More and more businesses are employing omnichannel strategies in the logistics services they provide to customers

Omnichannel strategy: definition and how to implement it

12 Dec 2023

More and more businesses are employing omnichannel strategies in their communication with customers and the logistics services they provide. Consumers will typically consult the website profile of a product or service before deciding to make an in-store purchase or to collect their merchandise at a designated delivery point.

The impact of omnichannel is evident in warehousing, with heightened order fulfilment for customers from different channels. A study by Wunderman Thompson finds that 23% of online purchases end up being returned, making it crucial to provide multiple return options to enhance overall satisfaction.

What is the omnichannel strategy?

An omnichannel strategy consists of creating a seamless shopping and product/service delivery experience through the use of different sales and communication channels. The priority of any company is to make the process as convenient as possible for customers so that they’ll return in the future. When it comes to logistics, the key is to streamline inbound and outbound flows of goods across the different supply chain links.

The communication aspect of the omnichannel strategy can be implemented through conventional means such as email or phone. Alternatively, it can be more innovative with tools like chatbots, forums or other artificial intelligence-based platforms. According to Zendesk, 70% of consumers buy more from businesses that maintain fluid conversations.

An omnichannel strategy involves creating a seamless, cohesive shopping and product delivery experience
The omnichannel strategy involves creating a seamless, cohesive shopping and product delivery experience

Omnichannel goes a step beyond a multichannel strategy. A company with physical shops, a social media presence, a call centre and a chatbot is multichannel: it has various ways of communicating with users. However, without information sharing across all departments, it can’t be considered a true omnichannel strategy.

The omnichannel model transcends logistics and communication barriers, ensuring that all channels open to the public are integrated. The goal of omnichannel is to eliminate the need for a person to explain their case to multiple employees, for instance. Additionally, it allows customers to collect and return orders at different points in the delivery chain, reducing travel costs for businesses.

Examples of omnichannel strategy

Numerous organisations have already integrated the omnichannel strategy into their operations:


One of the most notable examples is the sports equipment giant Decathlon. The company caters to both seasoned athletes and novices alike through a website that makes it easy to gear up for any activity. Users can locate the nearest brick-and-mortar shop, buy online, download an app, receive home deliveries or collect their products at a physical point in less than two hours. For any queries, customer service includes conventional response options and a chat feature.

To handle such a high volume of orders from various channels, the retailer expedited order fulfilment and expanded its warehouses in Brazil, Italy, the UK and Poland. By partnering with Mecalux, Decathlon has managed to shorten delivery times, satisfy its online customers and boost its expansion. Some of the solutions installed include conventional pallet racking, picking shelves and mezzanines.


In France, the fashion brand Rouje incorporated the omnichannel strategy in its business to provide better service to customers and broaden its global reach. In high season, the company’s Paris warehouse distributes up to 900 orders to its online customers, physical stores and shops-in-shops.

The French retailer turned to digitalisation to ramp up picking productivity. With instructions from the Easy WMS warehouse management system, a large portion of orders are fulfilled by cross-docking. Thus, goods that arrive at the facility are distributed directly without having to be stored first.

Omnichannel logistics flows

To apply an omnichannel strategy, companies with several warehouses or shops require logistics-specific software to organise their operations, control inventory and determine the best goods shipping location. These programs orchestrate fulfilment and the distribution of goods to transportation agencies for final delivery. Increased flexibility in online sales has led to new logistics flows.

  • Warehouse-to-home shipping. This is the most common flow: a carrier transports goods from a logistics centre to the buyer’s residence (or office). Personalising last-mile delivery can make this process more complex.
  • Click & collect. Click and collect is a typical omnichannel flow whereby customers retrieve their purchases at a collection point.
  • Shop-to-home shipping. In this scenario, the shop acts as a warehouse and dispatches orders.
  • BORIS. In addition to collecting their purchases from retail establishments, customers can employ the buy online, return in-store (BORIS) process, which generates new sales opportunities.
Allowing in-shop returns creates new sales opportunities
Allowing in-shop returns creates new sales opportunities

How to implement an omnichannel strategy

To employ a successful omnichannel strategy, you need to know your business inside out.

  • Involve multiple departments. It’s essential to incorporate various company teams in the strategy to provide a coordinated response to end-users without information leaks.
  • Identify your target audience. Understanding the behaviour of end customers makes it easier to establish omnichannel strategies effectively. For instance, if your core audience is athletes, it might be beneficial to deliver orders to collection points near gyms as well as homes.
  • Establish channels. After studying your current and potential consumers, choose logistics and communication tools to meet their demands.
  • Monitor the omnichannel strategy. Setting up omnichannel without prior organisation or planning can lead to supply chain issues. The strategy can give you a competitive edge, but improper data transfer can increase error margins.

Coordinated omnichannel logistics

Omnichannel logistics calls for the seamless coordination of all supply chain elements and processes. Warehouse management software is critical for comprehensive control of diverse stock. Easy WMS organises the fulfilment of numerous orders with multiple destinations, streamlining logistics operations.

Considering optimising workflows in your warehouse or distribution centre? Be sure to contact us for expert advice on the best automation and software options for your business.

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