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Online shopping gets carried away: Nordstrom shoppers embrace Click & Collect during its Annual Sale

by Jaimee Minney - September 30, 2019

Image credit: Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

With the majority of online shoppers opting to pick up their online purchases in a retail store in lieu of having them shipped, retailers are quickly creating new in-store experiences to capitalize on the trend and increase foot traffic. From Walmart’s gigantic towers to completely redesigned store concepts, retailers have been quick to innovate.


One such innovator is Nordstrom, which was among the first department stores to make buy online, pick up in store (Click & Collect) a central part of its online experience, and it is a core feature of the new flagship stores in Seattle and New York (with 24/7 pick-up in Manhattan). The plan appears to be working. Rakuten Intelligence reports that consumers are increasingly going into a Nordstrom store to collect their online purchases.

Click and Carry has seen steady revenue growth over the past 2 years

Click & Collect sales are up 19 percent year-over-year

During the most recent Annual Sale, 51 percent more customers used Click & Collect than they did the year before; outperforming annual growth for Click & Collect, which was 19 percent across all online retailers, and 17 percent for Nordstrom.

While at first glance, the adoption of Click & Collect among Nordstrom shoppers appears modest at 11 percent--versus 63 across all e-commerce--the categories in which Nordstrom is strongest, apparel and shoes, are have more tepid rates of Click & Collect adoption. Industry wide, only seven percent of apparel and shoe sales are picked up in store, versus 35 percent of electronics and 80 percent of groceries bought online.

Nordstrom’s investments in Click & Carry show promise

While 67 percent tried Click & Collect only once, growth in adoption by Nordstrom shoppers exceeds industry averages

Jaron Waldman, CEO of Rakuten Ready, which helps retailers provide seamless pick-up experiences, says there is consumer demand for an alternative to some of the downsides of shipping, including package theft or damage, and concerns over sustainability.

“Consumers are more time-starved than ever and constantly on-the-go,” says Waldman.  “Waiting even 24 hours for an order is often far too long.  Our 2019 market research demonstrated the rate of frustration that consumers have with delivery. The fact that deliveries arrived late, incorrect or damaged, are tipping consumers over the edge.”

As shipping gets faster and cheaper for consumers and more costly for retailers, Click & Collect presents an opportunity for retailers to offer consumers instant gratification without taxing logistics networks and profit margins. But how can retailers beat the convenience of one or two-day delivery?

“Surprising and delighting customers with a perfectly executed fulfillment experience is key,” Waldman says.  “Our results from the field and research have demonstrated that, when customers order ahead and wait less than two minutes for the handoff, they are 68 percent more likely to repeat the order ahead for pickup experience. When the wait time neared five minutes, that repeat rate dropped to 35 percent; and when wait time exceeded 10 minutes, customers were only 16 percent likely to buy online for pickup again.”

According to Waldman, the main takeaway of the research is that if retailers can reward their customers with significant time back, their customers will repeat purchase behavior.


“Those retailers aiming to calm the delivery monster and provide another great fulfillment experience as an alternative, should invest more heavily in their Click & Collect programs.”

About the data

With a panel of millions of online shoppers, Rakuten Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Rakuten Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Rakuten Intelligence can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Rakuten Intelligence gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time, which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Rakuten Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.