Myer is relaunching click-and-collect at 22 stores this Sunday in a bid to avoid delays in the delivery of online orders for Mother’s Day, which occurs one day before the retailer’s bricks-and-mortar stores are due to reopen on May 11.
The department store chain has reported strong online growth since it closed physical stores on March 29, following the social distancing restrictions introduced by Federal and State Governments to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Myer experienced an incredible 800 per cent increase in online purchases over the Easter long weekend, with beauty and homewares seeing the strongest uptake.
Mother’s Day is expected to drive another big surge in online sales, but with the nation’s courier services already struggling to keep up with the rise in parcel volumes, it’s a double-edged sword.
Australia Post this week announced it was shifting resources from letter to parcel delivery to manage the Christmas-like volumes it has seen since people started self-isolating. But it previously acknowledged there would be “severe” delays.
Nathan Huppatz, co-founder of ReadyToShip, one of the country’s biggest shipping platforms, and Costumes.com.au, is worried the current e-commerce boom won’t last if customers are annoyed by shipping delays.
“My concern is that our postal networks aren’t keeping up, so it’s not the best experience for people,” he told Inside Retail.
Huppatz said he’s heard of some small businesses making deliveries themselves, which has the added benefit of saving margin, but even major retailers are looking for ways around the delivery bottleneck.
Woolworths has teamed up with Sherpa and Drive Yello, and Petbarn has partnered with Uber, to ensure customers receive their online orders quickly.
Others like Myer are offering click-and-collect, despite, in many cases, their stores being closed.
“Our dedicated teams are working hard to ensure all customers receive purchases as quickly as possible, but for greater convenience, ahead of Mother’s Day, we’ve reinstated Click & Collect at 22 stores nationwide between 26th April – 10th May,” Geoff Ikin, Myer’s chief customer officer, said in a media statement on Friday.
The retailer will operate pop-up booths at store entrances with enhanced hygiene and distancing measures in place to ensure customers can collect their items in the safest possible way. The booths will operate from 10am to 5pm, seven days a week.
Rachel Caton, sales and marketing director at click-and-collect technology provider Doddle, said she is encouraged to see the agility of retailers’ responses to the social distancing restrictions.
“It really sets the bar for what we can achieve when things settle down again,” she told Inside Retail.
In the meantime, she said businesses should take advantage of alternatives to doorstep deliveries.
“Services such as Australia Post Collect & Return, enabling consumers to pick up their e-commerce orders at Australia Post locations, lockers and retailers such as IGA and Mitre10, form a key plank in expanding the capacity of the final mile while delivering a great customer experience,” she said.
Myer said the relaunch of click-and-collect will allow it to bring more team members back to work. It has already reinstated more than 2000 team members to help fulfil online orders.
“We have also reduced our free delivery threshold to $49 and relaxed our returns policy so customers can shop with confidence and peace of mind during this time,” Ikin said.
Here are the 22 stores offering click and collect. Customers can also check the store locator on Myer’s website for their nearest store offering the service.
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