Should store associates deliver online orders?
Zumiez, the teen chain geared toward skateboarders and snowboarders, has launched a program that puts store associates to use delivering online orders directly to customers’ doors.
At last week’s ICR Conference 2021, Rick Brooks, Zumiez’s CEO, said the overall goal of Zumiez Delivery is to bring the chain’s “amazing salespeople” to customers’ front doors “to create a new kind of brand experience.”
“What we’re trying to do is always localize our brand experience,” said Mr. Brooks. “And with that, we’re always trying to connect our customers and our employees because that is a fundamental part of our brand experience, where our product, customers and employees connect to create amazing experiences.”
As an example, Mr. Brooks said a store associate may help a kid test ride their first skateboard in a driveway.
Chris Work, CFO, said the chain long recognized outsourcing delivery wasn’t in sync with the chain’s “one-channel” focus. He said, “What’s so cool about it is it’s an awesome thing for our customers. It’s a surprise and delight in showing up and saying ‘Thank you!’ at the door.”
Only about five percent of Zumiez’s online sales were delivered by Zumiez Delivery over November and December. The initial launch was limited to trade areas with multiple stores that could support the consolidation of orders. The chain fulfills all online orders with in-store inventory.
For staff, the program provides extra working hours that, in some cases, qualifies part-timers for full-time employment and benefits. Mimicking a pizza delivery model, store associates use their own cars to make deliveries.
In the future, Zumiez plans to explore showing new products, providing advice and upselling, and handling exchanges or returns — all from a customer’s front door.
Mr. Brooks said, “The feedback that we’ve received from customers has been amazing about this experience. Even to the point where we’ve received notes that say, ‘Hey, Bryce came to my door!’. This was so cool that they knew their local salesperson, and that is a brand experience I don’t think can be replaced.”
- ICR Conference 2021: Zumiez Inc. – Zumiez
- Zumiez (ZUMZ) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros than cons in delivery via store associates? Are certain retailers better positioned to take advantage of this type of service strategy than others?