A primary appeal is free shipping to the store which 96% now offer vs. 92% last year. Merchants that stock products centrally need more time to ship goods to the store. This impacts same day pickup, now available from just 54% of those surveyed vs. 73% last year.
Efficiencies within the store like the pickup location more frequently being at the customer service area, and more related in-store signage, are further evidence of the feature's integration within the brick and mortar environment.
The overall wait time is also improving for store pickup; down to an average of 2.58 minutes versus 3.21 minutes last year and 3.64 the year prior. Products were ready and waiting when the customer arrived at the store 94% of the time, up from 83% in 2007.
In-Store Pickup Experience(% of surveyed merchants)
Pickup Location & Type
Designated pickup counter
Customer service area
Easy to find
Difficult to find
In-store signage for pickup
Overall wait time
Produce ready & waiting
Source: the e-Tailing Group, September 2008 (*subset % penetration)
Online there is good visibility and promotion of this feature. It is constant on the home page and gaining penetration on the product page (50% '08 vs. 27% '07) as well as in the shopping cart.
Along with the order confirmation and onsite thank-you standards, more merchants are including pickup instructions. The study received email notification that products were ready for pickup 71% of the time vs. 52% last year.
Freedman concludes, "... more merchants (should) step up their efforts and make the necessary investment to facilitate buy online/pickup in-store.... customers coming into stores will be critical for servicing and selling to today's multi-channel customer."
An example of recommended (by e-tailing) customer service practices relative to in-store pickup is included here:
The e-tailing group Checklist: In-store Stellar Customer Service
For more information including a list of surveyed merchants or to order the report visit the e-tailing group's website here.