Many retailers have examined or researched Click & Collect solutions. However, in the middle of the current COVID-19 health crisis many stores remain closed or are enforcing limited times and numbers of shoppers to ensure the safety of their staff and customers as well as compliance with government-mandated lockdown rules. This has led to a focus on curbside pickup capabilities.
Prior to COVID-19 only 4% of grocery sales were online (US)
While consumer shopping habits have accelerated towards digital over the past years, grocery retail has not seen the same shift in behavior.
Click & Collect solutions have been available for years but take-up and regular use has been minimal with Nielsen* estimating that just 4% of grocery sales were made online in the United States in 2019 and much the same behavior exhibited elsewhere in the world.
Pickup time measured in days and weeks
During the current COVID-19 health crisis, massively estimated increase in demand for curbside pickup has meant that shoppers are finding that scheduled pickup times are measured in days and weeks, not minutes and hours, that product availability is unreliable and they are forced to enter the store or wait in line to ensure that the goods they want are available.
Grocers need to ensure that the in-store environment is restocked for their in-store shoppers. Not only that, but grocery chains are hiring temporary workers in an effort to meet demand, and many grocery retailers are looking to dramatically enhance efficiency and increase the capacity for the Click & Collect services.
Scaling with both skilled and unskilled resources
So how does Pricer’s advanced ESL management system deliver on efficiency enhancements for Click & Collect?
The Click & Collect solution draws from all components of Pricer’s communication platform:
• The online sales orders are imported as pick lists.
• The picker is positioned and with dynamic product positioning of ESLs and the optimal route is established for the picking process.
• The picker and the articles are positioned on the store map of his or her handheld device together with the shortest path to the next article in the list.
• Instant Flash then provides the final visual guidance to the specific articles.
The example is based on a fully integrated Click & Collect system but there are many other options to allow more immediate efficiency gains. For instance, a more simplistic approach such as printing the picklist with item barcodes and using a PDA or scanner to activate the flash for the specific product ESL delivers significant time savings in a zone picking type system.
The new normal?
Given that there is now a huge population that has been forced to learn to use Click and Collect apps and given the sheer increase in the volume of orders increases in efficiency and ability to scale by saving 10 seconds per pick (high end of typical time reduction) accumulates to very large savings…. and just as important is the reduction or management of customer stress that results in increased satisfaction and loyalty.
One of Pricer’s customers has turned a part of the grocery store, 300 m2, into a dark store where 35% of the picked products are stored in view of speeding up the picking. This same grocery store has seen the number of e-commerce orders grow in magnitude due to the COVID-19 crisis, and now has as many orders per day as they previously had per week.
Reliable ESL system with sub-second flash
A reliable, flexible and scalable Electronic Shelf Label system with sub-second flash and the battery longevity to be able to deal with constant updates and flash usage is the foundation for any in-store Click & Collect system. Pricer’s system has been shown to deliver significant time savings per pick as well as providing major time and labor savings in many other areas such as replenishment, inventory management, out of shelf product availability and many other areas.
For more information on advanced use cases please go to www.pricer.com/use-cases
For further information, contact us at [email protected] or your Pricer contact person