As consumers become increasingly more demanding in their desire for an efficient and unified shopping experience, the role of the retail store is shifting. Brick and mortar fulfillment solutions, such as ship-from-store and in-store pick-up, are gaining in popularity and retailers are working diligently to incorporate these offerings into their omnichannel strategies.
And it makes sense – In-store pickup is a win-win fulfillment option for all involved. In-store pickup helps shoppers get their products quickly and on their schedule, while eliminating shipping expenses and driving in-store sales for retailers.
But just because in-store pickup is a smart strategy doesn’t mean it is easy to implement. If you look at the retail landscape today, who is doing in-store pickup, and more importantly, who is doing it well? To find out, Kibo paired up with Multichannel Merchant and the e-tailing group to develop a buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) mystery shopping study that would shed light on the consumer experience. Of the 30 leading retailers we mystery shopped, we discovered many interesting insights, but perhaps the most eye opening was this:
We found that 90 percent of store associates had access to store inventory, and that 87 percent of them could place orders through a register (81 percent), mobile POS (19 percent) or tablet (7 percent).
But when we requested the item in a different color or size that was not in stock in the store, only 7 percent attempted to save the sale.
So nearly every retail store gave its associates access to inventory and the ability to place an order for the customer, but only two of the 30 retailers attempted to save the sale. Where is the disconnect? Traditionally, the divide falls into two categories:
No. 1: Cumbersome technology: How easy is your store technology to use? Are you asking employees to place orders and look up inventorythrough your warehouse management system, inventory management system or legacy point of sale software? To encourage store associate engagement,empower them with an intuitive retail associate platform that easily shows inventory availability and customer history in one simple screen.
To today’s digitally savvy store associates, cumbersome and clunky interfaces, with ugly screens and disjointed tools are obstructions to accomplishing a task. Give them the tools found in a modern point of sale solution to make it easy to place an order. One simple screen, with large images, customer history, related product suggestions and access to the same promotions and discounts offered on the website will help your store associates save the sale.
And don’t underestimate the power mobile technology can bring to the table. By giving store associates the intuitive tools right at their fingertips, you can make it easy for them to help an employee from anywhere in the store, on a device they are familiar with.
No. 2: Organizational misalignment: While omnichannel fulfillment may be a top priority at HQ, it doesn’t always trickle down to the individual store associate. Empowering store associates to embrace your omnichannel initiatives, such as in-store pickup, requires not only the right technology, but a devotion of resources and training to obtain your desired shopping experience.
When looking to implement in-store pickup, or tweak an existing strategy, ask yourself: What programs do I have in place to train employees? Is the retail associate platform easy to train on? Do I offer incentives or rewards to employees who save the sale? How often do I work with my associates to make sure they understand our omnichannel objectives every time a customer walks in the store?
No one will pretend that empowering store associates to embrace your omnichannel strategies is easy. But instead of introducing roadblocks with outdated, clunky technology, you can make it easier for store associates by giving them an intuitive, easy to use mobile point of sale system.Download the full Buy Online, Pickup in Store Mystery Shopping Study here, complete with in-store pickup must-have requirements and areas for improvement, and begin planning and optimizing your in-store pickup strategy.