McKinsey reports that “More than one-third of consumers have made omnichannel features such as buying online for in-store pickup part of their regular shopping routine since the pandemic, and nearly two-thirds of those individuals plan to continue.”
What are some of the effective omnichannel strategies that retailers and brands are sticking with post-Covid to retain their customers and capture new ones?
Localized Delivery And At-Home Returns
The localized same-day market started to heat up with Target’s acquisition of Shipt in 2017, challenging Amazon’s fast, free delivery. This positioned Target well for the surge in demand for localized delivery solutions during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many retailers followed Target’s lead.
Even in 2021 as the pandemic lockdown was lifted, Target saw 95% of its total sales fulfilled via its localized delivery and click-and-collect. According to McKinsey, utilizing local stores as brick-and-mortar warehouses “make[s] same-day shipping available more quickly.”
UPS’s acquisition of Roadie and Delivery Solutions, platforms connecting merchants and consumers with contract drivers for same-day local delivery services, show that major carriers are investing in local delivery to meet this customer need in the long term. Walmart and Amazon have both started to offer the service.
In-Store Pickup And Return Drop-Off
Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) or click-and-collect practices are providing retailers and customers with lower-cost alternatives to home delivery. During the pandemic, this led click-and-collect to grow 104.5% in the U.S. in 2020 and is projected to continue growing at about 17% from 2022-2025.
Major retailers are building a better customer experience, including designated parking areas for order pickup, orders placed directly into the consumer’s vehicle, allowing family or friends to pick up purchases, and curbside returns. According to IBM, about 50% of all shoppers make additional purchases when picking up in-store.