The influence of mobile technology on retail in this century has been truly astounding. By 2003, 95 million people around the globe made a payment via their mobile device. By 2015, there were 500 million users making 50 billion transactions for a total volume of 610 billion USD. With mobile wallet growth on the rise, could it be the next subset of mobile commerce to reap the benefits of a mobile hungry populace? Over the last five years, m-commerce has enjoyed a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that is showing little sign of slowing down. If brick and mortar retail is still king, what will it take to bring mobile wallet adoption out of the hands of early adopters and into the hearts and minds of shoppers worldwide?
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Gregg Aamoth, CEO and Co-Founder of omnichannel solution provider POPcodes and a former VP of Customer Marketing Systems and Privacy at Macy’s, is a heavy proponent of the buy online, pickup in-store trend and believes this model creates the most seamless shopping experience across all channels. The model also is known to strip down the hassle of pricing, as 86% of consumers who order products online and pick them up in the store want to avoid shipping fees, according to a POPcodes survey.
In the below Q&A, Aamoth details the buy online, in-store pickup process, and explains why it provides an added convenience that other delivery models do not.
Today’s consumers expect to shop when they want and get what they need as quickly as possible, so it’s no surprise that more and more retailers are offering omnichannel options. Every retailer has different priorities, but the goal is the same – to offer consumers the most streamlined, convenient and satisfying shopping experience imaginable. This means providing a retail experience that isn’t either physical or digital anymore – but physical with digital. When it comes to fulfillment options, this means online purchase, in-store pickup.
The demand for buy online, pick up in store is higher than ever. According to Jarrett Streebin, CEO of San Francisco-based shipping firm EasyPost, in-store pickups for online purchases grew 15 percent in November, and will grow again in 2015. Unfortunately, many retailers are hesitant to implement this fulfillment model as a result of misguided perceptions. In reality, implementing in-store pickup is not nearly as expensive, complicated or narrowly-desired as they think. Here is the truth behind three common misconceptions about in-store pickup:
The onset of 2015 marked a huge change in shipping costs, and as a result retailers are struggling to find ways to maintain their bottom lines. As of Jan. 1, packages are now being evaluated by their “dimensional weight,” or volume, instead of determining price by weight alone. Experts say that the when combined with other annual rate hikes and surcharges, the resulting average rate increases will be as high as 30% or more.
Unfortunately, retailers are being forced to make sacrifices in the name of customer service in order to soften the blow. Some are raising free-shipping minimums, some are raising prices, and others are cutting free shipping altogether. But for the 68% of retailers already offering free delivery, cutting free shipping would take a serious toll on customer satisfaction.
So what exactly is this main goal? According to Aamoth, its getting the customer to fulfill an online order efficiently, while bringing them to a physical location where they can shop for additional items and drive incremental sales in both channels. Ace Hardware, for example, claims to have seen an average lift of 18% to 20% in e-commerce sales since installing in-store pickup.
The advantages of buying online and picking up in-store don’t end with the money saved on shipping costs. Directing customers into the store to complete their transaction results in major net gains for retailers, as two out of every three consumers shop for additional items when picking up a product in store, according to a recent POPcodes survey. The opportunity to upsell is unique to the in-store experience, and when consumers have the option to test and try, they are much more likely to make incremental purchases.
As omnichannel becomes more of a business imperative, retailers are striving to provide the best experience possible, particularly during the order fulfillment and delivery process.
Whether through ship-from-store or in-store pickup, merchants are enabling consumers to have more of a say in when and how they receive their orders. These are not the only methods retailers are implementing, as some merchants are adding same-day delivery services and even free shipping to the mix.
Regardless of the delivery method retailers want to execute, they must first streamline and optimize their supply chain operations.