STORES Magazine - June 2008 - (Page 40)

WORTH WATCHING / BUILDING TRAFFIC Pervasive utility Stevens, who launched Shopatron in 2001, says he can easily see a day when Shopatron seeks to help retailers drive this process will be a “pervasive utility.” online buyers into stores At this point, however, it still takes elements of technology and operations, BY FIONA SOLTES and Shopatron can help with both. “Companies must have the operan these days when every secgood likelihood that they’ll tional knowledge to ond counts, it’s no surprise that see what else that store has to manage complex consumers would want to break offer,” Stevens says. “That’s a transactions with up the shopping experience into big advantage over just shipstaff spread out of consumers use smaller segments that fit more easily ping something to that conover multiple locain-store pick-up into their overbooked lives. sumer’s front door.” tions,” he says. when available Steve Doviak, Internet “Staff training is a Consider, for example, being able to manager for car rack manularge issue for retailers, but we offer 100 percent operations shop online during a free moment, and facturer Thule, has seen this in action. support.” then head to the store to pick up that Until recently, his company’s e-comInitially, Shopatron worked primarily purchase when it is most convenient. merce presence was “primarily replacewith manufacturers. But with a greater This is a reality offered by Shopatron, ment parts,” and when consumers came understanding of the potential conwhich until recently was seen more as to the website they’d be pushed offline to a retailer. Now, however, the compasumer benefits, it realized “there were a a non-competitive way for retailers to ny offers its line for direct sale with inwhole slew of retailers out there that be the fulfillment partner for their supcouldn’t provide this solution for themstore pick-up through Shopatron; the pliers. As times have changed, howevselves.” It doesn’t matter how many move has allowed Thule to build better er, the organization now presents itself stores a retailer has; it’s more important relationships with retailers, as well as as the solution for the instant-gratificathat the retailer have a viable online save customers an average of $100 to tion customer. presence. And those retailers that don’t view the option of in-store pick-up as another way to care for customers’ needs may well be missing the boat, Stevens says. $120 on shipping for luggage boxes, “The main driver behind all of this is “For any retailer that does an elementruck racks and other large items. convenience,” says Shopatron CEO Ed tary analysis of the next few years — “The program is really starting to Stevens. “Life is busy, and people want anyone that looks at customer behavwhat they want when they want it.” bloom for us,” Doviak says. “The reior — it should be patently obvious The way Stevens sees it, Shopatron sponse has been very, very good.” But that consumers really, really want to isn’t merely a good conthere’s another part to the order online and pick up in a store,” he cept; it’s one that’s been story: The Shopatron elesays. proven effective. Surveys, ment allows Thule to pro“The numbers are huge, especially he says, show that in some mote retailers that offer considering it’s not so pervasive yet. For cases 55 percent of congreat levels of service, and those with Shopatron in place, conversumers use in-store pickit also allows those retailsion rates have improved by doubleup when it’s available. In ers to better allocate emdigit percents [and] we’re seeing 30 to addition, once inside the ployee resources during 50 percent participation from constore, 25 percent of online seasons “when their time sumers. buyers increase the size of may not be best spent “Any time something has that kind of the order. packing boxes,” he says. consumer interest behind it, it’s strategiSuch a system “improves “It’s good all the way cally essential to put it into process,” Ed Stevens StORES foot traffic, and there’s a around.” Stevens says. Channel Crossing I 55% 40 STORES / JUNE 2008 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2008

STORES Magazine - June 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Tesco Tests Carbon Labels
What Shoppers Think
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Boom - or Bust
Green Retailing
Online Marketing
Building Traffic
Water Management
Digital Marketing
Loyalty Programs
Special Report: Taking on Teens
Supply Chain - Robo Crop
Human Resources
Supply Chain - Directory Assistance
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - June 2008