Do Amazon Lockers Help or Hinder Retailers? | RetailNext
RetailNext

Comprehensive In-Store Analytics

Resources

Do Amazon Lockers Help or Hinder Retailers?

Chitra Balasubramanian
Chitra Balasubramanian
Head of Business Analytics

As brick-and-mortar retailers add innovative programs such as Amazon Lockers to continue to bridge the online and offline gap, it’s critical to understand the direct impact on sales and the customer experience.

In 2011, Amazon launched Amazon Lockers, which allows Amazon shoppers to place orders via the web and then very conveniently pick up their purchases at brick-and-mortar retailers. An idea that appeared to seamlessly bridge online and offline commerce hit a snag last week when both Staples and Radio Shack pulled out of the program. It’s not too surprising since Amazon is one of the two retailers’ biggest competitors. But the question remains whether or not Staples and Radio Shack had the right technology to do the most comprehensive testing to procure the insights they needed to make such a big decision? When millions of Amazon’s brown boxes crisscross the nation on a daily basis, wouldn’t this enormous number actually translate into increased foot traffic and perhaps sales?

A Staples spokesperson told Bloomberg that Amazon “didn’t meet the criteria we set up together.” A RadioShack spokesperson said Amazon’s “locker program didn’t fit into RadioShack’s move forward strategy.” Sounds pretty anecdotal. Where’s the data to back up these statements?

As brick-and-mortar retailers add innovative programs such as Amazon Lockers to continue to bridge the online and offline gap, it’s critical to understand their direct impact on sales and the customer experience. In the past, there were so many operational unknowns, but now it is possible for brick-and-mortar retailers to get detailed, reliable, and easily understood measurement of how shoppers behave in their stores that provide insights that retailers can use to make smart decisions. Retailers should measure and understand the answers to questions like:

Just this week eBay announced its answer to Amazon Lockers: “Click and Collect”. But instead of lockers, eBay purchases will be held at pick-up points within brick-and-mortar retailers. This is yet another great opportunity for savvy retailers to test and measure this important new source of data and strive to understand the effect on their business.

Discussion

US