Delight customers with fast order fulfillment and handoff

By Sanjeeth Cherian,  Head of Product, Strategy & Business Operations

Oct 5, 2023 | 3 Min. Read | Blog

A seamless fulfillment experience has become table stakes for retailers. Central to achieving these seamless interactions is rapid order fulfillment and the often-overlooked finesse of the handoff process. While retailers often focus on the efficiency in picking, they sometimes neglect the importance of order handoff on customer arrival. It’s important to remember that the handoff process constitutes the final point of contact with your customer for their online order, and despite its brevity, it possesses the potential to make a lasting impression of your brand and can be a key factor on whether that customer comes to shop with you again. 

While an array of fulfillment methods has emerged, Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) provides the utmost level of convenience, enabling same-day order fulfillment, a capability particularly sought after when consumers are shopping for everyday necessities such as groceries. In fact, 75% of customers in the US prefer picking up their online grocery orders over other fulfillment methods.1  However, executing on this preferred pickup method can come with its challenges if not done correctly.  

A recent study found that a staggering 70% of consumers associated waiting in line with negative feelings like boredom, annoyance, frustration, and impatience.2 Now, envision a scenario where your valued customers are waiting not just for a few minutes, but potentially for an extended duration of time, to collect their online orders. The longer your customers are waiting, the more these negative sentiments are associated with your business – diminishing the likelihood of that customer’s return. On the other hand, a quick handoff experience can yield positive long-term benefit: Customers are 3x more likely to reorder if they wait less than 2 minutes for their curbside pickup.3

5 considerations to achieve flawless online order pickup

Now, let’s discuss 5 key considerations that can help you achieve flawless online order pickup to elevate your customers’ satisfaction:

5 considerations for flawless online order pickup for fast order fulfillment

1. Streamline customer arrival with order notifications 

The journey towards customer delight begins long before they set foot in your store or await a delivery at their doorstep. Order status notifications allow you to keep customers in the loop, letting them know when their order is being prepared and ready for pickup. These order updates not only eliminate uncertainty but also build anticipation, making your customer experience more engaging.

2. Harness the power of organized staging

Staging orders effectively is equally important. By prompting employees to organize orders efficiently and intuitively, you're setting the stage for a seamless handoff. With staging, you can configure your setup to meet the unique demands of your store layout and customer preferences. Whether it's a small-scale operation or a bustling backroom environment, organized staging ensures that orders are organized optimally, reducing the chances of mix-ups and delays by empowering associates to easily locate orders for customer or delivery pickup.

3. Enable arrival notifications for minimal wait times

Slash wait times by utilizing arrival notifications and prompt employees to prepare orders in sync with customer arrivals. By enabling arrival notifications leveraging geofencing capabilities for both customers and delivery drivers, you're minimizing wait times and demonstrating your commitment to exceptional service.

4. Prioritize handoff queues with check-in capabilities

With the implementation of check-in capabilities, you empower your employees to prioritize the customers who arrive first. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also boosts efficiency, as you're able to manage the order handoff process more effectively.

5. Provide convenient handoff options

Customers have varying preferences when it comes to picking up their online orders. Some prefer the traditional in-store experience, while others opt for the convenience of curbside pickup. With a focus on your customers, offering multiple handoff options is crucial. By accommodating these choices, you're catering to the diverse needs of your customer base, thereby enhancing their overall experience, and increasing your market share while eliminating greater chances of a bottleneck at a certain queue.

In the realm of retail, it's not just about what you sell, but how you sell it. Fast order fulfillment and a seamless handoff process are pivotal in creating delightful experiences for your customers. By streamlining customer arrivals, incorporating staging processes, integrating arrival notifications, and offering flexible handoff options, you're crafting a shopping journey that's not only efficient but memorable. Getting order handoff right is critical as it's the final touchpoint you have with your customer, and it provides the opportunity for you to make a lasting impression and drive customer loyalty.

1. Safaryan, B. (2022) From the Shelf to the Customer: How to Optimize the BOPIS Experience, Forbes. 

2. Klemming, C. (2023) Queue management needs an urgent overhaul, Total Retail. 

3. Industry Dive and Radius Networks (2022) 2022 Playbook: Why Customer Wait times Matter, Radius Networks.

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