More people — especially young people — are moving into cities. To reach this increasingly important market segment, retailers need to find profitable and efficient ways to carry out urban fulfillment. The growth in urban population means the core cities of the 33 largest metro areas in the US added 1.52 educated millennials for each one added to their surrounding suburbs.
Fulfilling small volume, high frequency, rapid-velocity omnichannel orders in a highly congested urban setting adds complications to the already challenging task of suburban and rural omnichannel order fulfillment.
Winning the battle for city shoppers will not be easy. Retailers must establish networks with the capabilities to fill and deliver product to urban consumers with urgency and efficiency. To do so, they must be fully aware of the unique challenges that come with urban fulfillment and the different alternatives available for fulfilling omnichannel demand. They must have a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these different fulfillment models, and then select the combination of options that best fits their operational needs. Integrating current trends and findings from the SRSC Report, we outline the challenges, requirements, and emerging solutions that retailers face as they address omnichannel for urban markets.