Amazon has once again proved that it’s the frontrunner in setting new trends in the ecommerce world. It has launched store pick up service in Mumbai and Delhi in tie-up with Bharat Petroleum, which has a retail store, In & Out, at all its filling stations in India. Currently launched as a pilot project in India, the service will be extended to other cities depending on the response from customers.
Using this service, customers can order for a product online and can have it delivered at one of the pickup stations Amazon has tied up with-
- Customer completes the purchase online.
- At the checkout point, customer chooses the preferred delivery station from the list of delivery stations available.
- Once package reaches the chosen delivery shop, customer is intimated.
- Customer can pick up the package at his convenience.
Amazon has been successfully operating this service in other countries.
Why would a customer opt for the Store Pickup Service?
It is too early to predict the response or acceptance of this service in India. However customers can benefit in a number of ways:
- Customers who don’t have anyone at home to receive deliveries or cannot receive deliveries in office can opt for this service as the hassle of finding someone to be at home or being at home themselves to receive deliveries can be avoided. Once the package is at the chosen pickup point, customers can pick it up at their convenience.
- Customers who don’t have a fixed address can opt for this service and have their deliveries made to the nearest pickup point.
- Customers can see the product before they take it home. Inspite of the popularity of online shopping, some customers are skeptical even now as they don’t get to see the products physically before purchasing. Store pickup services helps to avoid this drawback which will help to gain customers’ trust and increase sales.
- Customers who make last minute purchases, especially during holiday seasons or for gifting, and don’t have time to wait for delivery can use this service to order online and opt for delivery to nearest pickup point which could take lesser time than delivery to residential address.
Success of Store Pickup service in the West
Some retail chains abroad have already adopted this service seeing the change/increase in the sales and incorporated the service into their business models. Known as ‘Clicks& Bricks’ or ‘Click to Collect’ & similar, it is part of an Omni channel approach and retailers don’t need to invest in big numbers to adopt this service.
John Lewis, a chain of departmental stores in UK, has witnessed the most successful integration of this service into its business model and attributes its increase in sales especially during the holiday seasons to the same. In the five weeks leading up to New year 2013, John Lewis recorded a 22.6% increase in online sales using ‘Click & Collect’ option. More fascinating is the fact that at least a third of the customers coming to physical stores to pick up their deliveries ended up making additional purchases tempted by the in-house deals and last minute promotions.
How can an Indian online seller benefit from Store Pickup service ?
Even with the rising popularity of online shopping, there are still a number of customers who like to see the products physically before making a purchase. Such customers can be targeted with the Store Pick up service as they will get to see the product in the pickup point before they take it home.
Holidays and holiday gifting is major in India. With more people turning to online shopping for gifting purposes, last minute shoppers can be targeted with this service as they won’t have to wait till the delivery is made to their residential address.
Customers with long working hours can make purchases as they would not have to worry about receiving deliveries. Also, customers who don’t have fixed working hours, like in the case of an events professional, can make purchases as they have the provision of picking up deliveries from pick up stations at their convenience. Sellers can now tap into these customer segments with the Store Pickup service.