You may have ripped the bandage off and implemented an online shopping program at your store. Well, congratulations! Perhaps you are using a program such as Instacart or Shipt. Are you curious about what kind of people would be in your store, shopping on behalf of your customers? Are you wondering how to equip your store for contracted shoppers? I signed up to become a Shipt Shopper several months ago and have recently been doing a lot of shopping.
Characteristics of a contracted shopper
Online shoppers or contracted shoppers are contracted to shop in your store and other stores based on the shopper’s area. The general requirements for this position are: must be 18 years old, have a valid US driver’s license, auto insurance, reliable vehicle, knowledge of produce selection, insulated cooler bags, the ability to lift 40 pounds, and own a smartphone. Contracted shoppers must also pass a background check and complete a series of videos provided to them from the online shopping platform to learn how to properly grocery shop. Though these contracted shoppers are working in your store, they are still consumers. You’ll want to ensure a pleasant shopping experience for those shoppers just as much as a regular shopper.
Working as Shipt Shopper
It’s a little difficult to rush through shopping because most items (not including the produce) must be scanned. Scanning helps to ensure the correct item is selected. Also within the app, the shopper can easily locate items because each item is clearly labeled by aisle. The function is important to be aware of to best assist your contracted shoppers. Making sure the location of products is accurate with your online shopping provider will create a smoother shopping experience for all.
The biggest opportunity
When in the store, the biggest opportunity for improvement I’ve noticed is stores not having items in stock. For example, for one of my orders, the person was clearly shopping the ads, seeking private label popcorn and Doritos. The flavors of popcorn and Doritos the customer wanted were not available and the stock itself was very low. After communicating with other Shipt shoppers, lack of stock and availability of items in the store is a concern. So much so that there’s even a silly name within our Shipt shopper community when all the items in an order are in stock. We call this a unicorn.
If the stock is low or missing items, consumers don’t view this issue as a reflection of Shipt. It is the consumer’s expectation that if they see it online, it’s going to be readily available. During the shopping trip, if the item is out of stock, the customer can instruct the shopper to purchase something else via call or text message. Or per the request of the shopper, the contracted shopper can delete the item.
Online shopping exposes your business to multiple people, from the consumer to the contracted shoppers. It’s valuable to consider the impression the store is making on those people, some who may be shopping your store for the very first time. The moral of this story is to keep your store’s product location data accurate and your layout beautiful. This will allow your store to be a unicorn for online shoppers and regular shoppers.