The Final Delivery Game: Ship From Store, In-Store Pickup, or Lockers?

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Published March 24, 2014

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by Lisa Kennedy
Project Manager, Tompkins International

 

Which of the delivery options in the title do you think will best resonate with your customers?

Companies are offering a variety of alternatives to ease customers’ e-commerce transactions. But will retailers need to offer every option in order to be competitive? Consider this: once you lock in a consumer, is it easier from a loyalty perspective once the hook of the online order and pickup is in place?

Lockers seem to be a viable option with companies such as Newegg, GNC, PetSmart, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Drugstore.com, and The Blue Nile Advantage. These companies have lockers that allow little to no wait time for customers to get their items. The items are stored in a place where all sales associates know where to find them and how to pick up the order (i.e., check ID, provide order number, and/or obtain signature).

On a recent Walmart visit, I found the pickup location was the same as the layaway counter in the back of the store. Two layaways later it was finally my turn, and then I had to wait another three minutes to get my package. This felt like an eternity after all the time I had to wait.

A locker seems like a viable solution, especially in areas where there is no brick and mortar. I noticed they do have lockers behind the checkout counter at a local Walgreens. The locker solution appears to have advantages in terms of easing the backend of the transaction, but is it also a solution to have lockers outside brick and mortars.

Here at Tompkins, we recommend piloting several delivery options to see which one works for your company and current operations. There may be more than one solution based on location (urban vs. rural), products, and customer demographics.

How is your company handling new customer delivery expectations? And if you are testing out options, what are you finding?

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Photo By: Lydia

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I understand that Tompkins will only use this information to contact me about business opportunities. By completing this form I am confirming that I have read and accept the Privacy Policy.