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Customers Favor Retailers Who Offer Ship-to-Store Service

Did you know that 47 percent of shoppers who pick up online orders at the store buy additional products during the visit? Although e-commerce sales are booming, people still prefer to shop in physical stores. These omnichannel consumers want the best of both worlds, and they expect retailers to deliver a seamless experience wherever they shop. Surprisingly, there is often a disconnect between the high volume of e-commerce home delivery orders versus the much lower rate for in-store pick-up. 

While consumers are willing to pick up online orders in-store, many small-to-medium-size retailers have been slow to offer customers a ship-to-store option. However, research by the Forrester Group indicates such a move would be well-received by consumers.

  • 47 percent of shoppers use in-store pick-up to avoid shipping fees
  • 25 percent feel they will get their products sooner
  • 10 percent find it more convenient than waiting for a delivery

These shoppers also say they find it easier to go to a physical location to return purchases and talk to someone on the store’s staff who can give expert advice.

Increases the Bottom Line
Retailers who choose not to provide ship-to-store as an option may consider it a hassle that’s not worth the time and effort required to get the operation running smoothly. Store owners must invest in new technology and training to get employees up to speed. Additionally, retailers may think the process of shipping from the warehouse or vendor is too long for customers to wait. Whenever you try something new, glitches will stall the process. For retailers, this comes with the territory when you operate a business. 

However, the growth opportunities outweigh the initial challenges. Online shoppers can now access thousands of products typically only available at home improvement stores. Consumers who may have previously been unaware of your business can now decide to order products and visit your store. Many people know that some items will take time to receive regardless of what online vendor gets their order. After making the purchase, the ability to speak to someone particularly appeals to Gen Z and millennial consumers.

Compete with Other Retailers
People prefer retailers who offer solutions that make their lives easier. Retailers who opt not to provide ship-to-store pick-up risk losing customers to competitors. The service enables customers to check out immediately available goods and those that may take time to be delivered to the store. Giving good service requires listening to customers and taking action to solve the problem. Customers want to do what is most convenient—this includes driving to the store to pick up a purchase. A study conducted by the CFI group says 78 percent of consumers feel the service is important or very important to them.

Generates More Add-on Sales
A study conducted by PYMTS in collaboration with Cybersource stated, “Among the roughly 9 million U.S. consumers who acquired their most recent online orders on-site, 47 percent say they buy other items either often or every time they pick up an online purchase in-store. Another 17 percent say they purchase additional items when picking up their orders in-store some of the time.” As a result, 5.5 million consumers spend additional dollars in physical stores on unplanned purchases. Offering customers 
in-store pick-up also has other benefits that directly impact sales.

  • Increase in online sales based on customer’s ability to ship orders to store
  • More shoppers and traffic generated for brick-and-mortar stores
  • Product assortment can expand to accommodate online sales

Select the Right Technology
The technology retailers choose to facilitate ship-to-store pick up should enable communications between e-commerce and the physical store. Giving customers the ability to check inventory in real-time will help them determine if goods are available for immediate pick-up. Consumers prefer engaging in a seamless omnichannel experience that is similar in structure.

Retailers may prefer to start simply by allowing shoppers to see what is available on their website. The next step could be shipping items from the warehouse or distribution center to the store. The final and more complex phase displays inventory in real-time to enable same-day pick-up.

Now is the best time to offer ship-to-store pick-up. The pandemic has pre-disposed people to use time wisely and take advantage of services that make their lives easier. So, ship-to-store pick-up will become increasingly popular with shoppers. 

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