Multiple brands & multiple countries: How Retailers can leverage MACH certified Order Management to seamlessly trade and scale.


Are you an international retailer, faced with the complexities of trading across borders whilst trying to provide seamless customer experiences? And maybe you also own several brands and are wondering how to scale your fulfillment model across them whilst still meeting the unique requirements of each of them?

The unique challenges of multinational retailers

Multi-national organizations often need to accommodate region specific delivery requirements, carrier requirements, or customer expectations. They may have different distribution partners in each region. Or they may want to test a subset of their products in a new market and not offer every item in every region.

Multi-brand retailers and their distinct requirements

At multi-brand retailers, customers of each brand can have very different needs. What drives loyalty and customer satisfaction at one brand may vary greatly from another. For example, this may be a result of selling different product lines (e.g., apparel vs sporting goods), delivery requirements (e.g., small parcels vs bulky items), or perhaps value added services (e.g., assembly or personalization). And as new brands are added to the portfolio the parent company needs to balance how they can achieve economies of scale, yet allow for competitive brand differentiation.

And what about the many retailers who fall into both of these categories? The stakes are higher, but so are the opportunities. As long as you have the right technology to help you.

What to look for in a cloud native, flexible Distributed Order Management System to support international growth and multiple brands.

How can an order management system help you achieve seamless cross-border and cross-brand commerce? The general answer is: it depends on how it’s structured. So if you’re looking for an order management system that can support your multi-brand or multi-national growth plans, make sure it lets you do the following: -

Create a structure to fit your business

Make sure you can set up your organizational structure to best suit your business needs. For example, you might divide your organization into brands or geographies or a combination of both. Or you might set up different types of organizations, such as retail, marketplace, and wholesale.

Share data across business units

It is crucial that you can share data across your business units. This allows each business unit to access all locations and inventory across your organization, but define their own rules for how they fulfill orders.

Provide an integrated cross brand experience

When each business unit can access the locations and inventory of other business units, you can explore new fulfillment models. Let’s take a look at some options.

Cross Brand Click and Collect

Let’s say you’re a multi-brand organization with stores, and you use your stores as pickup locations. Some customers may live closer to a Brand A store, while others will live closer to a Brand B store. If a customer places an order on the Brand A website, can they pick it up from her local Brand B store?

If instead of home delivery, you offer pickup at their closest store, are they more likely to make an additional purchase while they’re there?

Cross Brand Merchandising

While some of your brands may have very distinct products, others may not. What if you could test popular products or accessories from one brand on the online storefront of another? Could you gain new insights into customer segments and behavior? Or increase average order value?

Cross Brand Returns

No one likes returns. Especially customers. They’re a hassle. But what if you could offer even more convenient return options? If customers can return an online purchase at any of the stores in your network, would that make them more inclined to buy? After all, over 50% of consumers review return policies and processes before making a buying decision.

Cross Region Fulfillment

What if your French website receives an order that can’t be fulfilled from a French DC or store. Can your French website check to see if the item is available in the UK or Germany instead?

In short, if you can share stock and locations across your brands and regions, it gives you new ways to add value and convenience for your customers and provide a truly integrated cross-brand experience.

Use operational templates to accelerate expansion

As you grow, it’s important to maximize economies of scale. That’s where operational templates come in.

Say you have 70% common business processes and rules across brands or regions, but want to allow for 30% customization. An OMS should allow you to create a reusable set of templates for Business Rules & Processes that serves as the base fulfillment logic for each new region or brands. You should then be able to modify them to meet local or brand specific requirements. That way you can accelerate rollout, and bring on new brands or regions in a matter of weeks..

Enable staff to use their local language

Finally, as you expand into new geographic regions, make sure staff can use the system in their local language. Especially store staff who pick and pack online orders. This reduces training time, and user errors—which can be particularly important if you use seasonal workers to support your peak season.

Multiply the opportunities

Often, ‘Multi’ organizations don’t take advantage of their joint power as much as they could. Their inventory and location data sits in siloed systems. Moreover, they lack the technology for a unified approach. But with a flexible, MACH certified OMS you can break down those silos. This means you can truly reap the benefits of scale.

By using a single system to manage all your orders and stock availability around the world, you can offer a fully integrated cross brand experience and get more value from every unit of stock. But the real game changer? When you create reusable templates that let you roll out faster, technology is no longer a barrier to growth, but an enabler.