Sam’s says it’s scoring with club pickup
Club Pickup — the Sam’s Club version of click-and-collect fulfillment — is gaining traction with business customers and is poised for growth, said Jamie Iannone, president and CEO of Samsclub.com.
Sam’s has the Club Pickup service available in stores chain-wide. Speaking at last week’s Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas, Mr. Iannone said the company has installed drive-through pickup lanes in 60 stores so far, with plans to have them in 100 by year-end.
Curb-side pickups are nothing new for Sam’s, Mr. Iannone explained. “We’ve been doing this for more than 15 years. It began with fax-in ordering.”
The latest wrinkles are a streamlined pickup lane adjacent to the store entrance, full-assortment online ordering and a highly-functional mobile app, he said. The app enables customers to place orders, set pickup times, check out transactions and save shopping lists for future reuse. A prototype in a Bentonville-area store features multiple slots for cars to pull through.
The innovations add up to a service encounter that can be as brief as 30 seconds, said Mr. Iannone. Timing is crucial for both convenience and product quality. “Almost half of our orders have fresh and frozen included.”
To be fully successful for members with standing reorders, Club Pickup depends on an e-commerce engine that reportedly has near-perfect in-store inventory accuracy. “All SKUs have to be online, whether bought digitally or in the club. It’s part of the online experience.”
For business customers, Mr. Iannone said, “Complete orders are paramount. Restaurant customers require that.”
Mr. Iannone said Sam’s has reduced friction of in-store encounters too with its Scan & Go self-checkout app, now operational in all 659 stores nationwide.
“We built Scan & Go because checkout is a pain point for members. It takes the line wait away and helps drive more frequent sales and more items.” The app pops up on the user’s mobile device screen so that membership cards are no longer necessary.
Net promoter scores (a measure of shopper satisfaction) for Scan & Go are “way off the roof,” he said.
Sam’s has been testing business delivery from stores in a couple of markets, an experiment that also has yielded very strong NPS scores.
- Club Pickup – Sam’s Club
- Sam’s Club overhauls pick-up service with an eye on Costco – Fortune
- Sam’s Club enhances omnichannel pickup – Chain Store Age
- Sam’s Club Announces ‘Club Pickup’ Service – KFSM
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How much of an advantage does Sam’s Club gain from incorporating digital tech in services such as click-and-collect fulfillment and Scan & Go? Which is more significant, Club Pickup or Scan & Go? How important will local store delivery become?