Cue doubles down on store-to-door
After becoming one of the first major bricks-and-mortar retailers in Australia to roll-out three hour delivery earlier this year, the business is now refining its model to facilitate further growth.
A new range of tech has been rolled out that has enabled in-store staff to confirm and pack orders for home delivery within 20 minutes.
While many retailers are investing in distribution centres to improve home delivery, Cue’s chief information officer Shane Lenton said the store-based fulfilment model would lower costs and extend its capabilities.
“We estimate a 20% growth in online, and it also gives us the capability to push 100% of our traditional online orders into stores as opposed to fulfilling out of our warehouse,” Lenton said.
The new in-store fulfilment offer is slated to increase Cue’s annual sales by more than 5 per cent, in what’s being touted as a “world first” innovation.
87 per cent of Cue’s click-and-collect orders are now being fulfilled in-store, while endless aisle shopping has also been rolled out to provide shoppers with a better omnichannel experience.
It has been a multi-year journey for the business, which has partnered with Shippit to overhaul its in-store POS and printer systems to enable the new services.
240,000 orders come through Cue’s 90+ stores each year, with each label costing three cents, saving the business thousands in shipping costs annually.
The in-store printer model generates shipping labels for products marked as ready for collection in-store, before automatically printing a tag for a carrier to pick-up.
There is ongoing debate among bricks-and-mortar retailers about the best way to meet escalating customer demand for quicker, cheaper and more transparent shipping.
Some have raised concern that disruption to normal store operations and convincing carriers to pick-up orders from within shopping centres are outstanding problems for in-store fulfilment.
But Lenton has dismissed those suggestions, saying Cue has designed its stores to make the service work.
One advantage of in-store fulfilment is that Cue can take advantage of its national store network to reduce delivery time and cost, providing quicker service to customers in harder-to-reach locations.
Other retailers such as Hype DC owner Accent Group are also trialling three-hour delivery fulfilled through stores.
Super Retail Group’s Supercheap Auto business has taken to installing mini-DCs in some of its locations to fulfil click-and-collect orders onsite, enabling faster turnarounds for customers.
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