Student working on a research project.

Online Order Fulfillment With Same Day Delivery From Local Stores

Among all the online sales, online grocery shopping draws people’s attention most recently. Online grocery is estimated to be a 6 billion market, with 9.5% growth rate (Supermarket News 2012).Over the past five years, online grocery sales have expanded as larger brick-and-mortar retailers began to offer internet shopping and online-only retailers (e-tailers) joined in the competition. Consumer demand for convenience, time-savings and variety has driven the shift to virtual space as mobile internet connections rise and per capita disposable income recovers. Revenue is anticipated to continue its upward momentum in the next five years; however, external competition from large e-tailers will continue to pose a threat for traditional grocery store based retailers (e.g. Walmart ToGo, versus Amazon Fresh, ebay Now, Peapod, Meijer, Netgrocer, and etc.).
Order fulfillment can be considered as part of customer promise and customer service. It plays a significant role in online grocery business. Compared with e-tailers, traditional retailers can maintain strong customer relationship by fulfilling online orders promptly with nearby local stores. For example, 60 percent of the entire U.S. population lives within 5 miles of a Wal-Mart location and 96 percent are within 20 miles (Zook and Graham 2006). Such giant traditional retailers (e.g. Wal-Mart, Target, and etc.) can leverage their existing physical infrastructure network to compete with large e-tailers (e.g. ebay, Amazon, and etc.). The project aims to develop several same-day delivery strategies for online order fulfillment with local physical stores. The project consists of two stages of development: seasonal planning and daily operations. The first stage involves fleet sizing and store replenishment over a season. The second handles dynamic real-time order sourcing and delivery decisions. Students are expected to work with PI in this project to review industry literature, collect and process data, and build optimization models.

Research Project Information

Disciplines: Industrial and Systems Engineering; Operations Research; Logistics
Student Skill-Set Needed: Basic Microsoft Office skills; Ability to perform literature search with Google; Basic optimization skills
Compensation: Academic Credit, Salary / Stipend, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Qing He
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Industrial And Systems Engineering