I am picking up where I left off in Part 1 with issues regarding online orders, pickups and problems that may not be foreseen including Sensormatic tags not being removed. I began considering this problem while working at my retail job as a sales specialist. It then took on a much larger scope when I saw reserved parking places at a Target store and a grocery retailer. I described in Part 1 how part of my job responsibilities include picking merchandise for orders that come through our mobile devices. Some of these orders are for in-store pickup and others I package and ship out via a delivery service. I thought about how easy it would be for me or anyone else to forget to remove or deactivate a retail anti-theft device from goods prior to shipping them or handing them to the customer. Drawing upon my Loss Prevention experiences I realized that it could be a big deal for businesses that sell garments. Fail to remove clothing security tags and the customer who receives the shipment won’t be able to wear it. But this is not the only opportunity I thought about with online ordering and curbside delivery. What I would like to do is share some of the wins of an online service as well as other potential problems or challenges these services can present.
- Online orders open a world of new opportunities to sell products to customers who may never step foot into your city or town let alone your business. If they aren’t local the merchandise can be shipped to them. If they are local the store may see increased foot traffic. The first purchase may be a curbside delivery but that customer may come in on another trip.
- Many customers today are busy and want a quick trip to the store. The ability to order and pick-up provides flexibility to the on-the-go consumer who has a jam packed schedule.
- If a customer has a disability online ordering and curbside delivery provide a convenience so the customer does not have to get out of the vehicle to pick up what they need.
- More customers shopping and ordering from your store online decreases the potential for shoplifting to a certain extent.
- If shipping merchandise out of the store how are you adding in the shipping costs? If you do add in a shipping cost is that going to dissuade some people from ordering?
- It is easy to forget about clothing security tags and other Sensormatic tags during the preparation process for shipping. I already covered the problem of clothes being received with a tag still on it but if the merchandise has a security label on it and it has not been detuned that can be an issue. For example if the item is a medicine box and the customer keeps the box in a purse or backpack to prevent the contents from spilling and they enter a store with an electronic article surveillance system they could set off an alarm. This could be an embarrassing moment for that customer.
- While online orders may increase your overall presence with a quality website and search optimization there is the loss of opportunity for the impulse sales. Customers won’t be walking into the store so they won’t be influenced by your displays and signage.
The reduced foot traffic is probably my biggest concern with the growing trend of online ordering and pick-ups. According to an article posted in Fox Business on Feb 24, 2018, “You Won’t Believe What the Average American Spends On Impulse Buys”, “The average American will spend more than $300,000 on “impulse buys” during their adult lifetime…”. The article goes on to describe what types of things Americans will purchase on impulse. Included in the list are vacations, household items, unplanned food purchases and yes, clothing. That is a LOT of impulse buying not coming into a store. I don’t want to see stores hit by shoplifting and if you are using clothing security tags on your merchandise you can avoid most of that activity. I DO want to see customers entering your store.
If you are going to compete in the new market of online buying you are going to have to find creative ways to market to these shoppers but you also cannot neglect the shoppers still coming in to visit in the traditional manner. Use Sensormatic security tags to protect merchandise from theft and don’t forget to remove or deactivate them before shipping or delivering. Adapt to the new shopper but don’t forget the traditional customer or neglect merchandise protection as you do so.
Clothing security tags are important and we can help you with it. Call 1.966.914.2567 and let’s talk.