Advanced Omni-channel: Pickup Lockers
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Advanced Omni-Channel: Pickup Lockers

Another advanced omni-channel capability are retailers’ use of in-store pickup lockers. In-store lockers give you the benefit of having customers come in to the store to collect their merchandise. They are a fast, lineup-free pickup option that improves customer satisfaction. Although growth in Europe has been healthy, this option is still largely unexploited in North America, for example. For retailers where pickup lockers are still a rarity, there is a beneficial innovation effect as well. .

Why Use Them at All?

Pickup Lockers are a self service mechanism. Customers don't have to find a store associate to complete their transaction.

Remember the Bell and Howell study about click and collect for 2017 ? This latest study reconfirmed that when shoppers complete an in-store pickup, they purchase more goods during 59% of their pickups. This is a clear and distinct advantage over online only commerce. Where a customer would only purchase what they immediately want online, they are likely to purchase more when they complete an omni-channel transaction and pickup the goods themselves. This revenue boost is exactly what all retailers want.

Speed Counts

Because pickup lockers are a self-service pickup spots, it means customers don’t have to wait on or find a store employee to complete their transaction. In fact, most of the time you can walk right up to a pickup locker, key in your code, open the right locker with your goods, and walk out with your items.

It is fast. It is efficient. No waiting. No lineup hassles. All told, it is a great experience both for the time conscious, and for those who just despite a line-up. For both cases, customer satisfaction points upward.

Again referring to the Bell and Howell 2017 Click and Collect study, 56% of customers like and use omni-channel retail because it is fast, and 22% claimed they use it to avoid line-ups. In both cases, using a pickup locker as an advance omni-channel offering, is a winning scenario.

 

Will the Real OMS Please Stand Up Whitepaper

 

Unexploited Territory

From a casual observation of the OrderDynamics Omni-1000 research – pickup lockers are still not the norm. Most retailers have opted for a pickup desk, currently. The interesting opportunity at the moment is for early adopter retailers to expressly call out that they helping their customers with speed, line-up free options, and service convenience. Advertise, and perhaps create a small contest bringing attention to the pickup lockers. The more consumers know about this convenient option, the more likely they will try it out, and ultimately use it. At the very least it will help capture the early adopter and innovator crowds – which often point to Millennials and Generation Z shoppers.

Branding Halo Pickup lockers associate your retail brand with cutting edge adoption, and being focused on the customer experience.

With a limited set of retailers actively using pickup lockers there is a positive brand effect that comes into play. Use this feature and capability to associate your retail brand with cutting edge adoption, and being focused on the customer experience. Alternatively focus on the speed, and hassle free part, to draw in more customers who might want to try it.

Are Lockers the Future?

In a discussion about pickup lockers and their importance in a well rounded omni-channel strategy, Larry Blue, Chief Operating Officer of Bell and Howell highlights several points. Blue points out that, “it is more than any one aspect that give in-store lockers such potential. It is about the ability to deliver what a customer wants and needs, fast. The distribution centers were not really set up for ecommerce. Pickup lockers help get parcels and packages to stores, securely, quickly, and avoid the long lineups that shoppers endure today. It also helps with the impulse buys as a result of increasing foot traffic in stores.”

Without a doubt, this is a fascinating new development in the omni-channel space. It isn’t for all shoppers, especially those who crave human contact. However, it is a means to focus on the convenience, security and speed factor, for your customers. As Blue highlights, increasing foot traffic by getting customers to come into stores leads to more impulse purchases. That’s good for the shopper who gets everything they need, and a bonus for the retailer as the sales revenue grows.

Don’t be Shy!

Encourage your customers to try out your pickup lockers. In fact, if they like it, encourage them to show off their purchase, and pickup option on social. Don’t forget to encourage them to also tell their friends about their positive experience, in person. Word of mouth is still one of the best sales and marketing vehicles. Get the word out there, and don’t be shy about asking your customers to help deliver that message! They will be part of the ‘in-crowd’ having been an early adopter, after all.

 

Author:

Charles Dimov - Director Marketing OrderDynamicsCharles Dimov is Director of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.

 

 

 

Related: 

Advanced Order Management, What is it Truly?

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2017 Click and Collect Study Confirms 59% of Omni-Channel Retail Shoppers Buy More!