Over the holiday shopping season, retailers earned a failing grade when it came to managing in-store pickup for items purchased online. According to StellaService, up to 25 percent of consumers had problems when trying to pick up a purchase ordered online.
Those specific problems ranged across several different errors in brands’ inventory management. The top problem was timely fulfillment of orders–eight percent of consumers said that they were informed via email that same-day orders and pickups wouldn’t be available until the following day.
Other leading problems were an inability to find items on a website, technical issues when shopping online, out-of-stock items, and failures to notify customers when items were ready for pickup.
Many retailers have tried to leverage in-store pickup as a convenient alternative to online ordering, giving shoppers quicker access to products than even fast, high-priced shipping options. Consumers are interested, and this shopping option can be a boon in the war to win consumers from online retail.
But in 2015, at least, the experience was lacking.
A Need For Fast, Efficient Service
StellaService notes that the average response time for same-day pickup was 9.7 hours. That’s far below what consumers are expecting, and it’s souring in-store experiences for those customers.
In order to provide the fast, efficient service shoppers want, though, retailers have to do a better job of managing in-store operations. Inventory must be managed and updated in real-time, associates should be dialed in to the latest in-store pickup orders, and communication must be quick and precise with shoppers.
This is where improved in-store technology, such as an assisted selling tool, can be a huge help to operations. With assisted selling tools, associates could collaborate on moving inventory, pulling items off of shelves, sending notifications and ensuring that customers are satisfied with their experience.
During peak periods of same-day pickup orders, retailers can dedicate associates to working exclusively on order fulfillment. Brands should focus on fulfilling orders as quickly as possible. Even if a customer won’t be walking through the doors five minutes after they place an order, they’ll be thrilled to receive an update on their order so quickly.
By proving themselves as reliable brands, retailers can foster better customer experiences and more reliable business from shoppers in the future.
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