Another Tactic in Integrating Online and Brick and Mortar

A reader pointed out to me that Zumiez has started (don’t know exactly when) a program they call “Order Online Pay in Store.” You order it online, selecting “pay in store” when you check out, go to the store within 48 hours and pay for the item, and it’s shipped to either your home or the store. Per normal procedure, there’s no shipping charge if you pick it up at the store. If the item should be available at the store, you just come home with it.

Why might Zumiez do this? Will it generate any incremental sales?
With a weak economy, high teen unemployment, and the credit card companies no longer making “having a pulse” the criteria for getting a card, there are probably a bunch of Zumiez customers and potential customers that don’t have a credit card or don’t want to use it because they’ve figured out that if you can’t afford to pay off your credit in full at the end of each month, you can’t afford to use it. This gives them a way to shop on line but, and Zumiez has to love this, still gets them into the store.

I’m guessing it will generate some incremental sales, both online and in the stores. At the same time it’s convenient for some customers. How much in new sales? I’ve got no idea and I doubt Zumiez knows either. I’m sure they’d prefer more rather than less. However, I doubt they expended much effort trying to figure it out in advance because it won’t cost them much to do; a little web site programming, some communication and training for store personnel, and making sure the confirmation number the customer needs to take with them to the store is secure.
So what you’ve got here is another tactic for solidifying the omnichannel. Seems obvious in hindsight. Wonder how Zumiez thought it up. Maybe they didn’t as I don’t know that they are the first to do it.
It occurs to me that the omnichannel strategy is so intriguing/exciting exactly because it’s a series of tactics- but nobody knows what all those tactics are going to look like because they haven’t been invented yet. As you may know, I’ve also been asking the question, “If all this spending developing an on line presence doesn’t generate enough incremental gross profit to more than pay for the costs, isn’t it strictly a defensive measure, not to mention a money loser?” It’s a successful omnichannel strategy (in whatever form it takes) that is supposed to make sure that doesn’t happen.



4 replies
  1. Greg Danielson
    Greg Danielson says:

    Jeff, I also think that this is an attempt to provide differentiation for Zumiez from other on-line retailers and particularly Amazon.
    Incremental in store revenue is always good, and I also agree retailers must try different omnichannel tactics in order to compete with the ever inventive giant.

    • jeff
      jeff says:

      Hi Greg,
      I don’t know that Zumiez is the only one doing it and I can’t see any reason why others won’t. One step at a time, one experiment at a time. Reach the consumer at every point of contact and make things easy for them. Especially when it costs you nothing to do it.

      Thanks for the comment,

  2. Brandon Holmes
    Brandon Holmes says:

    Good post Jeff. I’ve heard of a lot of brands who allow users to pay online and pick-up in store – Home Depot and big box stores come to mind – but I have not heard about retailers who are allowing consumers to secure an order online, and redeem via in-store payment and pick-up. Nor have I heard of the consumer persona (teens) that may not be using credit cards like they did in the past. Insightful and worth following. It kind of flies in the face of the direct-to-consumer model. I’d be interested to know if you or any of your readers have more data and insights supporting the hypothesis?

    • jeff
      jeff says:

      Hi Brandon,
      You are asking some good questions to which I don’t have solid answers. I’d just say again that it cost Zumiez next to nothing to do but may help a few of their customers or future customers. So why not? I don’t think it flies in the face of the direct-to-consumer model. It potentially convenient for some consumers.

      Thanks for the comment,

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