According to Barilliance’s Stephan Serrano, Click & Collect is an “omnichannel retail strategy where shoppers order their items online and collect them in store”.
This hybrid model combines the digital and physical retail experience for a seamless and streamlined customer transaction.
It is also sometimes referred to as “buy online, collect 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 online buy-and-collect-in-store model.
In fact, click-and-collect sales show impressive year-over-year increases; grew 155% between 2011 and 2015 as a percentage of total online sales for multichannel retailers. 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 Click & Collect survey, 83% of respondents expected their order to be ready for collection in 24 hours or less, and nearly 60% expected their item within 4 hours.
- Convenience: This seamless omnichannel experience relieves time-pressed shoppers by combining the convenience of online shopping with the speed of same-day delivery and in-store pickup.
- The security of tactile shopping: By completing their order in store, customers can review the product before committing to purchase.
- Costs: Customers can save on shipping costs by picking it up in store.
The advantages of Click & Collect for merchants
- Improves the omnichannel customer experience: Click & Collect allows retailers to more fully integrate their online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences and this creates a more seamless multichannel experience for customers.
- Increases store visits: Click & Collect converts digital traffic into customer frequency. The Bell & Howell study found this out 49% of consumers would be more likely to purchase an additional item when picking up their online order.
- Increased average transaction value: Click & Collect customers have one on average 11% Higher cart value than home delivery buyers.
- Reduced shipping costs: Click & Collect reduces the operating costs of shipping. For example, by eliminating last-mile delivery, click-and-collect retailers can save up to 28% on total transportation costs.
- Reduced return rate: A UPS report found that 82% of shoppers are more likely to shop online if they can return the product in-store. Click & Collect gives retailers the opportunity to reduce returns by ensuring customers are happy with their order before it leaves the store.
What do customers want?
- Fast boarding and alighting
- No waiting in line
- Easy to find pickup location
- Dedicated pickup desk
- Designated parking spaces
(Source: Click and Collect Retail Consumer Preference Study 2017)
The importance of getting it right
66% of shoppers who have a poor click and collect experience simply switch retailers. 35% of UK consumers struggle with long waits in store. 32% of UK customers are dealing with staff who couldn’t locate their items for collection. fifteen% of consumers say the items they ordered were out of stock at their favorite store. (Source: de.businessinsider.com)
How to create a service that works
1. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
Raise awareness with in-store and online promotions. Focus the message on the benefits of the service and add clear instructions on how to use it. To market Click & Collect online, make sure the service is available on the home page, product pages and delivery options page of your website. It can also be a good idea to create a short explainer video to use on social media. Create lots of eye-catching signage for in-store promotions and train staff to mention service when dealing with customers.
2. STAGED INTRODUCTION
To begin, assess where a click and collect service would be easiest to implement and likely to bring the greatest benefit. After launch, closely monitor the results at a few select locations and apply your learnings as you expand the service to other stores.
3. STORE STAFF TRAINING
Educate staff on the importance of Click & Collect and provide training so they can respond quickly 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 customer feedback to gain insights on how to further improve the service. Combine this with known data (e.g. pickup time and date, store picked up, etc.) so you can identify customer issues that need to be addressed.
5. VIEW LIVE STOCK LEVELS
Save customers time by showing real-time in-store stock levels on your website. Make sure you have an online business locator so users can choose the pickup location that is most convenient for them.
What are the challenges of implementing Click & Collect for retailers?
- Technology: In many cases, store associates do not have access to the right technology. For example, this can lead to issues with stock tracking, while an item may appear online as available for in-store pickup, which may not always be the case.
- Increased workload of staff: Click & Collect increases the workload for in-store staff as they have to pick and pack orders for buyers in addition to their previous duties. This can lead to a lack of motivation when processing orders.
- Costs: According to OC&C, click and collect costs retailers four times as much as in-store purchases, which is why many retailers struggle to make a profit from the service. To overcome this, Craig Sears-Black tells Retail Week: “Retailers who are able to develop the right formula for cost management and outstanding customer service will be the winners; The most important aspect of this is maximizing the return on the assets of the business and on each and every employee of the business.”