by Nick Gardner
“Pick-and-click” retailing is already becoming a huge trend among large retailers, but how can smaller operations take advantage Rating: of this opportunity? SO-CALLED “pick and click” retailing is forecast to be a big trend in 2012, as retailers try and accommodate online shopping but without the need for a big postal delivery operation.
Among large retailers, Coles is blazing a trail by allowing customers to shop online, select their goods and allowing customers to pick up the food from “intelligent” lockers located at Coles Express service stations. The lockers can be refrigerated to keep food fresh and the program is already being hailed a success. However, smaller businesses can also cash in on this new delivery technology. TZ Ltd, the technology company behind the patented intelligent locker system, says it is working with increasing numbers of small businesses to design individual solutions that allow customers to shop online and pick up their goods after hours.
“It gives customers the best of both worlds – instant gratification but the convenience of picking up their goods at a time that suits them, whether that’s late at night or very early in the morning.” The lockers work by sending the customer a text or email when their goods are placed inside the locker. The customer is also sent a unique pin number which they enter into the locker keypad, which pops the door open and resets itself for the next customer when it is closed.
“It is basically a way of allowing your customers to shop with you 24hrs a day, but without offices or staff” said Ting. Leasing and installing a bank of intelligent lockers is not cheap – averaging several thousand dollars a time – but if split between a group of retailers the costs can become very reasonable. And it could lead to a pickup in business as shops prevent customers from migrating to overseas websites.
“We deal with many groups of companies who are working together to make the operation cost effective” said Kenneth Ting, executive director of TZ Ltd. “You might have a shoe repair shop or dry cleaners that wants to allow customers to collect their goods at any time, night or day, and this is a perfect solution” said Ting.
TZ is already in negotiations to plant banks of lockers within shopping centers or at other service stations – even at 24hr supermarkets – anywhere that is open late and can offer a secure setting for the lockers. Anybody interested in an a consultation or quote, or to find out about leasing or buying lockers, either new or from existing sites, should contact TZ Ltd on their website or by calling 02 9222 8890