The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

Order Online and Pick Up in the Store, but Where? Part 2

Signs that guide inside for Online Order pickup

Part One of this blog gave examples of retail stores that display noticeable signage at the door or immediately after to direct their customers where to pick up their online orders. In this blog post, we’ll look at signage inside stores that offer online order pickup.

Online order pickup signs near checkout

Staples had a sign on the door that didn’t specifically direct customers where to go once inside. However, there was a large sign for the Order Pickup counter, which was situated right next to checkout lanes. It took only a quick look around once I had entered the store to see this sign.

Staples Online Pick up counter

Staples Online pick up counter sign

Big signs at big box stores

Two Best Buy stores didn’t have signs on the door or inside the door. But like Staples, both had a big sign over a separate Online Order Pickup counter, just inside the door or near the checkout area. Although there’s lots of signage competing for attention inside these stores, it would be hard to miss these signs.

12 Best Buy Instore Pickup next to checkout 13 Best Buy Store Pick up

Best Buy Online pickup signs

Target also did not have signs on the doors but included Online Order pick up on their Guest Services sign at the counter. Their Guest Services areas are usually just inside the main doors. This sign also alerts customers to have their valid photo ID ready and included a visual element of a shopping bag with an arrow.

14 Target instore

Target Order Pickup sign at Guest Services

Mall stores, wander and wonder?

We approached Dicks Sporting Goods from inside the mall and wandered around the upper floor, which had a checkout counter near the door we came in, without seeing any signs. Finally, going down the escalator, we saw the big Online Order sign hanging from the ceiling above the checkout counters on the main floor. Coming into the store from inside the main entrance, it would be hard to miss this sign.

15 Dicks Sporting Big Sign over Chekout

Dicks Sporting Goods Order Pickup sign above Checkout and Customer Service

Macy’s in the large mall did not have any signs on outside entrance doors or inside mall entrances.  However, looking up at the signage that guides customers to various departments when entering from the parking lot or from the mall, it was easy to see arrows pointing to the Buy Online Pickup. As long as we kept looking up and followed the arrows while we walked down the aisles, we found the Online Pickup counter pretty quickly. Both the hanging signs and counter sign included a visual design element of a shopping bag with a curving arrow as well.

16 Macys Instore sign resize

Macy’s overhead signs guide to Buy Online Pickup

18 Macys In store counter sign

Macy’s Buy Online Pickup counter

Best practices for Online Order Pickup store signage

Provide signs at door entrances that are large enough and have sufficient contrast to catch the eye. The text should be concise and direct users to a specific counter in the store. If a specific visual element, such as the shopping bag and cart pointed out above, is used online then include that on all signage.

Place signs at all entrances to the store, including mall entrances. The signs could be wall-mounted, standing signs on the floor inside the entrance or hanging from the ceiling. Include arrows to direct to the order pickup counter and key references to the location, such as ‘2nd Floor’.

For stores at mall locations, which require more navigating through aisles and departments than standalone locations, place signs at intersections within the store. Ensure that customers getting off escalators can see the signs whether they turn left or right.

Provide large signs at the Order Pickup counter that have effective contrast and concise text. If the online order pickup counter is in a different location than Customer Service, make sure the Customer Service counter sign informs customers where to go to pick up their online order.

Following these best practices for store signage is one step that retailers can take to ensure a great omni-channel user experience from online to in-store.

-Judy Kistler-Robinson, Senior User Experience Specialist, Usability Sciences

-Jason Vasilas, Associate Director of User Experience, Usability Sciences


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