As pickup And Delivery Options Proliferate, Retailers Hope To Add Convenience, Avoid Confusion

By Lauren Zumbach
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Retailers are doing everything they can to help customers discover new, creative and most of all EASY ways to shop.


The questions shoppers faced at the checkout counter used to be as simple as “cash or credit?” and “paper or plastic?”

Today, especially online, it’s a little more complicated. Are you making a one-time purchase, or would you like to subscribe and get a discount? Do you want to pick up your items at the store and avoid paying for shipping? If so, will you come inside for your bags or download an app that will summon an employee to your car?

Perhaps you’d rather have them shipped to a package pickup station or your home. Would you prefer same-day delivery? Next-day or two-day shipping? A drop-off by aerial drone?

While it might seem like shopping now requires a flowchart, the retailers that have proven most prolific in giving customers new ways to buy online say it’s what their shoppers demand.

“Guests have expectations about convenience and speed, and we need to be able to meet those expectations,” said John Mulligan, Target’s chief operating officer.

Chicago will be the first major city to have four of Target’s newest order fulfillment services, in addition to existing choices like next-day or two-day delivery and subscriptions _ when Drive Up, the retailer’s curbside pickup service, comes to city stores in early July.

The additions also include two versions of same-day home delivery: one for groceries and other items ordered through the Shipt app, which became available to Chicago customers Thursday, and another for items customers buy in a store but can’t or don’t want to carry home. Target Restock, which provides next-day home delivery on thousands of household items, has been in stores nationwide since May.

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