Article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Simon Pleass at 2flow.ie.
According to Stephan Serrano at Barilliance, click & collect is an “omnichannel retail strategy where shoppers order their items online and pick them up in store.”
This hybrid model marries the digital and brick-and-mortar retail experience for a seamless and streamlined customer transaction.
It is also sometimes known as “buy online, pick up in store”, or BOPUS for short.
The Rising Popularity of Click & Collect in Numbers
Consumers around the world are showing a growing appetite for the speed and convenience of the buy online, pick up in store model.
In fact, click and collect sales are showing impressive year-on-year increases; growing 155% as a percentage of total online sales for multichannel retailers between the years 2011 and 2015. In the UK, the click and collect model is particularly popular with experts predicting that usage will double by 2025.
Why Do Customers Prefer Click & Collect?
- Speed: According to a 2017 Bell and Howell survey on click & collect, 83% of respondents expected their order to be ready for collection within 24 hours or less, and nearly 60% expected their item within 4 hours.
- Convenience: This seamless omnichannel experience alleviates stress for time-pressured shoppers by combining the convenience of online shopping with the speed of same-day delivery and in-store pick-up.
- The Assurance of Tactile Purchasing: By completing their order in-store, customers can inspect the product before committing to a purchase.
- Cost: By picking up an order themselves in-store, customers can save on shipping costs.
The Benefits of Click & Collect for Retailers
- Enhances The Omnichannel Customer Experience: Click & Collect allows retailers to make their online and brick-and-mortar shopping experience more fully integrated, and this creates a more seamless multichannel experience for customers.
- Drives In-store Traffic: Click & Collect converts digital traffic into in-store footfall. The Bell & Howell study found that 49% of consumers were likely to purchase an additional item when picking up their online order.
- Increased Average Transaction Value: On average, click & collect customers have an 11% higher basket value than home delivery shoppers.
- Reduced Shipping Costs: Click & collect reduces the operational costs of shipping. For example, by eliminating last mile delivery, click & collect retailers can save up to 28% of total transportation costs.
- Lowered Returns Rate: A UPS report found that 82% of shoppers are more likely to purchase online if they can return the product in-store. Click & collect gives retailers a chance to reduce their return rate by making sure that customers are happy with their order before leaving the store.
What do Customers Want?
- Quick in-and-out experience
- No waiting in line
- Ease of locating pick-up location
- Dedicated pick-up counter
- Designated parking spots
(Source: 2017 Click and Collect Retail Consumer Preference Study)
The Importance of Getting it Right
66% of shoppers who have a poor click & collect experience will simply switch retailers.
35% of UK consumers have dealt with long wait times in the store.
32% of UK customers have dealt with staff being unable to locate their items for pickup.
15% of consumers say that the items they ordered were out of stock at their preferred store.
How to Create A Service that Works
1. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
Raise awareness with in-store and online promotions. Focus the messaging on the benefits of the service and include clear instructions on how to use it. To market click & collect online, be sure to feature the service across the homepage, product pages and delivery options page on your website. It may also be a good idea to create a short explainer video to use across social media. As for in-store promotion, create plenty of eye-catching signage and train staff members to mention the service when dealing with customers.
2. GRADUAL LAUNCH
When starting off, evaluate where a click & collect service would be the easiest to roll out and is likely to have the most benefit. Once launched in a few select locations, monitor results closely and apply your learnings when expanding the service across other stores.
3. STORE STAFF TRAINING
Communicate the importance of click & collect to staff members and offer training so that they can quickly respond to online orders. It’s also a good idea to appoint dedicated team leaders to oversee the successful day-to-day running of the service.
4. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Constantly seek out customer feedback to gain insights on how you can further improve the service. Combine this with known data (e.g. pick-up time and date, store collected from etc) so you can identify customer pain-points that need to be addressed.
5. DISPLAY LIVE STOCK LEVELS
Save customers time by displaying in-store stock levels in real time on your website. Be sure to feature an online store locator so users can select the most convenient pick-up location for them.
What Are the Challenges of Implementing Click & Collect for Retailers?
- Technology: In many cases, store staff members do not have access to the right technology. This can lead to issues with inventory monitoring, for example, while an item may appear online as available for in-store pick-up, that may not always be the case.
- Increased Staff Workload: Click & collect increases the workload for in-store employees as they will have to pick and pack orders for shoppers on top of their existing duties. This may result in a lack of motivation when dealing with orders.
- Cost: According to OC&C click & collect costs retails four times more to fulfil than in-store purchases, as a result many retailers struggle to make a profit off the service. To overcome this, Craig Sears-Black at Retail Week says, “Retailers who are able to evolve the right formula of cost management and excellence in customer service will be the winners; the most important facet of this is to maximise the return on store assets, and on each and every store associate.”