Best Buy’s strategy of shipping products directly to customers from 50 of their 1,500 stores was executed well in late-2013 and especially over the holidays, according to StellaService, which monitors various aspects of retail customer service.
The ship-from-store fulfillment policy even led to shipping times that beat Amazon’s stellar record during the holiday shopping season, StellaService said.
The finding is similar to one by a much smaller Canadian apparel retailer, Eclipse, which, in an effort to cut down on split shipments and save money, ended up shipping 94% of its online orders from its stores rather than its warehouse.
This finding by retailers — that ship-from-store sometimes beats warehousing — could be a fluke. It certainly sounds like it would take more tricky inventory tracking and added work by store staff. Yet both Best Buy and Canadian clothier Eclipse have reportedly found success by treating their stores as mini-warehouses. With customers impatient to have their orders fulfilled quickly, ship-to-store could be one way to achieve the kinds of shipping speeds consumers now assume are consistently accomplished by Amazon, Nordstrom, and other retailers with good shipping reputations.