Today’s customers demand efficiency. They don’t want to wait in line for hours to buy the latest iPhone or wait around to pick-up an order at your store. Today’s customers need an easy store pickup fulfillment process.
In fact, in 2022, U.S. shoppers spent $95 billion via buy online, pickup in store, accounting for 9% of all online sales.
Here’s the good news: Using software and tools, your business can automate the entire store pickup process – from order placement, to picking, fulfillment and “Your Order Is Ready” email. And you don’t have to build a store pickup fulfillment process from scratch. You can use ecommerce tools or store pickup apps to automate fulfillment and improve customer experiences.
Need some help to get started? This guide provides tips for organizing your curbside pickup and ship-to-store automations, along with an overview of curbside pickup software.
Curbside Pickup Software: Why You Need It
Manually managing curbside pickup fulfillment is time-consuming and error prone. Software makes the process more efficient, more accurate, and can save you valuable time.
Here’s what it does:
A store pickup fulfillment app automates ecommerce processes and email marketing related to curbside pickup orders. Using these tools, your customer places an order (in store or online) and requests ship-to-store pickup. Your ecommerce POS platform manages fulfillment, and then the pickup app sends email flows to customers automatically.
First, a thank you email (or SMS text), then a Your Order Has Shipped, and finally, a Your Order Is Ready for Pickup email.
These tools can also help you:
- Integrate with POS and offer store pickup at the register (e.g. a product is available at another location)
- Send triggered customer messages
- Update stock data in real-time
- Managing the ship-to-store process and fulfillment
- Simplifying store pickups for customers and employees
How to Design a Store Pickup Fulfillment Process
An effective store pickup strategy requires careful planning. Every detail counts, and the easier it is for customers and employees to manage the better. Here are some tips for doing store pickup right:
1. Text Customers When Their Order is Ready
Effective communication is central to in store pickup fulfillment. Sending automated text messages to customers when their orders are ready keeps them informed and engaged.
This practice allows customers to plan their pickup according to their schedules, reducing wait times and enhancing overall satisfaction. By adopting this communication strategy, businesses create a more efficient and customer-centric pickup experience.
A POS-integrated store pickup app will automate this process and bridge the gap between fulfilment and customers.
2. Create Better “Your Order is Ready for Pickup” Messages
This message is very important. It needs to be clear and not too long. It should also have all the important information. When writing “Your Order is Ready for Pickup” emails, include this information:
- Specific pickup locations
- Special instructions
- Personalize the message with customer / order details
Writing a good message will help customers know what to do. It also helps them feel less anxious and more confident about the pickup process.
3. Automate Store Pickup Fulfillment Processes
Streamlining in store pickup fulfillment begins with automating order processing. Trigger workflows when orders are placed.
This will reduce the risk of errors and ensure orders are prepared promptly. An effective strategy automates:
- Order confirmation (with staff and customers)
- Store fulfilment instructions (for your warehouse staff)
- Facilitate shipping between stores
- Organizing pickup instructions
Automation reduces the risk of errors and ensures orders are prepared promptly for pickup.
By automating routine tasks like order confirmation and preparation notifications, you free up staff for more customer-focused activities. Plus, efficiency gains through automation lead to better customer experiences, as orders are ready on time, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty.
4. Offer Flexible Pickup Times
Catering to customer preferences for pickup times is a key strategy in in store pickup fulfillment automation. Consider extending pickup hours to accommodate diverse schedules. This flexibility significantly elevates customer satisfaction and fosters loyalty.
Customers value the convenience of choosing a pickup window that suits them and aligns with their busy lives. It reduces the stress of adhering to rigid pickup schedules and reinforces the notion that your business values their time.
Having flexible pickup times can make your business stand out and attract more customers who like convenience and personalized service.
5. Optimize Inventory Management
Efficient inventory management is a cornerstone of successful ship to store fulfillment automation. Implement inventory tracking systems that seamlessly sync with your POS and store pickup app. This integration prevents issues like overselling and ensures customers receive accurate information about product availability.
Accurate inventory data is vital for managing customer expectations and avoiding disappointments.
Organizing and managing your inventory will help make sure customers get the right orders. It also builds trust with customers and makes it easier to do business quickly.
These tools should:
- Reflect ship-to-store sales in inventory
- Show you where (warehouse or another store) items are available
- Log sales in real-time
In essence, it’s the behind-the-scenes work that allows you to deliver a seamless and reliable in store pickup fulfillment experience.
6. Train Staff Effectively
Your staff plays a pivotal role in the success of a curbside pickup program. Thoroughly train them in the new processes and technologies in place for handling customer pickups.
Effective training ensures your team can manage orders efficiently while providing a high level of service. Well-trained staff are better equipped to address customer inquiries, resolve issues, and maintain a positive brand image.
Investing in their training pays off in enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. The employees in your store are the people customers will see when they pick up their orders.
7. Gather Customer Feedback
Continuous improvement is the key to success. Encourage customers to share their thoughts about your store pickup process.
Use this feedback to pinpoint areas for improvement and refine your process. Customer insights are a goldmine for enhancing processes, addressing pain points, and identifying opportunities to exceed expectations.
By actively seeking and acting on feedback, you demonstrate your commitment to providing the best possible experience. This iterative approach drives ongoing enhancements, ensuring your in store pickup service remains competitive and aligned with customer needs.
8. Monitor Key Metrics
Tracking essential metrics is essential for an easy store pickup fulfillment. Monitor key performance indicators like:
- Order fulfilment times
- Pickup times
- Order accuracy
- Customer satisfaction
Regularly review these metrics to track progress and make necessary adjustments.
Monitoring data ensures you stay aligned with your goals and customer expectations. It allows you to identify trends, spot bottlenecks, and seize opportunities for improvement.
9. Promote Store Pickup Fulfillment
Don’t overlook the importance of promoting your in store pickup option. Use targeted marketing and clear website messaging to inform customers about this convenient choice. Highlight the benefits, including reduced wait times and enhanced convenience.
Make it easy for customers to understand how in store pickup works and why it’s advantageous.
Build a Better Store Pickup Fulfillment Process with FTx POS
You don’t need a huge team to deliver a customer-first store pickup fulfillment program. You just need the right tools.
- Offer store pickup at the register (online or in store)
- Manage inventory and store transfer fulfillment
- Create and send automated messages to customers
- Update your inventory in real-time to reflect store pickup sales
Need some help getting started? The FTx POS team can help you set up and launch an in store pickup workflow in your POS. Call us today to learn more.