Most of the time, when a customer buys something, they’re either making an online purchase, or they’re making a physical purchase in a store.
For an online purchase, they give you their payment details, then you deliver the item or arrange for them to collect it. For a physical purchase, you scan the items, they pay, and they take their purchases with them.
However, as in-store omnichannel, powered by endless aisle, becomes more common, that starts to become an unnecessary and frustrating distinction. Why make customers perform two transactions when they could combine those into a single purchase.
No more either/or
Take the following example. Imagine I want to buy two shirts, one red, one blue. The red one is available in-store, but the blue one is out of stock in my size. What are my options?
The most likely option is that I’ll buy the red shirt, then promise myself I’ll come back later for the other one, or go online and get it. In reality, I probably won’t bother: I’ll look elsewhere or forget, and you’ve lost a sale. According to McKinsey, 87% of customers will go to a competitor if they can't make an immediate purchase.
However, with an endless aisle, I can immediately place an online order for the blue shirt and have it delivered, or maybe even arrange to collect it from another store later today if they have it. I can also use a self checkout to buy the red shirt, and pay for both in a single transaction.
It’s simple, it’s friction-free, and it makes life easy for your customers.
Meeting customer expectations
All our clients tell us that customer expectations have changed over the last few years. As they become accustomed to online shopping and omnichannel, they expect a similar level of service in stores. This isn’t a passing fad. McKinsey say that 70% of adults now regard themselves as omnichannel customers.
And yet, even though many customers say they want personal service, Shopify research shows that 37% of in-store shoppers will not speak to an associate if they can't see the item they’re looking for. eMarketer says that 70% of shoppers would rather look up information onscreen than speak to a store associate. Shoppers aged under 40 in particular prefer to self-serve, and 75% of shoppers think that an in-store kiosk makes shopping easier and more enjoyable.
Offering an endless aisle with self checkout gives customers what they’re already demanding from retailers. 56% of consumers want to see what's available in nearby stores and 69% would shop more in-stores that offer direct shipping of out-of-stock products. Meeting that demand immediately translates to fewer lost sales and fewer disappointed customers. That in turn means increased revenue, increased loyalty, and increased customer satisfaction.
Adding a split cart to the endless aisle makes the endless aisle even more attractive by further simplifying both the customer journey and checkout process and enabling them to make physical and online purchases simultaneously.