Adam T. Sutton

Drive Traffic with Shipping to Stores

I recently talked with Kevin Ertell, SVP E-Business, Borders, who pointed out some very interesting ways that the retailer is integrating its offline and online channels.

The most obvious is the Magic Bookshelf. On the Borders homepage, customers can browse books, music and movies by their covers–just like in the real store. It brings part of the in-store browsing experience online.

The most surprising is a free ship-to-store offer. Online customers can opt to have their order shipped to a nearby Borders store to avoid paying for shipping.

“The response to that has been a lot more than we thought it was going to be,” Kevin said. His team expected to see the offer adopted most often in urban areas, but they have been pleasantly surprised to see it taking off in suburbia as well.

How does Borders benefit?

“Getting traffic into our stores is always a good thing. Hopefully, they pick up something else while they’re in the store. And if it’s a convenience to our customers, hopefully that helps us gain some loyalty by providing a service that others don’t.”

Granted, not every marketer can do this. Borders has major brick-and-mortar locations across the country and parts of the globe. And it has billions of dollars in revenue to help cover the loss in shipping revenue. If you need to pull more traffic into your stores and can make the logistics work, free ship-to-store shipping might not be a bad idea.

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Channel Marketing, Consumer Electronics, Consumer Marketing, Ecommerce Eretail