3 Reasons Why In-Store Pickup Should Be Part of Your Omni-Channel Retail Strategy
Omni-channel features like in-store pickup can help to give brick-and-mortar stores a boost over online-only rivals in the competition for consumer dollars.
Even though an article on the Econsultancy website notes that in-store pickup is more popular in the United Kingdom than in the United States, there are three key reasons retailers should consider offering the service.
- It supports consumer shopping habits: The obvious reason to offer in-store pickup is that it mimics the way many customers like to shop. According to Econsultancy’s research, 94 percent of consumers responding to an online survey reported that they always or sometimes research the web before purchasing an item. A lot of people are purchasing products online, but they still want the instant gratification of receiving their purchase right away. When ordering from most e-commerce sites, it takes at least a day — and usually several days — for the product to arrive.
- It makes shopping easy: Another obvious benefit is that in-store pickup makes shopping simpler for the consumer. They are able to save time because it eliminates the hassle of visiting several stores to find the specific product. Also, in-store pickup is a great way to increase sales because it’s convenient for customers, and it gets them into your store. By providing their instant gratification, you are helping to build customer loyalty.
- It is a way to gain leverage: In-store pickup is a feature that most online retailers can’t offer, so it’s a great way for brick-and-mortar retailers to gain an edge. With in-store pickup, customers don’t have to pay a shipping fee and can get the item the same day rather than waiting for the item to arrive at their home. In-store pickup is an especially valuable feature during the holiday shopping season because retailers can offer the service every day, while shipping requires a deadline in order for the product to arrive by a specific date, such as Christmas.
These are just a handful of the many benefits of in-store pickup. The key for retailers when offering in-store pickup is to ensure that the product is there for the customer when they arrive. That means retailers must know the inventory levels at each individual store. Then they need a process to make sure the item isn’t sold before the customer comes to pick it up.
A retail ERP system can reserve the item and mark that it shouldn’t be for sale, but the system can’t physically stop someone else from buying it. It’s up to the retailer to alert an employee at the store to remove the product from the shelves and put it in a place designed for in-store pickup. With the help of a retail ERP system, retailers can make in-store pickup an important part of their omni-channel strategy.
Source: Econsultancy, August 2013