This contributed story by Terence Leung, Senior Marketing Director with Blue Yonder, originally appeared in Logistics Viewpoints on Feb. 8, 2022. Excerpts from the story below. To see the full story

If 2020 and if 2021 proved anything, it’s that the omni-channel selling environment is here to stay. As physical stores opened, shut down and re-opened again, consumers became more flexible in the way they shop for, and purchase, just about every product. Consumers have gotten used to the convenience and ease of online shopping, home delivery, curbside pickup, buy online/pick up in-store and other alternatives to the traditional in-store shopping experience.

According to a recent article in Forbes, 48% of consumers today prefer a hybrid shopping model that combines online and in-store components. For example, they might browse products online, but visit a brick-and-mortar store to finalize their selection. This new behavior means that manufacturers and retailers need to anticipate consumer needs across channels with more accuracy than ever. They need to deliver the right product to the right location at the right time, flawlessly, to fulfill ever-more volatile demand patterns and shopping behaviors.