Remember when the norm was to drive to a physical store to buy everything? But amid all the hype over one-day delivery — and even one-hour delivery — many people have written off that task as an errand of the past.
However, recently many brands have noticed a resurgence in their customers’ desire to take control over that last mile, which has led to the growing popularity of “order and pickup,” a channel that is capturing significant interest and dollars.
What’s driving this trend? Our on-demand world. Customers want what they want, when they want it, and increasingly, they are choosing this third channel that bridges the gap between bricks and clicks.
“Consumers are starting all their shopping trips on their mobile, and order and pickup allows retailers to tap into the growth in mobile shopping while removing the barriers that delivery presents,” says Rakuten Ready CEO and Co-Founder, Jaron Waldman.
The Best of Both Worlds
Order and pickup closes the loop between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar and removes the frustrations inherent in each as a stand-alone channel.
Today’s customer often doesn’t have time to browse racks and hope the item they want is available in inventory. At the same time, they have soured on the promise of delivery; among the recent chief complaints are a late scheduled delivery, damaged or faulty items or that what they wanted wasn’t in inventory.
Customers are voting for this third method with their dollars: On the critical shopping weekend kicked off by Black Friday, “Buy Online, Pickup In-Store” (BOPIS) had a record 50 percent increase from 2017 to 2018.
And while order and pickup solves several pain points for customers—from saving time and money to increasing convenience—brands realize it’s helping their bottom line, too.
The Order And Pickup Solution
This fusion of the online and physical worlds has many benefits for brands:
- Drives sales. The order and pickup customer represents incremental dollars. Rakuten Ready research found that 15% of shoppers said they would not have made their purchase without the ability to order ahead and pickup themselves and nearly one-quarter of shoppers purchased incremental items during pickup.
In addition, it creates customer loyalty by offering experiences that are so easy and convenient that those joyful experiences lead to greater brand preference. More than 94% of consumers using order and pickup were satisfied with the experience and are likely to use it again.
- Increases personalization. The only way to compete against the online behemoths is to connect with the customer. Rather than removing the brand from the transaction, order and pickup technology enables merchants to get closer to their visitors.
“We often ask our partners how they would personalize an experience if they were aware of exactly when a top-tier customer was stopping by. Would they greet the client by name? Stock the dressing room with favorite designers? The Rakuten Ready ARRIVE technology offers them the chance to be ready and waiting to make the most of that encounter,” says Waldman.
- Provides value to the customer. Most customers love to save on delivery fees, but there’s another commodity that everyone, no matter their tax bracket, believes they don’t have enough of–time. Order and pickup technology allows brands to provide a competitive advantage that meets a real need—giving customers time back in their day.
Using a platform that makes the purchase experience seamless and convenient underscores the benefit you provide in making their life easier.
- Tames the delivery monster. Even as brands embrace the online order and delivery model, they realize it presents a host of challenges: the high cost of delivery; the dissatisfaction consumers feel with the experience; or, the missed opportunities when brands deliver the wrong goods or fail to make a meaningful touchpoint.
If today’s customer is on-the-go anyway, they don’t want to wait for their goods—or risk having the wrong item delivered. “Order and pickup allows brands to transition from the ‘delivery-only’ world where margins are being clobbered, with the added opportunity to create a better customer experience,” Waldman says.
How Rakuten Ready Can Enhance Each Customer Experience
In today’s on-demand world, the best way for brands to set themselves apart is through personalized service, and the Rakuten Ready platform is built entirely to deliver great experiences. Our predictive arrival technology makes order ahead and pickup work seamlessly every time, dramatically improving the convenience of in-store pickup.
Find out how RakutenReady.com can help you connect with your mobile-first customers at the exact moment they need you most.