walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

buy online, pick up in person

I've always had mixed feelings about this as an idea. As a transition, it makes perfect sense. For groceries, it'll probably _always_ make sense. But the idea that a primarily online operation might want to maintain a widespread network of pickup locations? Seems a little iffy. And promising that you can do same-day pickup requires that you _really_ know what you have and where you have it, which is surprisingly incompatible with letting regular customers browse your shelves in person.


"The biggest of these initiatives is Walmart’s Pick Up Today, which launched in March and is now operating at some 3,600 stores. Along with Walmart’s Site to Store program, in which shoppers get free shipping by going to the store to pick up items ordered from Walmart.com, Pick Up Today is popular with shoppers, says spokesman Ravi Jariwala. “These multichannel transactions where customers purchase online and then pick up in the store now account for more than 50 percent of our sales at Walmart.com,” he said. “We expect this to continue to increase in the future. Shopping behavior is definitely evolving.”"

I am reasonably certain (without having the link in hand) that I just read over on GlobeSt that Walmart's ratio of online to inperson sales was one of the worst out there, thus making the 50% of our sales at their online storefront less impressive than it might otherwise appear.

I've used in-person pickup, so it's not that I think this is completely unreasonable. But I think it's fundamentally a transitional/marginal strategy.

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