Monday, February 19, 2018

Pick up...

I’ve run into several situations over the past few months where I have the capability to order something online and pick up at an actual brick and mortar storefront of some type. It’s proved interesting and I thought I’d relate how these worked.

The first is Wal-Mart. No doubt you’ve seen the orange signage by now designating where you go to pick up items that you’ve ordered online and requested for a particular Wal-Mart location. You submit your order on their website and indicate which Wal-Mart you will pick the item up at. You get an email when your item is ready to be picked up. I’ve found that Wal-Marts handle this differently based on the location. The Wal-Mart we regularly shop at (on Hinkleville Road) directs you to the back of the store to pick up an item. If you have the Wal-Mart app on your phone, you will begin to get a notification on your phone as you get closer asking if you are there to pick up your item. Indicating yes will alert them to go ahead and have the item retrieved. You simply then go to the back of the store, show them the email you received along with ID and get your item. Pretty easy.

My experience at the Southside Walmart was even better though. I had first stopped at the nearby Sonic (it was fifty cent corndog day). I began getting alerts from the Wal-mart app asking me if the item was ready for pickup. Once I finished eating, I said yes and entered the store. They have an actual pickup waiting area at the front of the store. There are several comfortable chairs to wait in as well as a status board to tell you if your order is on the way (you can also let them know you have arrived from that board if you did not from your phone). I had waited no more than a couple of minutes when a young lady arrived carrying my item. Even easier and more comfortable than the Hinkleville Road Wal-Mart.

I have been a member of the Panera Bread loyalty club for several months now. Two of the last three months, I have been given the reward of getting one free bagel each day. Since it is located near the above mentioned Hinkleville Road location of Wal-Mart, I took advantage of this multiple times. I used their app to arrange for “Rapid Pick Up” for my free bagel. You make the order, tell them of any customizations you want (I always want my bagel sliced for example), redeem your reward and make your order. There are several reserved parking spots at the front of the building for Rapid Pick Up. You park and head in and there is a designated area to pick up your order. You find the bag with your name on it and head out. Again, pretty easy. The only issue I ran into was that a couple of times, I found only a note that I should see someone at the cash register. Each time, it turned out they were out of the bagel I wanted, but they substituted another type for it. There appears to be a timing issue between their actual inventory and the app but I still would say this works well.

Finally, I needed a part for one of our cars. I got on the Auto Zone web site, put the in the Year, Make, Model and Engine Type and you are given the part you need to order. You specify that you want to pick it up at the store and make your order. You receive a confirmation email when it’s ready to be picked up. I ordered right before closing and first thing in the morning, I got my confirmation. Donna and I stopped there. I went in and gave my name. They looked up the order and brought me my part. Donna timed the whole process while I was inside and said it took less than two minutes. Again, pretty easy.

I’ll have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how this works. I didn’t run into issues anywhere except the minor one with having to get a different bagel than I ordered.