I was excited when Office Depot contacted me to test out the Omni Channel shopping experience – a pre-order system where you place an order online and then go to the store in about an hour and pick it up. Y’all have asked me – how do you survive with 5 kids? Finding short cuts like this is how! When we make a Sherman run once a month or every-other-month for Sam’s Club and other errands, I want to save as much time as possible on the errand-running and get to the shop-at-the-bookstore part of the day.
Omni was easy to use. First log into your Office Depot account online and select your local store. This should be the store you are near where will be picking up your items. Then begin shopping for things you want – be sure to filter by “In Store” so you will see the search results filtered according to the items you’ll be able to pick up. (Note – Read through to the end to see what happened to me.)
When you are done selecting your items head over to your shopping cart and make sure all the items in the cart are selected for “In-Store Pickup.” Place your order, process your payment online, and voila! Instant, presto, abra-kadabra, your order is being sent to your local store. And they give you a map if you need help locating your store. Genius!
I got an order confirmation right away with the directions on when to anticipate being able to pick up my order. Usually orders will be ready for pick up within an hour, and since I was already well south of Atoka when I placed my order, I started out that direction.
Here’s where my plan for errand domination went slightly awry. Due to some fluke of karma known only to me and resulting in many excellent adventures (interesting and good story fodder but not generally harmful), the Sherman store was right in the middle of moving to a brand new location. Which meant the store itself did not have a full inventory, but rather looked like a post-zombie war clean-up had occurred with just a few dump bins filled with steeply discounted items. In fact not one thing from my online list was available! YIKES!
We canceled my online order and I did browse the store-closing discounts. I picked up more Washi tape (for future washi tape crafts), and a gorgeous imprinted red, leather bound journal because, red! so that was a huge plus. You can never have too much washi. Or red. At 75% off the already discounted price, too. SCORE!
However, the actual experiment to save myself the hassle of running around the entire Office Depot store with five kids was not so successful. I contacted the ladies who helped coordinate this campaign and explained what had happened and we jumped on the phone the next day with some people from marketing, as well as Office Depot home office people in charge of the Omni Channel program. We spent about thirty minutes in this follow-up conversation chatting about the potential problems when a store is in transition (moving, remodel, natural disaster, etc.) and suggested some options for preventing customer frustration. They were very grateful for my feedback and as a blogger. It was encouraging to see that they were open to hearing the experiences I had, and they wanted me to be completely honest with you guys, my readers, about my experience as well. Until those changes are in place, I would definitely recommend calling ahead to make sure your order is ready before showing up at the store with five active children.
I have to tell you, too – less than 24 hours after getting off the phone with the Home Office crowd, I got a phone call from the store manager of the Sherman location. He had no clue that I was a blogger working on a campaign with Office Depot – just that I was a customer who had experienced a potentially highly irritating situation and was calling to make it right. That was really cool to see, also.
The bottom line is – the first run was a good practice run that resulted in some weird timing-based glitches. The program itself is such an awesome concept, and I am very excited about the potential when they’ve ironed out the kinks. They’ve sent my feedback up the food chain to people who can make a difference, and I will be testing the system again soon in the brand new store location. I can’t wait to see the new store, which just had it’s Grand Opening last week, and I look forward to a better test run of the Omni program. I’ll keep you posted!
Disclosure – I was provided a gift card to test the Omni online ordering process and received compensation for my time to do so. However all grand adventures and store-moving-washi-tape discounts were a completely unique and original experience! For more information about the Omni Channel visit here online!