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The rise of online order pickup has led to retailers needing to figure out how to best process these pickups.

Online order pickup works as something of a hybrid between ecommerce and traditional retail. Customers are able to place their orders online, but the orders are taken from the inventory at a brick-and-mortar store location, where the customer can go pick it up when ready.

This method allows for greater convenience when shopping as it reduces the shipping and handling time for these items, while allowing the customer to get the items they need without having to deal with the typical inconveniences of shopping. Particularly during the pandemic, this grew in popularity as a great way to shop while lowering the risk of contact with other shoppers and reducing your amount of time spent in a store.

As a result, many different stores of all sizes had to find ways to create areas where these orders could be stored and picked up as needed. Above and beyond the typical retail storage needs like inventory, returns, and shrink, order pickup needs the right balance of accessibility, safety, and storage capacity to make sure these orders can be promptly handed over to the customer.


How to Organize Order Pickup Areas in Retail

The first step is to figure out where your order pickup will be. Larger stores, such as grocers, may want to consolidate their order pickup near their customer service area. This will prevent your workers from having to travel more and increasing the amount of time it takes for an order to get fulfilled. Smaller stores may need to keep them in the back room, or directly behind the counter depending on how big your items tend to be.


From there, you need a way to safely store everything. Focus on shelving that can be used in smaller areas and expanded or adjusted as needed, like commercial wire shelving or commercial metal shelves. Depending on what you carry, items like food products, personal goods, or pharmaceuticals may need specialized shelving such as sterile medical shelving or food storage shelving to keep them safe and fresh until they get picked up.


Getting the goods to the customer is another matter entirely. In many cases, the orders that need to be picked up are a little on the heavier side, and may require care to move to the customer. If your area has the space to spare, use a gravity flow conveyor to help slide packages from storage to the register where the order is checked and given to the customer in order to make sure nothing is damaged in transit.

With these tools, and a little imagination, you should be able to organize an order pickup area that can handle even the biggest customer orders.

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