In-Store Pickup Services: The Great Canadian Secret
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Categories: Click & Collect

In-Store Pickup Services: The Great Canadian Secret

Reading through all the industry and analyst reports, would give anyone a solid feeling that in North America, in-store pickup services are the norm. Specifically, some reports even boldly state that ‘62% of North American retailers offer BOPUS’. However, even though most consumers in the region know of click and collect services, and options, when you look at the actual stores, and offerings a shopper can use today – it simply is not as commonplace as suggested. Furthermore, it is a far stretch to suggest to shoppers that MOST stores and retailers now offer the service. In fact, the  OrderDynamics Omni-1000 Canada report shows that only 23.5% of Canadian retailers offer in-store pickup, based on online orders.

Where is Retail Marketing?

23.5% of Canadian retailers offer in-store pickup servicesShockingly, of the 23.5% of Canadian retailers who actually offer in-store pickup services, only 51.1% advertise it on the first page of their website. Of the 200 Canadian retail websites reviewed, only 47 of had signs indicating in-store pickup services. Furthermore, of these only 24 actually inform shoppers of the service on the front page. This is a peculiarity that needs to change. If you offer the value add service don’t hide it!

As retailers, if you go through the challenge of launching an omnichannel strategy, make sure it includes your marketing team. Tell customers about the additional options they now have, with your brand. Additionally, create an ad or two for your remarketing campaigns, and own website pop-up ads, or sidebar ads. At the very least, at the top of the page right next to your ‘Free Shipping on Orders of $75+’ include a line that states ‘Try In-Store Pickup’ or ‘Click and Collect‘.

The chart below shows a full range of the retail industry sub-sectors reviewed, with details of in-store pickup services availability, first page ads, how-to instructions, and pickup notifications – stated. Retailers should find this an indicative benchmark by which to compare themselves.


Click and Collect broken down by subsectors

Why Show Click & Collect Up Front?

49% of Canadian retailers did not inform customers up-front about the offering. Rather, it showed up at the last stage of purchase, on checkout. Only showing shoppers the in-store pickup services at the end of the journey misses the mark. It risks losing customers along the way. With shorter and shorter attention spans, this is not entirely unlikely.  For example, a customer who is in a hurry to get an item may want to use in-store pickup services for the speed. For them, they are pressed to make a decision fast, and base their choice on up-front information. Few will follow through on each retailer’s store to find out at the end of the purchase, whether click and collect is an option. When you’re in a hurry, you are not going to research.

Simple lesson: Canadian retailers – add a line to your front page stating that you offer in-store pickup services, for the shoppers’ convenience, and hassle free speed.


Are Retailers Truly Offering Omnichannel? Find out in benchmark report.


‘How-To’ Instructions

Fortunately, three quarters (74.5%) of retailers who offer omnichannel services in Canada – DO provide instructions on how to complete the orders. It can still be daunting for shoppers who are new to the service. That’s why you want to make sure shoppers have some basic instructions on how your pickup service works. Several retailers did a very effective job of providing simple, understandable and even graphic instructions on how to place and pickup an order. Our favourite retailers for instructions include Henry’s Camera, Roots Canada, and Swimco. Home Depot Canada also had the particularly good idea of providing a simple, home grown video showing customers exactly how to complete a click and collect order, then how to pick it up at the store. Well done!

Henry's Example Click and Collect

Pickup Alerts

Offering customers a pickup notification choice, is a differentiator customers appreciateThankfully, most retailers offering in-store pickup services advise that they will notify the customer when the order is ready to collect. Our chart shows that 80.9% of retailers inform prospective customers that they will be contacted. However, we believe that all (100%) retailers are actively sending a message to inform customer about a pickup. Some probably forgot to mention it on their website or in their T&C’s section.

Of the notification methods, email is most popular, followed by a text message, then followed by telephone notification. While the telephone call is probably more popular than highlighted on the retailer sites, calling the customer was least stated of the three contact methods.

If you are a retailer considering an omnichannel strategy, remember that a good order management system (OMS) includes flexible communications. Remember that a good OMS will connect to various other communication systems to provide email, text messages, twitter direct messages, Facebook alerts, Snapchat messages, and so on. However, the OrderDynamics Omni-1000 study of the Canadian market found no retailers with more than 2 notification options. Given the buying power importance of Millennials, and Generation Z; retailers may want to revisit the options they offer customers on notifications. At the moment, offering customers a choice, might be a small differentiator that your Millennial and GenZ shoppers appreciate.

OrderDynamics Omni-1000

For more details on omnichannel retail in the Canadian market download your own free copy of the research. This research is based on a direct assessment what retailer currently offer today, from an omnichannel retail perspective.

The full OrderDynamics Omni-1000 Global report compares omni-channel capabilities of various retail markets around the world. The research reviews over 1000 retail websites to assess the current omni-channel capabilities and market offerings. This report is also free to review.

Please share your observations of the report socially, and kindly do share your thoughts with colleagues in the industry. Also, don’t forget to copy us on your shares. 🙂


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.





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