In 2020, supply chains went up in flames, but they’ve just taken a more literal turn. Ocado canceled thousands of orders for their order picking robots after reports of them causing a fire in the Erith fulfillment center last week. The online grocer said it was caused by three of the robots colliding into each other.
Over the last year, retailers and grocers have learned a lot about what it takes to compete in the BOPIS and curbside battle - but some are coming out ahead.
Even as cities continue to open back up, curbside, pick up in-store (BOPIS), and alternative fulfillment solutions are far from getting kicked to the curb. In fact, retailers like Albertsons reported its fourth consecutive quarter of digital growth of over 200% in April, largely attributed to their delivery solutions, curbside pickup capabilities, and innovative apps.
Over the last year, retailers have had their resiliency and supply chains tested in response to COVID. As online orders surged with stay-at-home mandates, companies struggled to meet demand with a decreased workforce and broken supply chain. Over a year later, as cities open back up, many retailers are wondering "what's next?"
In this day and age, it is so important to have a successful buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) experience with more and more customers purchasing items online. It may seem like a very simple process, but messing up even one small step in between could cause cart abandonment, miss picks, or customers arriving at the wrong pickup location - all resulting in frustrated customers.
There are several important aspects of having a successful buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) experience, starting with the obvious: how easy it is for a customer to make the purchase online - all the way through when they pick up the items in-store. Messing up even one small step in between could cause cart abandonment, the wrong item being selected, or customers arriving at the wrong pickup point, all resulting in frustrated customers.
We’re currently in the middle of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, even with vaccines being rolled out as fast as possible, there are new strains that have been proven to be more infectious than the first strain.
Retail workers and other customer-facing employees in retail outlets stores are at an even higher risk of infection, not just from the micro-droplets, but also from contact with common surfaces. Studies have shown that the coronavirus can live on surfaces for as long as 3 days.
This means that the handheld devices used in retail stores are increasing the risk of retail workers being exposed to infection in the workplace. These surfaces are dangerous to both employees and customers.