It is now becoming standard practice for major retailers to offer customers the option of shopping online then picking-up their purchases in-store to avoid shipping fees.
It’s hard to believe this practice was pioneered over a decade ago by Sears. That’s right, Sears, currently one of the most troubled retailers on the planet. Not only do they let you order online and pick up your items in-store, but you can do it across their retail brands. So if you order something from Kmart, you may be able to pick it up at your nearby Sears location.
I guess Sears was too far ahead of the curve, because now Omnichannel retailing — the integration of online and offline selling — is considered the latest evolution in retail. This also includes the many online stores that have recently set up brick and mortar shops such as Amazon, Birchbox, Warby Parker, Bonobos and more.
Last week, Kohl’s became the latest retailer to roll out a “buy online, pick in-store” program. The program was launched last year in 100 Kohl’s stores and is now available at all locations nationwide. Currently, you can use the service when shopping from a desktop or laptop. It goes mobile later this year.
Target, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Toys R US, Walgreens, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble are among the many other retailers that offer some version of in-store pickup.
It works the same way for the most part. You find what you want online, click the “pick-up in-store” option if it is available (it isn’t always available for all items), choose your location, then upon completing your purchase you get an email telling you when your order is ready to go. Then you zip to the store and pick up your order. Kohl’s even provides designated pick-up in-store parking spaces to make things more convenient.
It’s a hard knock life for retailers, so anything they can do to enhance the customer shopping experience helps.