According to recent statistics, upwards of 30% of consumers regularly pick up online orders in stores, but a majority of them have complaints about the experience. And in a separate poll of 5,000 consumers by Cognizant, more than 60% of people who used in-store pick-up reported some sort of dissatisfaction. Some of the most common issues are long wait times, items not being ready, and poor communication or confusion among customer service staff.
There’s no doubt that retailers value in-store pickup, but changes in technology and customers are forcing companies to rethink the way they operate. It’s imperative that businesses do everything they can to improve in-store pickup, and serve their customers quickly and efficiently.
Why retailers like in-store pickup
In-store pickup is popular among retailers for many reasons. First, it helps drive more customers into their stores, where they’re likely to make additional purchases. It also reduces the shipping costs required for home delivery. These cost savings, combined with the incremental sales increase, provides substantial ROI for in-store pickup. Home decor company Kirkland’s found that 70% of their revenue is derived from the order online, pickup in-store option.
It also creates additional opportunities to personalize the customer experience. Your associates will be able to offer relevant, additional items or provide them with coupons for items they’re seeking. This feeds into customer loyalty, as people develop a deeper sense of trust by dealing with your business face-to-face. One perfect example of this is Nordstrom. In 2015, they introduced mobile application features designed to streamline in-store pickup. Customers can message Nordstrom associates as they near the store, and the employee can then meet the customer outside with their item, so they don’t even have to get out of the car.
In-store pickup also makes things easier for the customer. Primarily, they’ll save money on having to pay for shipping costs. And ordering online often offers substantial discounts or coupons not found in store. Customers also save time. There’s a quick turnaround on item availability in brick and mortar locations, and the customer won’t have to wait additional time for shipping.
As mentioned, in-store pickup is a great vehicle to boost sales and increase the lifetime value of each customer. Recent statistics from order management provider, Shopatron, indicate that upwards of 40% of customers make additional purchases when they collect items in store. It also adds a human touch to the online buying experience, something they don’t get with home delivery. This personal touch and ability to address any other issues or needs in person increases customer satisfaction. Successful retailers are taking an omnichannel retail approach, combining their digital customer experience with the in person experience.
Improving the pay online, in-store pickup experience
If you already have an in-store pickup program, there are some things you can look at for potential improvements. You’ll want to look into offering special discounts or incentives to shop online, and pickup in store. While you might lose some margin up front to items purchased, over time you’ll make that up in the form of upsells and customer loyalty.
You also want to consider how quickly items are made available for purchase and in-store pickup. The faster you can sell an item and have the person pick it up in store, the better. In many cases, today’s customer expects same day ordering and pickup. In addition, make sure there’s a clearly marked in-store pickup area. You want the customer experience to be as seamless as possible, so don’t make consumers work to locate where to go.
Finally, focus on friendly customer service with your associates working the pickup area. You want the experience to be as personalized as possible, so make sure they’re able to access some past information about customer preferences, as well as their current order, to offer any other items they might need. They need to remember that in today’s omnichannel shopping environment, customers expect the entire experience to be based on their preferences.
Online ordering and in-store pickup can be a powerful combination for retailers. It allows brands to engage with their customers on a personal level, provide added convenience, and increase the overall sales value of each customer. By fine tuning your in-store pickup process, you’ll be able to get customers what they need faster, easier, and with an added personal touch.