Endless aisle is a retail strategy that enables in-store shoppers to place orders through a digital platform during their visit.
When an item is out of stock, store associates can guide shoppers to visit the brand’s online platform, complete an order, and have it delivered to their desired location. Endless aisle removes the border between physical and digital stores, creating a seamless experience for customers. It is the flip side of ‘click and collect’, also known as BOPIS (buy online pick up in store).
"Endless aisle gives the sales associates the ability to literally sell what they don’t have. It opens up a whole universe of product availability for the associate."
Founder and President of Dionco
Turning a store into an endless aisle has many benefits for a retailer including:
More efficient inventory management
If you’re able to connect your online and offline stores, you don’t need to have your full product catalog at each of your locations. You can store your extra stock in the warehouse or more spacious stores. This improves inventory visibility and functionality significantly.
Seamless customer experience
Endless aisle is an omnichannel solution which enables customers to enjoy the shopping experience without having to worry about the divide between physical and online stores.
Endless aisle influences your approach to promotions, enabling your retail and ecommerce teams to sit together and set up coupons, discounts and referrals or run omnichannel loyalty campaigns. Your customers are not only able to move between online and offline stores, but they can also redeem their points, send referrals, etc. at both touchpoints.
A pleasant, stress-free shopping experience is what your customers want. If they’re able to enjoy walking in your store and have the option of ordering online while there, they’re more likely to stick around.
Although endless aisle is a fairly new concept, some retailers have already started to use it. The outstanding examples are:
With over 10,000 retail locations across the world, Walmart has introduced interactive kiosks in some of its stores. Using the kiosks, customers can browse through product categories, place their orders, and receive them right at their door.
American retail company Staples offers endless aisle solutions to increase customer engagement. Their interactive kiosks allow customers to have access to over 10,000 products to support their working and learning. Shoppers can browse through the items, add items to their virtual carts and pay at the kiosks. For products that are out of stock in the store where the customer is placing their order, Staples offers free next-day delivery.
Keen to know more about omnichannel solutions for retailers? Check out our Ultimate Guide to omnichannel retail.
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