Business Intelligence and FMCG Glossary: #omnichanneldistribution

Omnichannel Distribution

What is omnichannel distribution?

Omnichannel distribution is the integration between operations and physical product flows across all channels to provide a seamless shopping experience. Omnichannel enables customers to complete a purchase and receives orders from any channel they choose.
It encompasses not only the delivery of goods to stores and customers but also backward distribution concepts since customers can return products.

The two types of distribution:

  • Forward distribution system: Characterized by its sources (dispatching locations), destinations (points of reception) and associated logistic flows and possible delivery processes and modes between them.
  • Backward distribution system: The physical flow of return products and the locations where products can be returned.

It is possible also divide the distribution options into 3 basic types based on the process of order/delivery to customers:

  • Buy online, pick-up in store: the shopper places the order online and pick it up in a physical store. This is commonly named “click and collect” or “drive”.
  • Buy online, delivery: the shopper places the order online then requires it to be delivered to a specific place (home or pick-up point).
  • In-store purchase, delivery: the shopper places the order in a physical store then requires it to be shipped to a specific place (home or pick-up point)

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