Joann has teamed up with Radius Networks to launch a location-based curbside pickup and BOPIS solution, FlyBuy, the company announced last week.
The technology allows the retailer to have an ETA on the time a customer is going to pick up an order, prioritize order fulfillment based on those arrival times, meet customers with their delivery orders and deliver orders without contact, according to the company press release.
Since introducing the technology, the retailer found that some customers waited less than a minute for their orders, and more than 80% of all customers across the country waited less than three minutes.
Joann noted that its holiday season began with Halloween, and the retailer wanted to have an automated order-ahead system in place beforehand. Knowing when customers would arrive has allowed the retailer to become more efficient in stores and with curbside pickup order fulfillment, Melissa Cook, director of Omni Channel & Store Process at Joann, said in a statement.
The company also emphasized the importance of curbside and in-store pickup given that more shoppers are using those services now compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey from BlackFriday.com and SurveyGizmo found that half of respondents planned to use curbside or contactless pickup this holiday season.
The coronavirus pandemic has put Joann in a unique position. The retailer had to close its stores temporarily in the spring due to the pandemic, even as its products were in high demand and online sales surged as consumers sought to purchase fabric. Those factors pushed the company to rethink its e-commerce and fulfillment strategies.
The retailer isn't alone in retooling its workforce and omnichannel services to serve online customers. In April, Walmart expanded its contactless options for in-store shopping, curbside pickup and delivery. With the holidays fast approaching, Walmart, Amazon, Nordstrom and Target have each brought on staff to prepare for the upcoming shopping season, many of whom will work on fulfilling BOPIS and e-commerce operations.