September Commerce Recap

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We’re back with another recap with articles from across different industries, all focusing on commerce. So let’s dive into these updates.

Ace Hardware Update:  

Ace Hardware Corporation announced plans to add 170 new stores by the end of this year. This is a significant number for any company, and it shows the passion and operational excellence of the company.  

Adding to the success of opening many stores, 79% of their .com orders are picked up in-store, and 20% are delivered. To have a 1% cancel/not picked up rate is unheard of. This was one of the most challenging accomplishments for my teamon projects we’ve done in the past with our clients. To have almost 80% of the .com orders as pick up in-store shows their ability to fulfill orders quickly with no-nonsense communication to the customer on availability and ease of pickup. This requires much more operational coordination than you may realize. It includes accurate inventory management for both stores and the warehouses, as well as timely customer notifications on availability for pickup and status of the order at any time. Now add in the in-store experience when it is picked up, and you can have a great brand interaction that will be repeated.  
Congratulations to Ace Hardware and the Owner/Operators for making service a #1 priority and continuing to expand store locations.  

Ace Hardware aims for a total of 170 new stores in 2023 

Walmart and Target Q2 Results:  

Recently, an article showed that Walmart had an increase in online sales, and Target showed a decrease. There can be many reasons why, and the “experts” say it’s how customers are spending, which in turn is hurting Target. When helping a client (or my past experience), I need to dig deep into other reasons and be honest with the results. The three issues I usually see are: 

  • Search – You will realize how big of an issue this can be once you check out what your competitor is doing. Easy to find on the website? What if you misspell it? Try different combos on both sites. 
  • Availability of product – shop for the same product on your site vs. your competitor. Is it available? For delivery? Same experience? I had this weird issue once ordering Goldfish crackers. I could not get them delivered from Target, but I had no problem with Walmart (weird). 
  • Checkout experience – Was it accessible on mobile? Fast? Could I quickly add items to my cart? What was the cost of delivery or shipping? When I added a tip, what was the price? 

Of course, remember that sometimes broader issues can create business headwinds as well. 

Walmart’s online sales exploded while Target’s slowed again 

Grocery Update – 7-Eleven 

Another article on the grocery industry came out, but this time, it’s more broadly about C-stores. Kudos to 7-Eleven for redesigning their mobile app. I do not live near a 7-Eleven, but it is mandatory when I visit Southern California. Most people I know think a local coffee place or the sandwich location near their office or home is a “must-have.” For me, it’s always about how easily I can get in or out of a store, the availability of what I like or need, and the quality of the products.  

I always enjoy looking at apps to see the newest updates, evaluate how easy checkout is, and the process and assortment to add to the cart. If you are into loyalty, checking out competitor’s apps is a great way to see what others in your sector do and see what can be incorporated into your business.  
Right now, there is a big push by grocery, retail, and commerce to update their apps. It is always good to get consumer feedback and make thoughtful changes. One of my takeaways was always to experience it with someone unfamiliar; what you can learn is fantastic. 
7-Eleven redesigns its mobile app