GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.—Dollar General is expanding its digital base to include online ordering and pickup at the store, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move could bring in younger customers to the discount retailer.
Currently, Dollar General’s mobile app allows customers to keep a running total while they shop and alerts them to coupons for items in their cart. In about 250 locations, customers can also pay via the mobile app while shopping, with an expansion to 500 more units in early 2020 slated. “We’ve always tried to be at the leading edge of value and convenience, and we hear our customers talking about [online ordering and in-store pickup],” said Carman Wenkoff, chief information officer.
The chain will run a test of the ordering program, effectively a “Click and Collect” system, through a mobile app soon but didn’t specify the number of stores involved in the pilot. “What we’ve tried to do with technology is to come up with a strategy on how to enhance the shopping experience,” said Wenkoff.
Customers at competitor Dollar Tree can order items online with shipping to a store, but most discount dollar stores don’t have a click-and-collect option. At Dollar General, about 45% of its customers utilize digital tools from either Dollar General or other retailers. These “digitally engaged customers” also spend double the amount of the average transaction.
C-stores and dollar stores are increasingly vying for the same customer base. The October issue of NACS Magazine delves into the heated competition and what convenience retailers can do to protect their turf in the cover story, “The Buck Stops Where?”