To improve the contactless delivery experience for customers who are increasingly shopping online, Lowe's is adding pickup lockers at all U.S. stores.
The home improvement retailer will install the self-service lockers for buy-online-pickup-in-store orders by the end of March 2021, but plans to have the lockers installed in most major metro markets by Thanksgiving.
The addition of lockers at more than 1,700 stores leverages technology to provide a contactless and easier way for customers to collect same-day online orders at their convenience. As shopping preferences shifted during the pandemic, Lowe's accelerated the migration of Lowes.com to the cloud and rolled out curbside pickup to support sustained online growth. With the demand for contactless services here to stay, Lowe's latest investment will eliminate checkout time for customers and allow them direct access to pick up their orders and get in and out of the store faster during the busy holiday season. The secure, entirely digital experience relies on electronic technology in the lockers that generates a scannable barcode when an order is ready for pickup.
"Our No. 1 priority is making sure we are keeping things safe for our associates and customers while continuing to provide additional options to make it even easier to shop with us," said Joe McFarland, Lowe's executive vice president of stores. "With more than 60% of online orders picked up in our stores, this gives our customers one more option and the added convenience and flexibility to control how and when they get that order. This is a significant step in our relentless efforts to create a fast and frictionless shopping experience for today's time-pressed customers."
Lowe's customers can now quickly collect their online orders from self-service lockers near the front of stores in locations including Charlotte, Philadelphia and the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. After a Lowe's associate stages an online order, the customer receives an automated email notification with a one-time user barcode. The customer then completes the pickup by scanning the barcode at the locker using their smartphone without having to wait in line, receive assistance from a store associate or contact a touchscreen or keypad.
Research suggests that touchless retail services will continue to remain popular with consumers. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that 60% of U.S. consumers who said they are using Buy Online, Pickup In Store plan to continue using the service even after the pandemic subsides.
Lowe's investment in pickup lockers builds on improvements the company has made to Lowes.com, in-store technology and its delivery network over the past 18 months to support elevated DIY and Pro customer demand.
Parcel Pending by Quadient, the nation's leading provider of package management solutions, is providing the retail locker solution for Lowe's, whose U.S. rollout will expand to Florida, Washington and Texas among other states in the coming weeks.
"It's an honor to be named Lowe's exclusive locker partner," stated Lori A. Torres, CEO and founder of Parcel Pending. "Our combined commitment to customer experience makes our Buy Online, Pickup in Locker (BOPIL) solution a perfect fit for Lowe's. We're confident that their customers will enjoy being able to safely and securely retrieve their items at their convenience."