As many of us rushed to find just the right gifts and have them in-hand in time for our holiday gatherings this year, we experienced first-hand the importance of retail stores in the overall omnichannel order fulfillment experience.
In some cases, after ordering online and opting to pick up in store, everything went smoothly and we had what we needed in-hand quickly, as expected. Wonderful! Everyone’s happy, right? (Unless your gift recipient is just that impossibly picky).
In other situations, we waited in long lines to pick up our orders or stood frustrated at the customer service desk as a frazzled store associate struggled to locate an item we ordered online for pickup in-store.
When I experienced this last week, it seemed that the retailer's online inventory information didn’t reflect reality, and there was no indication of a problem until I arrived to pick up my order. After 30 minutes of watching multiple store associates making phone calls, getting help from managers, and running around the store looking for misplaced inventory, I had to cancel my purchase and found another retailer that had what I needed. It may be a while before I choose the "Buy Online, Pick up in Store" (BOPIS) option from that retailer again.
Sound familiar? I hope not, but chances are, you have dealt with this type of frustration at some point. Let’s explore the good and the bad of the in-store experience in Omnichannel, and why store enablement is so important.