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Technology advances change consumers’ expectations of their shopping experience. They want the option of making the purchase online and then picking up in store. Retailers that can offer this option will be able to drive additional sales as customers who come into the store to pick up online orders are more likely to make additional purchases while in store. For retailers to be successful with the buy online and pick-up in-store option, they need to invest in technology that enables order allocation systems to locate every item in stock so as to fulfill the order in a timely manner.

Consumers have been spoiled by technology that allows them to shop for anything, anywhere, anytime and they want it delivered now. Multichannel retailers that offer the buy online and pick-up in-store option will be most appealing to their target market. For this option to be successful, retailers need to ensure that the products that show up as being available online, will actually be available in stock and ready for pick up.

The notification of sales to stores quickly and accurately is crucial for retailers to differentiate themselves. Retailers need to equip themselves with mobile task management technology to deliver outstanding customer experience. Mobile task management technology is a wireless network and a mobile device than receives demand notification and enables a speedy response. This solution allows the associate closest to the ordered item to physically pull it and verify its availability.

For the buy online and pick-up in-store option to be successful, the retailer must be able to move the product along its supply chain smoothly, effectively and efficiently with the intention of delivering a single order to an individual customer. That is what enables the retailer to deliver an outstanding in-store pick-up experience, and in return, brings the customer back to the store in the future.

Discussion Question:

What will retailers need to be able to do to successfully offer their customers the ability to buy online and pickup in store?


Source: Jen Mosscrop, Chain Store Age, March 25, 2014