July 9, 2013
FORT LEE, Va., July 9, 2013 – It’s called “CLICK2GO,” and Fort Lee, Va., commissary shoppers will be the first to buy groceries online and pick them up at the store curbside when the service begins Wednesday, July 10.
In testing the new Internet-ordering and curbside pickup service at Fort Lee, the Defense Commissary Agency seeks to provide what commissary customers want and keep pace with evolving shopping trends without driving up operating costs, according to Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO.
“Throughout its history, the commissary benefit has adapted to meet its customers’ needs, and we must not ignore the increasing use of online and smart phone technologies – what’s called e-commerce and m-commerce – as ways to provide the commissary benefit of the 21st century,” Jeu said.
CLICK2GO is a straightforward process. Authorized commissary shoppers access the system from DeCA’s website. Customers may select from a wide variety of commissary products offered online based on the store’s stock assortment. They shop online, check out and select an available pickup time. Customers go to the commissary curbside location at the designated pickup time, and pick up and pay for the products they ordered.
CLICK2GO is being tested at Fort Lee first, followed later this year at two other stores – the commissaries at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., to iron out any operational glitches before the service is offered on a wider basis.
“We’re looking at everything from customers’ expectations to our ability to deliver such a service efficiently and effectively,” Jeu said. “This is all part of our commitment to understand our customers and deliver a 21st century commissary benefit.”
Shoppers may access the agency’s website for detailed information about the program, but briefly, here is how it works:
An authorized commissary customer logs on to DeCA’s website, www.commissaries.com, any time day or night, authenticates his or her identity, and then chooses from among nearly 21,000 items. It’s the full assortment of grocery, or center-store items, and a refined assortment of the top-selling, random-weight items, such as fresh meat, deli and bakery items, and fresh seafood. As the customer shops online, the virtual shopping basket is updated to reflect the items and prices.
At checkout, the customer selects a designated pickup time presented by the system. The pickup time is at least four hours from the order time.
Once the order has been received at the commissary, a fulfillment worker will gather the items the customer has chosen in accordance to the scheduled pickup time. The items will be kept in a temperature-appropriate holding area and loaded into the customer’s vehicle upon arrival.
The customer pays for the groceries at curbside – without having to leave the vehicle. The accepted forms of payment are credit card, debit card that processes like credit, and DeCA gift cards.
While customers may order at any time, the days to pick up their orders are limited to weekdays, not weekends, during the store’s normal hours of operation.
With the test, DeCA will assess e-commerce and evaluate customer usage, cost and impact on overall store operations, and customer service, said Tracie Russ, director of DeCA’s business development directorate, which heads the test. DeCA will not charge a fee for this service during the first year but may charge a fee in the future.
“Determining all the nuances and costs of this way to provide the commissary benefit are major goals of our test,” Russ said. “During the test we’ll be learning and adapting as we go along – engaging our customers to help shape the military’s 21st century commissary benefit.”