Front End Also Presents Challenges with In-Store Pickup

Sep 13, 2006 9:36 PM  By

Implementing a “buy online/pick up in store” capability entails more than efficiently transferring the order from the warehouse to the store. Communicating effectively with the customer throughout the order and pick-up process is critical as well. But according to a recent study by the Chicago-based E-tailing Group, multichannel merchants could stand to improve their messaging.

During the summer E-tailing Group ordered from 18 merchants on two separate occasions, each time opting to pick up the product in store. While all of the merchants sent an e-mail order confirmation, only 61% subsequently sent an e-mail notifying the buyer that the order was ready for pickup; another 28% did call to let the buyer know that the order was in, however.

Of those merchants that sent an e-mail notification that the product was ready, just 14% included information about store hours. One-third didn’t even include a store phone number.

Among the best practices that the E-tailing Group recommends for order confirmation:

• Include a barcode to speed up in-store processing.
• Provide customer-friendly information about store locations and times.
• Reinforce the guarantee.
• Remind customers of the time frame to pick up the order. Fifty-seven percent of the merchants that provided this information allowed up to eight days; the remainder allowed up to 14 days.

For more about the complete study, “Expectations of the Cross­Channel Customer: Convenience and Control from Online to In­Store,” visit www.e-tailing.com.