By Alex Lindstrom
Petco—one of the world’s largest retailers for pet health and wellness—embarked on a Point of Sale (POS) transformation project, implementing new technologies nationwide so that the company can offer the kind of seamless, omnichannel, and better personalized customer experiences in the store that increasingly define competitive retail.
It was a wise move. Today’s customer demands in-store experiences that mirror the personalization and convenience of eCommerce while leveraging the benefits of the brick-and-mortar experience. What that looks like is seamless shopping journeys from start to finish, whether customers are popping into a storefront to grab something quickly or picking up an order placed online.
Yet, commonly cited customer pain points include poor return processes, long queues, and other frustrations at the Point of Sale (POS), and it’s a frustration that costs retailers loyalty. Notes a Forbes analysis on the subject, “It’s a well-known fact that long lines are retailers’ Achilles’ heel. Apart from being a mood killer for time-strapped shoppers, they erode purchase intent and result in abandonment and no-sale.”
According to a 2023 published study by Waitwhile, “…people really don’t like waiting in line. We found that almost 70% of consumers associated waiting in line with negative feelings like boredom, annoyance, frustration, and impatience.”
The study further found that 82% of customers will avoid finalizing purchases if they see a long line, only 58% would return to a line later if they first noticed a long wait time, and 40% noted that they’ll go to a competitor or not make a purchase at all if wait times are long.
An outdated POS system can also be lethal to customer satisfaction in the returns process, another key issue in customer loyalty and a critical opportunity to increase CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) in the post-purchase phase.
Recognizing this, Petco—a company with 1,500 retail locations and over 25,000 employees—knew it was time to update its 20-year-old legacy POS platform. The old adage that ‘change is hard’ can ring particularly true when moving away from well-established tech solutions, however. For Petco, they had long relied on a custom and internally maintained POS system that they knew well.
It was in the quest for an efficient, flexible, and generally frictionless POS solution that the company decided to seek a partner, a smart move in a tech-rich and ever-complexifying industry landscape.
After running into issues with both performance and lack of flexibility with its existing POS, Petco leadership turned to Jumpmind, Inc., an agile and innovative solutions provider focused on enhancing methods that were already working for them.
“We’re making it easy for pet parents to care for the health and wellness of their pets through a seamless omnichannel Petco experience that is tailored to their needs and meets them where they are, thanks to Jumpmind,” noted John Zavada, Petco Chief Information and Administrative Officer.
Petco first aimed its partnership at its single highest ROI opportunity: returns management. By making returns more seamless and omnichannel-integrated, the company made its process feel more accessible and effortless for customers.
Additionally, the system came with better fraud detection and prevention capabilities while integrating loyalty incentives, critical at a time when loyalty is so fiercely sought. The new system was also able to help address two other common pain points: sustainability (via paperless receipts) and transparency (via full transaction visibility).
Completing the first phase of the solution’s rollout in early 2021, Petco was confident and able to implement the tech across all locations within a matter of months.
Petco is also leading the way in innovation by extending these capabilities to mobile veterinary and grooming services leveraging cloud hosting and geolocation-based tax services, helping customers access the care they need faster and with less friction while making associates’ lives that much easier.
Noted William Choi, Petco Vice President, Development and Application Support, “As we continue innovating and optimizing Petco’s systems to deliver a positive experience to customers and employees alike, we’re looking forward to continuing to work alongside Jumpmind, whose strong partnership and collaboration has been critical to our success.”