The 1st pick-up tower in the Nordics: How XXL made self-service a great delivery experience
Long day at work, crowds of people, tired kids and a general lack of time. This combined with a long queue to the counter to pick up your ordered parcel can easily make you wish, that you should have just ordered home delivery. But the Norwegian sporting goods store XXL has tried to kill this nuisance with a new in-store tower for click’n’collect – the first of its kind in the whole Nordics. We have met with the Logistics Manager from XXL, Kim Andre Nilsen, to learn about this promising new feature in their shop.
XXL, also called XXL Sport & Villmark, was established in 2000 selling sporting goods, exercise and outdoors equipment for the physical active consumer. In 2015 XXL started to explore selling their items online and in collaboration with the Multicarrier Delivery Management Service provider, Consignor, they introduced the pickup in-store concept. Pickup in-store became very popular among the customers, since they could cut away the delivery cost for home delivery. And it also became popular for XXL, because the bigger in-store turn-up of customers could guarantee additional sales.
When you get too popular
The only downside of this popularity is that the customers ended up waiting in line to pick-up their orders. This especially puts pressure on the staff around the time of bigger campaigns. To relieve their customers and staff of this frustration, XXL has implemented a new pick up-tower made possible by the estonian company, Cleveron, which provides automation solutions for retail stores. Thanks to Cleveron, XXL is the first shop in the Nordic countries to deliver a web order with robot.
The tower is located in the middle of the XXL store in the shopping center, Alna Senter, located just outside Oslo city, and it measures 5 meters tall (16 feet) with a width of 2,5 meters (8 feet). An amount of 300-400 packages can be placed on the tower’s conveyer, and around 80-90% of these pick-up packages can fit into the tower itself.
How it works:
The pickup tower actually works pretty simple and by using existing technology and features within the Consignor software it has been easy to create a seamless delivery experience. This is how it works:
- The parcel is placed on the conveyer of the tower and the tower find a suitable place to store the parcel inside the tower.
- On the way in the parcel gets scanned and the status of the parcel is automatically updated in Consignor, their chosen DMS.
- The status update in Consignor triggers a text message and/or mail to the customer notifying that their parcel is ready for pick up. In the same message, the customer finds two codes which must be entered on the keypad of the tower when retrieving the parcel.
Pros and cons
The customers have already put the tower to good use, and the feedback is positive. Not only because it saves them time, but they can now fetch their order, without any pressure or reliance of others. Moreover, XXL has especially experienced a positive reaction from the staff: Now there is more time for customer care, consulting and sales that puts the customer in focus and relieving the staff of unnecessary manual work.
However, there are limitations to the tower. If the package has a dimension of more than 45.0cm x 30.0 x 26.0cm, the package must still be picked up at the counter. Customers, who want to pick up their order from the tower, must have this in mind when placing an order.
In addition, it is still uncertain whether a loss of additional sales occurs, now that the customer can retrieve his parcel from the tower and quickly be out of the store again in a matter of minutes. Kim Andre Nilsen mentions, that a research will determine this issue by the end of 2019. However, the current theory is that since the self-service solution is implemented in the store, the customer can relax more while in the store and therefore still be open to additional sales.
In the first three months of 2019 a whole 40% of the web orders was ordered for in-store pick-up, says Kim Andre and adds “So regardless of the downsides the self-service delivery solution at least gives us the possibility to handle the future growth.”
Easy pick-up in the future
The pick-up tower is currently being tested fully, but has already become a promising indicator for more implementations. The sporting goods store is currently also testing self-service pick-up lockers in the stores in Jessheim located 40 kilometers north of Oslo and Majorstue in the city center of the Norwegian capital city.
Besides all this XXL is also frontrunner when it comes to embrasing new technology in logistics. By using RFID technology in the whole logistics flow XXL has managed to raise the quality in the delivery experience they provide to their customers and there by increased customer satisfaction.
Read more the benefits of RFID in logistics here.