Thursday, January 22, 2009

At the Drive-Thru: Would you like a Kitchen Appliance with that?

One day during this past holiday shopping season, I heard a DJ on the radio talking about how they made the majority of their gift purchases through Nordstrom's Buy-Online, Pick-Up in-store program. The DJ went on about how much time it saved her and how much she loved the experience, while fellow on-air personalities chimed in with questions about the service.

Although various retailers have been providing this service for several years, many consumers are only starting to take advantage now, especially to avoid long lines and shipping costs. To extend this idea further and help bridge the gap between bricks-and-mortar locations and the e-commerce space, some retailers such as Sears are pulling out the stops.

Sears Holdings recently announced that it plans to open a warehouse-style concept store this summer in Joliet, Ill. called MyGofer. The concept will give shoppers the opportunity to buy online and pick up their purchases in the store or at a drive-through portal.

The idea is certainly a convenient option (and ideal for budget-shoppers who may be tempted to impulse buy once they pick-up their items in the store). However, many retailers reap big profit by those who add to their order once they get into the store: A drive-thru may make it easier for shoppers to pick up their items and leave, but that's not necessarily good news for Sears.

Can Sears upsell to those not willing to leave the driver's seat? Will they even try? Either way, it will certainly be interesting to see how the innovative concept plays out this summer.

No comments: