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Not So Fast: In-Store Pick Up Saves Shoppers Just 96 Seconds

Leading U.S. retailers including Target Corp. and Nordstroms have recently started allowing customers to pick up online purchases at their brick-and-mortar locations, however, a new study shows this option often doesn’t save much time compared to in-store shopping.

According to a study to be released Tuesday by customer service satisfaction company, StellaService, in-store pickup only saved shoppers about 96 seconds more than shopping in-store, Reuters reported. In a small number of cases, in-store pickup actually took longer.

In-store pickup is just one of the many services being tested by retailers as an attempt to make their stores mini-shipping centers and supply their customers with better, faster service. This idea comes in response to competition from Amazon.

The StellaService study was conducted based on 44 visits to stores in the Southern U.S. run by 11 retailers. The results demonstrate that retailers don’t have a unified approach to this concern.

Senior director of content for StellaService Ty McMahan said, “It’s amazing just how much simpler the process would have been if someone had just put up a sign,” noting that retailers are spending “tens of millions of dollars” on these objectives.

The study reports shoppers spent an average of five minutes and 24 seconds in a store when picking up their online orders, while those that chose to shop on their own in-store spent about 7 minutes in the store.

However, in-store pickup only saved customers 30 seconds at Target and Toys “R” Us. At Macy’s, in-store pickup took eight minutes and 30 seconds; in-store shoppers spent a total of 5 minutes at the store, according to Reuters.

In-store pickup at Office Depot only took two minutes, compared to four minutes for customers who choose to shop in stores.

Home Depot and Nordstrom were the only retailers that were slower at in-store pickup.

Nordstrom shared that one of the reasons it offers in-store pickup for online items is to ensure shoppers that the item they want will be there if they visit the store.

Nordstrom spokeswoman Brooke White said, “We are always looking at ways to improve the service for our customers.”