The present generation wants retailers to raise the bar on e-commerce delivery efforts including location and communication strategy. Over a third of global online shoppers (39.7%) reported challenges when receiving their online orders, with cost and speed being the biggest factors impacting satisfaction, according to “The Everyday Essentials of Successful E-Commerce Fulfilment,” a report from Radial.
E-commerce fulfillment is one of the biggest elements impacting customer experience today and to get this right, companies are finding innovative techniques. In India, D Mart has pen multiple delivery centres or pick-up points in catchment areas, where it has a store, for its online customers. Christened ‘DMart Ready’, the centres will be 150-200-sqft stores that will act as pick-up points for customers who order products on its app.
In the US, many online retailers are expanding “locker” type pick-up locations to serve the growing number of shoppers for whom work or home delivery is impossible or inconvenient. This evolution of fulfilment option can help shopping retailers turn their stores into the ultimate merchandise lockers by integrating their online and in-store inventory and offering in-store pick-up, return and exchange services for online orders.
Take for example, Home Depot that has installed lockers near the front of its stores. Those who order merchandise online are directed to the rows of orange boxes, where they unlock the designated one and then leave without having to seek assistance from an employee.
According to Pymnts.com, Home Depot isn’t the only retailer seeing the in-store sales benefits of having lockers: Amazon’s Lockers, for example, may be encouraging shoppers to make quick trips to Whole Foods stores. Research from inMarket showed that “micro” visits — or those between three and five minutes — increased 11 percent at locations that had the lockers compared to a 7 percent rise in stores without lockers since last August, with reference to reports from March.
The idea is that Amazon customers who stop at Whole Foods won’t just visit the store to retrieve their packages: They might peruse the selection and purchase a drink or a promotional item. And, for Amazon, in particular, their trips also provide an opportunity for Whole Foods to make shoppers aware of changes at the grocery chain.
A different form factor is being used by Walmart for in- store pickup, it is installing what it calls "pickup towers," which will be hard for any shopper to miss. Standing 16-feet tall, the orange towers have a video screen where online purchasers simply swipe the order confirmation bar code from their phones. A conveyor belt delivers their merchandise to them.
Credits : Akhil Handa,Aparna Anand