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Retail's Amazon antidote: Buy online, pickup in store

January 02, 2019 / NATHANIEL MEYERSOHN
SHARESHARESHARE

Brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy found an advantage over Amazon this holiday: Store pickups on online orders.Offering customers free pickups for digital orders has become a key part of these retailers' strategy to compete against Amazon's rapid and extensive home delivery network. Retailers have blanketed the country with store pickup options in recent years, and those investments paid off during the holidays.Buy online, pickup-in-store spending increased 47% from November 1 to December 19 compared to a year ago, according to data from Adobe Analytics. Adobe said it was the biggest holiday on record for online pickups.Customers have been quick to embrace online pickups from stores. Analysts say it appeals to shoppers who want to grab their stuff and go without waiting in checkout lines or interacting with sales workers on the floor.At Walmart's investor day in October, Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said pickup was attractive to both "a time-pressed mom" heading home after picking her kids up at school and a "convenience-seeking baby boomer on the way home from the golf course."Picking up mobile or online orders from stores in hours can also be faster than waiting days for home delivery. It works for last-minute holiday shoppers who need to buy a gift in a hurry. Old Navy even partnered with Lyft to offer customers free rides to stores for online pickups last Saturday.