Are stores offering clicks but messing up the collect part of orders?
A recent visit to the service counter at a big box store was an eye opener for me. While having my return processed, I was able to see what happens when a customer places an online order and chooses to pick up their purchase in the store. Details will follow, but in this particular case, it wasn’t pretty.
Upon entering the store, the customer went to the service counter and told a member of the counter staff he was there to pick up his order. The associate used her walkie-talkie to try and get someone in the backroom to bring the order out. Radio silence. Next, a page was made on the store intercom and, again, no response. At this point the service desk worker used her walkie-talkie to reach the assistant manager who promptly showed up at the service counter.
The assistant manager was able to reach the backroom on his walkie-talkie only to be told that it would take some time to bring the order out because other workers were on break. The voice on the other end of the line was not sure where the item was located. I stuck around for five minutes waiting to see how the issue would be resolved, but aside from the apologies offered by the service counter staff and assistant manager, not much else happened before I moved on.
Sources: Macy’s, Kmart, Nordstrom, Target
Over the years, I’ve heard from others about the pleasure and pain associated with buying online and picking up in store. Most of those anecdotal references were generally positive, although I can recall at least one friend swearing they would never shop at a given retailer again after waiting for an order only to be told the item was not in stock.
A report on The Wall Street Journal site yesterday, citing research by JDA Software, found that of the 35 percent of online shoppers who opt to pick up their orders, half had problems. It’s long been said that retail is detail, although it seems, based on this research, that there are still quite a few details for retailers to work out.
- Retailers Struggle Getting E-Commerce Goods to Customers, Study Says – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
What do you see as the biggest challenges for retailers attempting to successfully manage a buy online, pick up in-store system? Do you think most retailers offering this service have figured out how to make it work?