E-commerce performance increasingly influential when it comes to brand perception and loyalty

A new study shows the growing influence on customer loyalty driven by the online pickup experience since the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has pushed the volume of online order for pickup transactions increased by over 200 percent and more than 82% of consumers said they have used order for pickup to purchase from restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers in the last six months.

The findings from the Rakuten Ready 2020 Time Study, which provides data from Rakuten Ready's proprietary data and in-person research on the progress of top restaurants, retailers, and grocers, also reveal the brands that offer the shortest wait times and correlate to customer satisfaction ratings.

The pandemic has made it even more important for consumers to spend as little time as possible in stores waiting to pick up orders. This extends the trend identified in last year's report that found customers who wait under two minutes for an order are four times more likely to repeat purchase from the same retailer or restaurant.

Other factors such as safety protocols in the order for pickup experience are also key to boosting ratings.

"Order for Pickup is a differentiator helping merchants enhance customer loyalty in the pandemic and will continue to provide a competitive advantage in a post-pandemic world," said Jaron Waldman, Co-Founder and CEO of Rakuten Ready. "Our study underscores that merchants have a tremendous opportunity to grow traffic and revenue by redefining and optimizing their order for pickup experience to adjust for consumer worries and gain their trust."

While speed is crucial to a superior pickup experience, new data in this year's Time Study suggests that brands that fall short on wait times may be able to compensate with other factors. Brand loyalty, ease of process and uniqueness/value of products also contributed to customer satisfaction for brands that scored poorly on wait times.

"Our research found that time is precious for consumers, but overall satisfaction with the order for pickup experience hinges on more than speed alone," said Waldman. "Delivering a seamless pickup experience from start to finish is key to customer retention and satisfaction - starting from the moment a customer chooses a pickup option to the final step of safely picking up their order."

Access the Rakuten Ready 2020 Time Study here.

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