Kohl's Hopes to Boost Sales with Online, In-person Shopping Convergence

November 18, 2016

It seems like the 2016 year has whizzed by, moving at a pace so quick that many are wondering where the days went. Retailers are well aware of the change in seasons and are preparing their inventory – despite consumers’ wonderings – for the purchasing rush that the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas will bring.

Kohl’s is among those retailers that may have joined consumers in a few daydreams. Its latest company report showed that its Q3 2016 earnings dropped 2 percent since the same time last year. A plan is in place, however, to combat that pre-shopping season loss. It will leverage Kohl’s rising e-commerce sales, which have grown over 10 percent, and will fuse the holdings of brick-and-mortar stores with their warehouse counterparts.

The plan, according to a recent Business Insider piece, is for Kohl’s to use the popularity of its online sales to boost the tepid “Buy Online, Pick Up In Store” program, which currently sees about 5 percent of all online sales. In addition to their desire to purchase goods online, consumers have also shown a willingness to use their smartphones for digital shopping and payment while inside Kohl’s physical locations, so the retailer hopes to combine online hype with a less-than-impressive showing otherwise.

The Kohl’s mobile app has provided consumers with the option of using a branded digital wallet, and 66 percent of Kohl’s locations have seen use of that wallet in its stores. This is after an initial release that took place only one month ago.

Furthermore, customers may see speedy delivery and an abundance of stocked items in their next round of purchases. Kohl’s is reportedly helping bolster the capacity of the warehouses that serve online shoppers by transferring specific goods out of retail locations. Kohl’s can ship directly from its retail stores to customers’ homes, using local businesses as hubs for delivering goods quickly and more easily than a warehouse may afford.

E-commerce saw a boom nationwide in the first half of 2016 to the tune of 16 percent growth, Business Insider reported. It is possible that this growth has taken shape on the effort of programs such as same-day delivery that Kohl’s and many other retailers have chosen to adopt (see also the direct-from-store shipping mentioned above). That TMC story, in addition to its listing of retailers’ burgeoning sales programs, also predicted a further convergence of online and in-person shopping – clearly illustrated in Kohl’s latest push in its effort to escape a downward trend.

The coming shopping season should be good to nearly everyone. The real test of Kohl’s new programs will be their staying power, so keep an eye on TMC for further developments about national brands through the end of 2016 and into the new year.

Edited by Alicia Young

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