There’s a tremendous race underway, and it’s not within the commercial or residential real estate markets – it’s in retail. This race isn’t necessarily one for more linear space, however. It’s for more foot traffic.
The consumer revolution rages on, and it’s long surpassed the constraints of both traditional and digital channels. Omnichannel solutions and offerings are considered standard for most retailers; however, consumers are pushing for integration to the point of omnipresence.
Each customer is, almost simultaneously, an in-store shopper, a mobile shopper, an online-at-home shopper, an online-at-work shopper, and so on. With this fluidity comes significant last-mile fulfillment challenges. Sometimes the customer is home for deliveries, but much of the time they are out and about; working, playing, living life.
Thus, the starting line of the race for more retail foot traffic in 2020.
Nobody pays more attention to customers more than retailers do. As customers increasingly demand the ability to get product where and when they want, retailers increasingly consider how they can place a physical store in the direct path of where customers spend most of their time.
Shoppers drive past their favorite grocery store, drug store, etc. every single day going to and heading home from work; as they do, they wonder why they have to drive all over to run errands. Why can’t they pick up something for dinner and their latest online order at the same time? Smart locker technology not only makes this sort of on-demand convenience a reality but also keeps the customer experience fast and easy.
You might think, “who really wants that?”, but the first leg of the race for foot traffic is already happening, and the results are absolutely staggering. Whole Foods saw a 16.5% increase in foot traffic after placing smart lockers for delivery in their stores. And grocery retailers aren’t the only ones taking notice.
Online shopping creates billions of package deliveries per year, and that number will only continue to grow. Converting even a fraction of those deliveries to retail store locations would be extremely impactful in terms of creating foot traffic for retailers.
If the first leg of the race revolves around gaining more traffic, the second leg centers around a retailer’s ability to seamlessly convert that traffic into sales and track it. Advanced smart locker solutions like Parcel Pending are equipped and positioned to help retailers both establish a destination for the traffic and deploy targeted offers for sales conversion.
With a Parcel Pending locker solution, shoppers visiting their local pharmacy to pick up their online order may get a nice offer or incentive to buy health and beauty items in the store that day. Shoppers stopping by their local convenience store at lunchtime to pick up a package trigger an exclusive offer on lunch to-go.
As with all things, however, there will be a saturation point where this incrementality will wane. Shopper patterns of convenience will already be established, and it will be too late for those who have fallen behind to catch up.
So, the race is on. Where are you in the pack?
Joe Szala comes to Parcel Pending with more than 20 years of retail and grocery experience under his belt. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Retail Business Development at Aimia and Vice President of Business Development Retail Partnerships for Aisle50, which was acquired by Groupon in 2015. He is skilled at building both well established and rapid-growth and entrepreneurial organizations.