An Aptos Interactive Report
Retail’s new last mile:
A new opportunity (or mandate?) for experience innovation
The pandemic has definitely altered shopping journeys. But are patterns really changing?
To find the answer, let’s look at the new last mile from the shopper’s point of view. First, in the “not surprising at all” category, a huge number of shopping journeys have shifted online.
While almost every category has seen an activity bump, a few of the top categories that reflect our new pandemic lifestyles are converting at unprecedented rates.
Forecast 2020 Ecommerce Growth vs 2019
Toys & Games
Home & Garden
Health & Beauty
Baby & Toddler
YTD Page Views (2020 v. 2019)
We have also seen tremendous mobile commerce growth in areas that - similar to ecommerce trends - reflect our new lifestyles:
Global mobile commerce traffic growth in Q2 2020
High-growth mobile commerce verticals
Health & Beauty
Will these mobile shopping patterns stick around?
At least in the US, these mobile shopping patterns do appear to be somewhat sticky
US Adults Who Prefer Shopping on Mobile (June 2020)
Let’s face it:
change is everywhere
Shopping behaviors aren’t the only things changing. Fulfillment behaviors are changing, as well. Store pickups in particular, are still surging, even after stores in many regions have re-opened.
Store Pickup Orders vs Last Year
Huge behavioral shift:
Curbside pickup continues to thrive.
Growth in the US
shoppers tried curbside for the first time since March, and nearly two-thirds say they plan to use curbside in the future.
Perhaps the most interesting news regarding curbside?
said services like curbside pickup were behind them making a purchase from a local store for the first time.
What does all this data mean?
Besides being (hopefully) somewhat interesting, there are two meaningful takeaways we can glean from all this data.
1. The new last mile is rapidly becoming a real opportunity to differentiate with more:
2. The clock is ticking: We must move fast, because the big retailers certainly are.
US Retail Ecommerce Share,
Top 10 Companies
Where should we move?
Ok, so we need to move, and move quickly. The most important question remains:
To capture this opportunity in the last mile, we need to find new ways to surprise and delight. Of course, we have to master the new “basics” first. We have to ensure that all safety protocols are followed and that we execute each new process consistently.
However, “good enough” may not be good enough to consistently grab share from the Top 10.
What’s better than good enough?
Let’s look at a few examples of last-mile surprise and delight that could prove to be inspirational…
Right on target
While not offering anything extraordinarily unique, Target definitely delights shoppers by absolutely nailing the Curbside pickup process.
They thought of everything
Placing good bets
Best Buy went all in on newly designed experiences fueled by experienced associates.
Betting big by keeping associates (and giving them temporary 4% raises)
One-on-one store appointments
82% of full-time store staff and field employees stayed on payroll even as stores closed.
Redesigned at-home services
Curbside, ship from store options
Those bets are paying off
• Total Q2 sales up 2.5%
• Online Q2 sales up 255%
• Stock near record highs
None of this would be possible without the effort and energy of our frontline employees working in stores, supply chain facilities and customers’ homes.”
- Best Buy CEO Corie Barry
(Already) rethinking curbside
Walmart is putting all their curbside space to exciting new use after dark.
A safe and socially distanced night at the movies
Transforming 160 store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters, customers can safely gather to watch movies programmed by the Tribeca Drive-in team.
And of course, there’s still “old school” curbside
Families can fill their picnic baskets by ordering drive-in essentials online for curbside pickup on the way to the movie.
Delighting through safety
Mexico City-based Liverpool promotes powerful protocols for safety and sanitation.
So many steps to ensure safety
Streaming live from the store
Motivi adds new digital experiences via in-store livestream sessions.
Bringing it all together via each livestream: Integrating shoppers, stylists and selling
Putting stores to work online
Fast Fish, one of China’s Fast Fashion leaders, was among the first to leverage livestreaming during the pandemic.
Livestreaming via WeChat:
A company-wide phenomenon
An entirely new culture
All employees have been asked to become online salespeople.
Salesperson quotas are now divided between offline and online.
One single-day revenue exceeded ¥6,900,000
($980,000 USD, €898,000 EUR) through these live streams.
Store associates were very active streamers
Even executives (including the CIO, pictured) got involved
But it’s not just the big players
Smaller retailers are also finding creative ways to surprise and delight shoppers in the last mile, as well.
Keeping it simple
Notting Hill Fish Shop’s low tech approach to social distancing brings a little surprise that leads to big delight.
Making it easy
Maternity brand Hatch is there for moms with virtual styling sessions, at-home consignment and curbside pickup options.
A novel approach to social queuing
Popping up where their customers gather
Rather than markers or cones, they simply put out black folding chairs to allow people to sit and socialize while waiting in line.
It became iconic, and it reinforced a need beyond the functional need of buying produce from us - the need for customers to talk and see other people.”
- Chris D’Sylva, Co-owner
Many NYC clientele summer in the Hamptons. A Southampton pop-up shop offers curbside pickup and private shopping.
Speaking of pop-up shops…
Don’t overlook their potential value. They may become mission-critical as stores in some areas are forced to close again.
Popping up in…Hong Kong?
Despite all the challenges in the Hong Kong market, luxury leather brand Senreve succeeded with a pop-up.
Almost 50% of the shop’s traffic had never before heard of the brand.
Over 5,000 visitors in two weeks bought more than 200 of the brand’s high-end handbags.
Popping up (and performing) amid a pandemic
Hopefully you have something new to think about.
Because we believe the last mile just may be a shortcut to differentiation.
Aptos solutions are designed to help Engage Customers Differently, and they can certainly help you differentiate your experiences throughout the new last mile of the shopping journey.
Our Order Management solution can help ensure that every piece of inventory is available to promise from every, store, DC, PO or vendor. Once orders are placed, Aptos EOM can help ensure those promises are kept, whether the order is being shipped from a DC or being picked up at curbside.
Aptos ONE, our cloud-native, microservices-based Retail Experience Platform is perfectly suited to help you create new experiences that optimize every experience, including curbside selling, pop-up selling or mobile POS transactions anywhere inside the store.
How can Aptos help you win the last mile?
Aptos is the largest provider of enterprise software focused exclusively on retail. Our cloud-based Singular Retail™ solutions are trusted by over 1,000 retail brands in over 65 countries. With industry-leading omnichannel commerce and merchandise lifecycle management solutions, we help retailers develop dynamic and responsive assortments, streamline operations and deliver integrated, seamless experiences… wherever shoppers choose to engage. More than 1,300 colleagues share our collective passion for engaging customers differently, and we are committed to developing relationships built on trust and tangible value by partnering with our clients to create agile retail enterprises that are built to thrive in an era of constant change.
Learn more at aptos.com
• Whole-Store Sanitation
• Full PPE for Cashiers
• Constant Fitting Room Cleaning
• Curbside Pickup
High-end home shopping
Italian fashion brand Moorer launches at-home concierge service.
Moorer gets personal with at-home concierge
Store stylists curate a selection of items that are personalized to each client.
Stylists conduct appointments at client’s home, including curated collection.
Exclusive shopping perks
Camomilla offers private shopping and home try-on services.
Exclusive shopping options at Camomilla
“Private sale” appointments reserve the entire store for valued clientele.
Customers contact a stylist via WhatsApp and select items to try at home the same day, delivered via electric bicycle branded with their characteristic animal pattern.
Staff wheeled the merchandise out of the warehouse every morning and back in again every night.
They even required shoppers to RSVP their interest to limit the number of people in the “shop” at any one time (and also perhaps to create an aura of exclusivity).
Daily ups and downs
Online apparel boutique Threads & Co. hosted a parking lot pop-up shop for safe outdoor shopping.
Source: Bazaarvoice Network Data
Global weekly shopping activity
Year-over-year percent growth (2020 v. 2019)
Source: Bazaarvoice Network Data
Sources: eMarketer (LATAM), TechCrunch (USA), eMarketer (Western Europe), PYMNTS.com (China)
Sources: MarketWatch, RetailWire
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All other company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.
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Four in ten
Bringing peace of mind to shoppers through a long list of thorough safety protocols:
Making it Easy
John Lewis doubles their click and collect network, expands into Zoom styling.
Joy to the World
When the UK-based department store
re-opened stores in June, they aimed to offer “joyful experiences” to customers, despite the safety protocols.
Creating "joyful experiences" throughout the new last mile
After hours personal shopping visits
Online beauty appointments
Entertainment for those queuing outside, waiting to shop
Special access for health care workers
The complete package
“Your Neiman’s” offers enriched, personalized online experiences that help bring the store to you.
Adding value at every turn
Personal online stylists
Value-added store services
Growing Click and Collect
Zooming in on More Bookings
Expanding click and collect service to 500 branches of the Co-op – almost doubling the number of locations where shoppers can pick up their shopping – will result in customers being able to pick up their online orders at nearly 900 click and collect points in the UK.
The launch of virtual personal shopping via Zoom allows customers to view various departments over video with an in-store adviser. The launch is a permanent extension of free virtual styling appointments that were offered during lockdown, which resulted in over 3,500 bookings between April and July.
Sources: InternetRetailing, Fashion Network
While it may sound a bit ridiculous, there will be times when canopy tents may be our most feasible alternative.