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Retailers have recognized that consumer convenience, efficient and consistent fulfilment, and their brand reach are the core key factors critical to e-commerce success. Optimizing the last mile experience is an opportunity for businesses to open new models to drive customer engagement and sales. A leading provider of automated e-commerce order pickup, return and order processing solutions in North America, Bell and Howell’s new BH QuickCollect™ Solutions are revolutionizing e-commerce fulfillment operations with robotic automation. The autonomous fulfilment solution has already been deployed in over 1,800 locations by grocery stores, retailers, and pharmacies looking to optimize e-commerce fulfillment with an automated remote pickup solution.
The way the autonomous “store in a box” offering from Bell and Howell works is this: first, shoppers place their orders; next, an associate loads those orders into the QuickCollect GO! POD; in the third and final step, shoppers pick up their orders by entering a unique code specific to their order into the QuickCollect GO! POD. This seamless transference allows for associates to load multiple orders in seconds, while the internal automation gives shoppers a way to retrieve their orders quickly and efficiently. The lack of associate engagement outside of the initial order loading frees up store employees for other tasks outside of fulfilment.
In addition to its last mile fulfilment capabilities servicing a variety of industries, the QuickCollect GO! POD also can act as an intelligence hub for partner pickups within local delivery geographies. The “store in a box” center has the option to provide multiple, customizable pickup-portal configurations, making it possible to expand capacity for high-volume simultaneous processing across multiple participating partners. By using patent-pending, next-generation automation, and intelligent software the robotic e-commerce order pickup solution eliminates the need for labor-intensive order touchpoints. Bell and Howell’s solution addresses growing retail and online ordering challenges around labor shortage and costs, inefficiencies along the shopper journey and pickup experience, as well as helps defray the high cost of last mile delivery. The QuickCollect GO! POD reduces complexity and cost for partner merchants, while allowing shoppers unprecedented convenience.
Alongside more retail-focused pickup options, Bell and Howard has also introduced a grocery-specific refrigerated food locker BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) solution. The QuickCollect GL is a smart grocery locker system that enables grocers to remotely configure column temperatures by degrees, from heated to frozen and anywhere in between. As e-commerce goes mainstream for more goods across the shopper journey, robotic and convenient solutions like the QuickCollect suite of autonomous pickup solutions will increasingly scale. BOPIS convenience will become more commonplace, enabling new business models including drive-up automated pickup at remote sites, as well as 24/7 automated pickup without added retail or grocer store hours or a need to increase staff headcount or hours.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK report, Optimizing Last Mile CX.