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BOPIS Innovations: PenguinPickUp

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
BOPIS Innovations: PenguinPickUp ‘Location, location, location’ has long been the mantra of the two R’s. One ‘R’ being real-estate, the other being retail. Today, business is more complex, but there is still much to be said about the mantra. The last mile is still a challenge that retailers face. Delivery is expensive. Yet, having a presence near large urban population centers is expensive too. Enter the new stream of solutions, like PenguinPickUp Centers!

How Does it Work? 

PenguinPickUp stores are small format pickup points, conveniently located in urban centers. Specifically, they are located in high-density locations where people either reside or work. These tidy, clean and bright small format stores provide customer convenience, as a priority. One new location is in the heart of Liberty Village, Toronto. It is at the base of a large cluster of condos and apartments. All this in a modern, and very trendy area. The population density is about 4,500 city dwellers per square kilometre. That means that here the population density is over five times that of Toronto overall. Despite the high consumer base, there are few major groceries or department stores nearby. In this case, the PenguinPickUp Store is in the heart of this jungle of high rises. It offers a very convenient spot for customers to pickup retail purchases. For consumers, it is a convenient short walk to a nice location, to retrieve their purchases, securely. There is no worry about a delivered parcel going to the wrong apartment. No concerns about parcel piracy (theft). And best of all, the items are available for the customer pickup, at the times that are convenient for them.

Extension of Retailer’s Brand

Retailers can’t be everywhere. Even a huge retailing enterprise like Walmart isn’t on every corner in major cities. But they can have a presence with an innovation like PenguinPickUp. In fact, in Walmart’s case, they have partnered with PenguinPickup Stores, for an inner-city presence. This innovation means any shopper can buy online and pickup in-store (BOPIS) from a proxy. In this case, PenguinPickUp Stores act as an extension of the Walmart brand. PenguinPickUp also acts as a HUB for home delivery of Walmart online grocery orders. They actually have active temperature control and by that Walmart (or any retailer using this setup) save on packaging costs and cost of the last mile, as they bring all orders (pickup & home delivery) to the PenguinPickUp locations.

What Does it Mean for Consumers? 

Shoppers benefit in various ways. Convenience: PenguinPickUp Stores are located near where they live in urban centers. Control: Shoppers choose when to pickup their purchase. Security: Brightly lit, clean, and safe. PenguinPickUp Stores provide a secure method for customers to get their parcels. No doorstep or porch piracy to worry about. Savings: Urban dwellers can now purchase goods, including groceries, from any retailer on the web. No cost for pickup. No worries about paying a ‘downtown’ premium for goods.

Equalizing the Cost of Living 

Living in the inner city is a choice. Today’s large cities have seen a rebirth in the attraction of living in the heart of the action. But living in the core means there are fewer grocery locations, compared to the suburbs. Often groceries and other goods are more expensive. This due to the premium on rent, and higher cost of getting goods into the city. Think about traffic and smaller delivery vehicles. This is where PenguinPickUp Stores are bringing the lower cost goods of the suburbs; downtown. Shoppers can now go online, buy their goods – including groceries, from Walmart, for example. Online pricing does not distinguish between inner-city dwellers, suburbanites, or rural shoppers. That means customers can buy their groceries online, without paying convenience store prices. Items are shipped to PenguinPickUp Stores close to the customer. These are refrigerated or kept frozen until the customer to collects them. All at NO added cost to the shopper.

What About the Retailer?

PenguinPickUp Stores extends convenience to a retailer’s customers. Think about this from an omni-channel perspective. Omni-channel retailing is all about creating a seamless experience for the customer. A smart retailer can tap into the PenguinPickUp Store network. Then offer customers either in-store pickup or pickup at a PenguinPickUp Store. Research shows that only 27.5% of US and 30% of Canadian retailers offer click and collect services. Offering click and collect with alternative pickup points – is a major market differentiator right now. A few retailers like Walmart are now breaking this barrier, but the option is open to many more.

The Easy Pop-up Store Route

New PenguinPickUp Stores are popping up across more and more cities. Currently, the rollout is across major Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. But, you can expect to see this concept spreading into US cities, soon. As pointed out, these are small format pickup points. They are deployed in targeted high population centers. Perfect for trial runs of retailer pop-up stores. In fact, Egil Moller Nielsen, Executive Officer & Director of PenguinPickup even offers retailers the opportunity to experiment. Moller Nielsen enthusiastically points out that, “instead of taking on the challenges of securing a short term lease, setup costs, and logistical challenges of getting a popup store ready, just use our services! A brand can take over one of the downtown locations for a week, a month or even more, to test out that spot. The best part is that it is a low risk to the retailer. The logistics are already worked out. And even better there is already plenty of foot traffic. Great way to get attention, and instant brand recognition for a retailer.”

PenguinPickUp Stores – Omni-channel Innovation

If you are a retailer, the PenguinPickUp Store concept is important. Omni-channel retailing is becoming a part of the consumer landscape. Shopper’s don’t know it by name, but they certainly know a good customer journey when they experience it. That buying journey is about giving shoppers choices, making it easy for them, and making it seamless. PenguinPickUp Stores having NPS scores over 90%. It means customer are loving it for the convenience, and options it lends them. Partnering to provide your customers with an additional pickup option, will help your brand. Want to know how to connect your order management or omni-channel process to PenguinPickUp Stores? If so, connect with us. We are always open to discuss how, with our friends and retail enthusiasts.  Also, don't forget to click through to PenguinPickUp Stores to learn more about this exciting extension of your brand.   Author:  Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.
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