70 years of E-Commerce dream run is now taking a 360-degree turn back to the retail stores. Relax, there’s ‘no love lost’ between Customers and Online Buying; it’s still growing on as ever. However, now that customers have generalized online shopping for non-essential products, they’ve decided to raise the bar. What they want is a similar experience for essential buying as well. Same-day-delivery, Farm-Fresh orders, Retail-Ready Packaging is now leading E-Commerce towards new ways of Order Fulfilment. Progressive Store Owners are looking at in-store automation and delivery modernization to serve the needful. Read on to find what options do they have and which one is the best Local Retail Automation Solution today.
Why Click and Collect Lockers against Common Store Automation Solutions?
Retail Stores can automate multiple business processes to influence both operational outcomes and customer satisfaction. However, store automation solutions like Goods-to-Person (GTP), Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), Pick-to-Light and Put-to-Light Systems deal with one problem at a time. Additionally, RFID and Mechanical Robot Solutions do not fit to the scale of a common local store chain as they would to a large national retail chain. Obviously, spending millions for such warehousing automation solutions is counter-productive when there are efficient end-to-end storage-cum-delivery solutions (Click and Collect Lockers) to meet customized and modular store needs.
Beyond Store Dynamics – Click and Collect Lockers for Good Customer Experience
It’s not just automation; local retailers need to figure out a way to appease customers at the endpoint as well. Having tasted faster and value-added delivery services via ecommerce, customers are now even willing to pay for better click and collect services at their local stores (Source: State of Connected Customer Report 2020, Salesforce). As options for Curbside Delivery and Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store (BOPIS) continue to rise, regular customers will switch stores more easily. It won’t even be a gradual decline of monthly supplies; loyalty would drop like a sack of potatoes if given the chance.
Keep reading! Here are 6 more reasons why Retail Stores need Smart Click and Collect Lockers:
#1 Customers want everything on their ‘Local High Street’
Street specialties are back on customer wishlists as they realize that not everything is available online. Capgemini research (2020) shows that customers now prefer to order local perishables, staples, and groceries. However, customers still want the vendors and stores to come closer to their home or work. They’d rather ‘order-click–collect‘ than travel to the other end of the city. Smart Lockers can reduce both distance and hassle for Local High Street Deliveries.
#2 Click and Collect Basics – If you’re Visible, you’re Relevant
Local Retail expansion is all about keeping your patrons (regular customers) and making new ones. Delivery fleet partnerships fail to serve this need. Third Party Fleets dilute store visibility (up to 39%) as customers tend to see them as the face of their essential supplies (Source: Bringg Barometer 2021). Click and Collect Lockers installed as dark stores can help in developing a personal connection with new patrons by offering them a personalized delivery and returns experience.
#3 Retail buying is becoming Convenience Driven
Latest report by Deloitte suggests that 50% of regular retail customers have started to spend more on factors of convenience in their buying experiences. Contactless, 24/7 Delivery/Returns and On-Demand Availability, are being accepted and opted for as paid retail services (premium delivery memberships). Smartbox Lockers cover all such needs and more with two-way alerts, programmable isolation, multi-lingual support and all-weather safety.
#4 Hyper-Local Fulfilment is the next big game!
Stock availability and schedule of delivery have become major challenges for Hyper Local Retail Stores. With the spike in digital orders, fleet dependent operations are becoming not only cost intensive but also inefficient. Third Party Fleets are also unable to ensure real-time two-way communication for integrated inventory control. Smart Lockers as Warehouses, in this case – offer a unique opportunity to ensure greater control and cost efficiency in daily local order fulfilment.
#5 Ever Heard about Same Store Dynamics in Multi-Store Retail?
BCG reports that Demand-Centric-Growth has led to a disparity of cost per delivery between urban and rural stores. The issues of capacity, followed by dispatch and routing issues have created an unhealthy share of profit between stores. Recent usage of Click and Collect Lockers in retail chains shows stabilization of same store sales by 11% in major global markets (esp. North American stores). Not only does it balance the cost per delivery but also builds a customizable inventory flow based on user demand and not bulk of supply chain.
#6 Curious Case of Short-Term Fragmentation of Monthly Supplies
Customers, in the last few months have chosen to re-configure their monthly supplies. Think tanks have termed it ‘Short Term Fragmentation’ of regular purchases. Restricted spending, lighter shopping carts, selective purchasing have left little room for free or low-cost manual delivery services. Modular delivery solutions like Click and Collect Lockers will allow store owners to cushion the impact of volatile demand cycles with modular and automated delivery management.
Click and Collect Lockers in Retail are Inevitable!
Looking for more reasons is only delaying the inevitable. E-Commerce giants have already mapped the combined opportunity of Pure Play Local Retail and Last Mile Delivery Automation. Amazon, Target, Alibaba have started to partner with local stores to plot exhaustive Smart Locker Grids which will lead their hyperlocal business for essential and fast-moving products. Smart Lockers are soon going to be a necessity for Local Retail Business; it’s just a matter of how ready you are!