Consumers are a tough bunch to please. They want what they want, when they want it – even more so with two-day shipping offered by players like Amazon.
That gives brick-and-mortar retailers, who have long relied on their physical footprint for growth, an added dose of pressure. To keep up with the pace, many are turning to offering faster shipping, and other features, as they compete with digital challengers.
In the latest Omni Usage Report, PYMNTS explores new technology, tools and solutions debuted by retailers and merchants, designed to expedite delivery as well as encourage in-store visits.
Around the Omni Usage World
Several major retailers, both online and offline, are investing in improved shipping speed, aiming to meet consumers’ expectations surrounding delivery timelines.
Target is one company looking to get purchases to customers’ doors faster than ever. The company recently acquired online same-day delivery platform Shipt, which it plans to leverage to bring same-day delivery to U.S. customers. The acquisition “significantly accelerates” its digital fulfillment efforts.
Meanwhile, Sam’s Club is betting on free shipping with its recently announced new Plus membership. By ponying up a flat $100 annual fee, shoppers have the ability to opt out of shipping costs, and to access other in-store perks.
Even Amazon is looking to ship more products to customers quickly and cheaply. The company recently announced it is offering free shipping on purchases to all Prime subscribers who log in to the deal website woot.com/prime with their Amazon accounts. This news follows last month’s reports that Amazon increased its monthly membership fees by nearly 20 percent in the U.S. in response to slumping growth.
To find the rest of the latest Omni Usage news, as well as the biggest headlines from around the space, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section.
Shoe Carnival Puts Its Best Omnichannel Foot Forward
Brick-and-mortar retail chain Shoe Carnival is also turning its attention to boosting its online offerings, and getting purchases into the hands of customers as soon as possible.
In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Kent Zimmerman, the footwear and accessory company’s vice president of digital, explained the company’s strategy behind using in-store inventory to fill local online orders. The goal, he said, is to get customers their purchases more quickly by offering a buy online, pick up in store option. This also helps to encourage online customers to visit brick-and-mortar stores.
But the online store isn’t designed just to funnel customers into real-world retail stores. Zimmerman emphasized that having an online store that can stand on its own, without hurting sales at physical locations, is essential to the company’s growth in today’s digital age.
“The reality is, some people will migrate from an in-store customer to a digital customer – there’s nothing we can do to avoid that,” he said. “If you try too hard to push online shoppers into stores with pricing or features, they may just go to Amazon or some other online seller, because that customer just wants to buy online. So for us, it’s about giving them a consistent experience, no matter where they shop.”
To read the full feature story, download the March Omni Usage Tracker.
About The Tracker
The Omni Usage Report™, a PYMNTS.com and Vantiv collaboration, features industry-spanning research and insights that arm retailers with data to make smarter decisions for enabling omnichannel commerce.