New GS1 US Guideline Harmonizes E-Commerce Fulfillment Processes

Retail Industry Collaborates on Product Identification, Presentation and Packaging for the Omni-Channel Retailing Era

A new guideline focused on e-commerce and omni-channel fulfillment processes has been released by GS1 US to help the retail industry evolve toward a single fulfillment process for improved cost savings and maximized resources. The guideline, called theApparel and General Merchandise E-Commerce Fulfillment Guideline, was developed by the GS1 US Omni-Channel Ready Merchandise E-Commerce Fulfillment Workgroup, a subgroup of the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Initiative. The group is composed of retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and solution providers whose mission is to identify and resolve the key merchandising challenges in preparing, packaging and shipping product for both in-store and e-commerce fulfillment.

“With heightened consumer expectations for fast and seamless shopping experiences across all channels, retailers are offering consumers a number of flexible fulfillment and delivery options, such as buy online pick-up from store and buy in store ship to home. Traditional fulfillment processes needed a makeover to keep up with today’s on-demand consumer and the corresponding changes to the retail supply chain,” said Melanie Nuce, vice president of apparel and general merchandise, GS1 US. “With the goal of improving the overall e-commerce consumer experience, retail industry stakeholders have come together to determine the best way to present and ship a product so as to not compromise on quality and presentation, while optimizing sustainability.”

The guideline contains industry best practices for successfully delivering a consistent cross-channel consumer experience. It features a comprehensive description of best practices with regard to units of measure, ticketing a product with Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) identification, packaging, and provides a product-specific chart to help retail industry stakeholders determine the appropriate fulfillment practices for each product type.

The first iteration of the guideline seeks to reduce a retailer’s order-to-fulfillment cycle time. The workgroup is already engaged in developing the next release of the document, slated to be delivered in early 2017, which will further refine omni-channel fulfilment best practices. For more information about the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Initiative, please visitwww.gs1us.org/ApparelGM.
The GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Initiative is a retail industry group that is committed to defining business challenges and opportunities and organizing members to explore solutions and create adoption plans. More than 130 suppliers, distributors, retailers and logistics providers are participating members in Initiative activities, focused on improving inventory accuracy, exchanging standardized product data and achieving traceability with GS1 Standards. More information about the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Initiative is available at www.gs1us.org/ApparelGM.