Back on Friday I considered the rationals behind Walmart's expansion to curbside and pickup services for customers who shop on line. Fortune contributor Neil Stern, writing in For CVS And Walmart, Curbside Pickup May Be A Great Idea That Customers Don't Want asks the most basic question for any business: is there money in the plan? He finds concerns.
Whether it’s called Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS), Click and Collect, or another name, the notion that physical retailers can provide customers immediacy of products, confirmation of in-stock and quick service is definitely intriguing as a way for physical retailers to blunt the online edge. Yet, questions remain about the viability, profitability and productivity of these efforts.
Stern goes on to detail his questions concerning viability, profitability and productivity, but his central issue remains: do enough customers want such a service?
This is a program that sounds great on the surface but has a variety of complications once you dig deeper. If they build this, will customers come? They might or this may be another effort that is ahead of a customer need.
Oh yeah. In his lede Stern lays the whole issue at the feet of the 800 pound gorilla, no not Walmart, Amazon.
All of these retailers are embracing an “omnichannel” approach, wisely attempting to leverage their brick and mortar locations as a strategic asset in the battle against Amazon, which is focused on immediacy of delivery through growth of its Prime Now service.
Yep, they're (yes, in case you think I made a mistake in the head, I do know the difference) all chasing Amazon. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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