The best of both worlds: Bringing together the online and in-store shopping experience

By Patrick Nangle, President and CEO

For most students, the summer break can feel too short, but the fall season is a welcomed change for Canadian retailers as parents and students hit the shops – both online and in-store – to buy clothes and supplies to kick-start the upcoming school year. puro-blog-online-in-store-img1 For us at Purolator, the back-to-school season is yet another time during the year when we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our retail partners to ensure warehouses, distribution centres and shelves are stocked with the latest fashions, gadgets and supplies that consumers want.

A trend we’re seeing is that while more and more consumers are shopping online, many continue to also enjoy the in-store experience. One way that customers can have an integrated shopping experience is through ship-to-store delivery, which Purolator provides to retailers. This means customers’ online shopping experience does not have to end after they make a purchase on their computer or mobile device. Customers can enjoy an in-store shopping experience when they pick up their online purchases, leading to more sales opportunities for retailers in their brick-and-mortar businesses.

Purolator research reveals that 73 per cent of Canadian consumers say it is important for retailers to offer a ship-to-store option in addition to home delivery. The same study also indicates retailers risk losing up to 17 per cent of customers to competitors if ship-to-store is not available.

With this ship-to-store option, Canadian retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on additional selling opportunities created by the increased foot traffic of those coming into the store to pick up their online orders during the back-to-school rush.
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Another way for retailers to generate more traffic is to offer in-store returns of online purchases. In addition to promoting sales, options like ship-to-store can help retailers drive down overall supply chain costs – as customer orders can be packaged with restocking or other bulk shipments.

This back-to-school season, retailers can truly offer customers the best of both shopping worlds, and Purolator is well equipped to help deliver this promise.

For those who work in the retail industry, I’d be happy to hear about how you’re creating a seamless online and physical shopping experience for your customers. I’m also interested in hearing from others about your shopping preferences – online, in-store or both? What are your thoughts on the ship-to-store delivery option for online purchases?

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