My Omnichannel experiment...


I never get to conduct experiments in my family that’s usually left up to our daughter. She loves anything science. We never know what we might find in a bowl or in the freezer. We call her the “mad scientist” and love (sort of) every gooey and smelly experiment that she conducts.

So, last week I decided to conduct my very own experiment based on a retail journey. It’s not exactly scientific but let’s call it my “Omnichannel” experience. I needed some materials and decided to order online and pick-up my purchase later at the store.

So, I set out to do my shopping one night while lounging and watching TV in the comfort of my home. Easy shopping, found it quickly, then searched for an online coupon code. Found one, 40% off! Entered it in the promo code area and I hit apply. Bingo, it worked! Off to a good start, my product is ordered and I got a discount. (But if I were in the store I would have definitely been able to use one competitor’s coupon in addition to the store coupon). So, ordering online gave me convenience and my store discount but because I didn’t make my purchase in-store I lost some savings by not being able to use a competitor’s coupon too.

The next step in my journey, I received a confirmation email from the store that they received my order. Also, my husband received a confirmation email (I added him as a second person that could pick up the purchase just in case I wouldn’t be able to make time to get there).

Within one day after my initial communication I received notification that my purchase was ready for pick up. And, the notification listed the last possible day I could pick up my products.

A couple of days passed by and finally I set out one late morning to pick up my products that I ordered online. I parked in the store’s lot, pushed the ignition button off and hit my timer on my smart phone. I thought, let me see how long this takes from parked car to pick up.

I entered the store and the first thing I saw was a stand-alone no nonsense sign telling me exactly where to go to pick up my online order.

Signage was at the entrance!

Signage was at the entrance!

Easy counter sign at pick-up location

Easy counter sign at pick-up location

I went to the back of the store and the associate asked my name, found my purchase, checked my license for ID all the while having a nice conversation. I got my purchase and stopped the timer.

From parked car to pick up it was a mere 4 minutes and 24 seconds. Wow! Under 5 minutes! That even takes into account that I stopped to read the sign, took photos of the sign up front and at the pick-up counter; and, I talked to the sales associate. You can’t beat that if it’s all about convenience and time.

I had my product in hand; so, I didn’t shop the store even though the retailer cleverly put the online pick up counter at the back of the store so I had to walk past merchandise.

The retailer is definitely driving traffic into the store with online pick up but are they really driving more merchandise sales? I walked into the store, picked up my online purchase and walked out. So, based on my experiment I would say no. But then again, I might not be the typical order online and pick up at store customer.

Just imagine, if I picked up my order and the sales associate would have given me a reason to shop the store. What about here’s a discount for shopping online only good to use in store right now? Very few can resist a deal! There’s always something to purchase!

While my experiment didn’t involve moths or shaving cream it was still a fun journey for me; and, I plan on adding more Omnichannel experiences to my experiment list in the future.

By the way, in case you wondering the current experiment living in a bowl in my kitchen is a moth and we’re looking forward to seeing it become a beautiful butterfly!


Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit

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