannel fulfillment and retail fulfillment settings. They refer to the different fulfillment methods customers can choose when shopping online. So if you’ve ever purchased something from, let’s say, Target, you’ve probably noticed you have a few options to choose for pickup or delivery.
Let’s break it down:
- BOPIS: Buy online pickup in store
- BORIS: Buy online return in store
- BOSS: Buy online ship to store
- BODFS: Buy online deliver from store
What is BODFS?
BODFS stands for Buy Online Deliver From Store. BODFS is a method of order fulfillment where customers can buy items online and have those items shipped directly to their homes. Pretty straightforward, right? But what makes BODFS, well, BODFS, is what happens after the order is placed. This part doesn’t matter much to the consumer, but behind the scenes, a local retail location will actually pick the order from their stock, package it, and deliver or ship it to the customer’s home. Traditionally, online orders would come from a central warehouse like a larger fulfillment center, but to keep up with increasing consumer demands, more and more retailers are expanding their fulfillment options to include more choices than ever before. BODFS is a micro-fulfillment method where the store itself acts as the fulfillment center as opposed to a larger warehouse location that’s probably much farther away from the store, and thus, the end-consumer’s delivery address.
How can retailers prepare to handle BODFS?
While BODFS has been around for quite some time, it is growing in popularity, thanks to (surprise!) the Amazon effect. However, many retailers are still not prepared to fully handle the demands of BODFS. Like other fulfillment methods, retailers need a plan, and adding BODFS to the mix involves integrating shipping/delivery processes in-store. Stores are already using retail backrooms and customer pickup areas as mini fulfillment centers within brick-and-mortar locations. Now they need to worry about throwing last mile delivery practices into the mix. So you can see how this can quickly create chaos in an already bustling environment.
What are some of the challenges retailers face in managing BODFS?
The key difference when it comes to BODFS is adding shipping to your fulfillment operations at the retail location. All the other popular eCommerce fulfillment methods don’t involve the retail stores themselves actually shipping from the store. This can be particularly challenging because, as anyone who works in logistics can attest, shipping can be complicated! There are many considerations to make, from increasing SKU storage and setting up packing and staging areas to having a plan for loading delivery trucks, scheduling deliveries, and making these processes predictable and repeatable. A few of the biggest challenges retailers face in managing BODFS are:
SKU storage - ensuring you have enough storage space in your retail backroom to accommodate an increase in SKUs that now need to be shipped from the store.
Optimizing fulfillment processes like picking, packing, and staging to work in the final element that will allow you to achieve BODFS - shipping/local delivery.
Becoming last mile delivery experts - the last mile is a critical point in the order fulfillment process that leaves a lasting impression on customers. Best not to screw it up!
How can retailers prepare to handle BODFS or improve existing BODFS processes?
Optimize SKU storage in your retail backroom.
When adding more fulfillment methods, an increase in SKUs is inevitable. Now you need to store more SKUs that are eligible for this new fulfillment method, but where are you going to put them? If your retail backroom is filled with static shelving, it may be time to consider a dynamic solution that will allow you to fit more SKUs in your existing footprint. Consider replacing wire decking in pallet racking with SpanTrack carton flow and/or SpeedCell dynamic shelving.
SpanTrack creates FIFO storage that allows for increased space utilization within your racks, increasing overall capacity and throughput in your retail backroom.
SpeedCell is a dynamic high-density shelving solution that can increase storage density up to 60%! So if you’re looking to really increase your capacity, SpeedCell really packs a punch.
Re-optimize fulfillment processes to include shipping.
You’ve optimized your in-store pickup areas to deal with BOPIS and BOSS, but now you need to add shipping/local delivery to the mix to accommodate BODFS. This can be an undertaking! But ensuring your picking, packing, staging, and shipping areas are all operating efficiently can make the addition of BODFS a smooth one.
If you haven’t already, you may want to consider more sophisticated order picking equipment - something that offers higher capacity and will help speed the fulfillment process. SpeedCartt is a mobile order fulfillment cart that can help do just that.
When it comes to optimizing your packing processes, FlowCell can help. HelloFresh utilizes FlowCell flow-through workstations to efficiently pack orders for local delivery. These workstations are equipped with SpanTrack carton flow rollers, steel workbenches where orders are assembled, overhead toolbars with scanners, and a pick-to-light system that aid in the packing process. This is just one example of how versatile FlowCell can help improve fulfillment processes as you prepare orders for shipment and delivery.
Become a last mile expert.
Implementing last mile best practices and optimizing your fulfillment processes to ace last mile delivery from your store(s) needs to become a top priority when offering BODFS to customers.
Solutions like flexible conveyors can help. UNEX Flex Wheel Series Gravity Conveyor allows you to quickly establish conveyor lines where you need them, when you need them. The best part is, when flexible conveyors are not in use, they can easily be compressed and stored out of the way. You may already have flexible conveyors in your facility for truck unloading, now it’s just a matter of deploying them to help with the loading process.To help get started with last mile delivery or improve your existing processes, check out our Best Practices to Optimize Fulfillment and Logistics for Last Mile Success. In this article, you will learn more about how you can ensure last mile success, especially when you’re just starting out with shipping and local delivery.
If you’re a retail manager that’s tasked with making shipping and delivery from your store a reality, our space optimization specialists are happy to help. Let our team of experts assist you in identifying solutions that can make BODFS adoption seamless. Click here to contact a member of our team today!