The fast fulfillment trend that started with Amazon’s two-day delivery isn’t just picking up speed, it’s reshaping the way even brick-and-mortar retailers manage the final mile. Nearly 67% of shoppers surveyed have used Buy Online Pickup In-Store services in the last six months, according to the cloud-based omnichannel commerce platform KIBO.
That’s a lot of 5-minute store visits for an industry built on luring customers further down the aisle.
After decades spent carefully balancing in-store convenience with experiences designed to stretch out customers’ shopping trips, many companies are wondering how to adapt to this sea change in the way customers want to shop. Luckily, some of the world’s largest and most innovative retailers have already made their strategy clear: they’re leaning in.
If you’ve got a TV then you’ve probably seen a “Target Run & Done” ad. The global brand, which introduced order pickup back in 2013, launched the new campaign earlier this year to highlight their increasingly convenient order pick-up and delivery options. And Target is backing those commercials up with the expansion of a push notification-powered parking lot carry-out service, slated to rollout in at least 270 new locations later this year.
Kroger is another major retailer banking on drive-up convenience to drive an increase in sales. Shopping for groceries is changing quickly at this national chain, where online sales rose 66% in the first quarter of 2018. Kroger’s ClickList app lets busy families create shopping lists from commonly purchased items, order ahead and pick-up groceries in designated drive-up zones.
Of course, when you need to pick up the main ingredients for avocado toast and an online order, there’s only one retailer to turn to: Amazon. Since the retail powerhouse installed Amazon Lockers at select Whole Foods locations, micro-trips to the grocery store chain have jumped nearly 9%. Amazon Lockers are giving the brand two bites at the apple: first, when shoppers buy online (where 34% of them spend more than they would in-store); and second, at order pick-up (when small in-store impulse buys can add extra revenue). Smart.
Walmart’s answer to Amazon Lockers (and the challenge of fulfilling nearly $3.2 billion in online orders during 2018’s first quarter)? More Pickup Towers. Today, there are only 200 of these floor to ceiling in-store kiosks—which use a combination of mobile technology, barcode scanners and a hidden system of lockers and conveyor belts to serve up customer orders—in existence. But if the retail giant reaches its goal to install 500 new Pickup Towers in 2018, around 40% of the US population will have access to fast tower pickup technology—and the discounts Walmart offers customers who choose in-store pickups for online-only products—by the end of the year.
These innovators aren’t encouraging shoppers to linger, but at NET, we believe the results they’re achieving will have a lasting influence on retail technology. According to the National Retail Foundation, 68% of customers who’ve combined online shopping with in-store pickup say the technology and service improved their shopping experience. And we can help your stores get there. Talk to a Net technology specialist today about the services and solutions that can make 5-minute trips to your retail locations a satisfying and profitable reality.