Click and collect has become a popular retail channel in recent times. Many businesses embraced in-store and curbside pickup to cater to customer convenience and security demands.
While the growth of click and collect has slowed, the channel has solidified itself as a win-win for both customers and retailers. Retailers benefit from more cost-effective last mile fulfillment, while customers appreciate reduced delivery fees.
It’s no wonder that click-and-collect sales are predicted to exceed $200 billion by 2028, making up 12% of U.S. online retail sales.
As consumers get used to the brick-and-click model, they expect a consistent level of service. To stay competitive, retailers need to minimize wait times and ensure a seamless post-purchase experience.
Here’s how your business and customers can get the most value out of the click and collect retail channel:
1. Promote Your In-Store Pickup Offering
It may seem obvious, but make sure that customers know your store has a click and collect option.
Many consumers favor in-store pickup as a way to avoid delivery costs. Don’t make these customers wait until checkout to discover your click and collect offering – or you may leave revenue behind.
From your homepage through to product and basket pages, make it clear that in-store collection is an option. The same goes for drive-thru and curbside pickup: These convenient options can make a significant difference when customers are comparing different retailers.
And there’s no need to wait until customers arrive at your website. To ensure that your brand is top-of-mind for convenience, you can actively promote your click and collect service through digital, print or Out-Of-Home advertisements.
2. Offer Savings for Customers
Customers who click ‘buy now’ clearly have a high intent to purchase. So why does checkout abandonment persist?
According to research, the most common reason is unexpected costs such as shipping fees.
By providing free click and collect services, you offer an alternative to expensive home delivery.
This model shouldn’t put a dent in your bottom line. A well-executed click and collect strategy helps retailers to get more value out of brick-and-mortar resources while reducing last-mile delivery costs. Passing these savings on to customers is an ideal way to drive sales and mitigate cart abandonment.
3. Ensure Stock Availability
There are two possible ways to fulfil a customer’s order in store. Either the order is already available at the customer’s preferred location, or you need to order it from another store or warehouse.
For things to run smoothly, it’s crucial to streamline inventory management and optimize in-store stock accuracy. You can then provide real-time availability information that helps customers decide where to pick up their order.
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4. Embrace Mobile Shopping
It’s predicted that by 2027, mobile commerce will account for almost half (49.8%) of US ecommerce sales. Retailers must be prepared to provide a mobile-first experience from product discovery through to post-purchase communication.
In recent years, the mobile checkout experience has improved greatly: Most retailers know that poor mobile UX will increase their cart abandonment rate.
The post-purchase experience often lags, relying on emails and order tracking portals that don’t hold up on mobile. Enhance the mobile checkout experience and ensure a seamless post-purchase journey, leveraging SMS reminders and mobile-optimized web pages.
5. Utilize Location Technology
Take advantage of mobile technology to reduce pickup times and assist staff with task prioritization.
These days, most customers have a GPS tracking device in their pocket. When customers are on their way, you can ask for permission to generate an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) based on their location.
Real-time customer ETAs help staff to prioritize tasks and have orders ready ‘just in time’, so items aren’t clogging up the pickup area.
Staff benefit from reduced mental load, while customers enjoy a faster order handover.
6. Respect Customers’ Time
A key advantage of click and collect is that customers don’t have to search in store or wait at home for a delivery. Instead, they can pick up their items at a time that suits them.
To meet this expectation for convenience, it’s imperative to provide a rapid order handover experience.
An efficient collection begins at the moment of purchase. When the order is complete, provide clear instructions and realistic expectations for order availability.
The next step is to notify the customer via SMS when their order is ready for collection. Ideally, the message will link to a branded order tracking page. Customers can alert staff when they’re on their way and check-in when they arrive.
Continue to guide customers with clear signage at the entrance and throughout the store. Customers can then head straight to the designated pickup zone without blocking up other areas.
When customers and staff know what to expect, it’s easy to provide a fast and efficient pickup.
7. Optimize the Pickup Location
Create a dedicated pickup area to minimize in-store congestion and explore various pickup options like curbside and drive-thru services to enhance customer convenience.
Staff can use a mobile device for order collection management, allowing retailers to separate the handover process from a PoS system. This makes it easier to fulfill orders from a convenient part of the store. Online customer check-in makes it easier for staff to find the customer’s vehicle, reducing wait times and streamlining the experience.
Mastering the Click and Collect Retail Channel
The growth of the in-store collection offers ample opportunity for retailers to improve customer satisfaction and reduce last-mile costs. By carefully optimizing the pickup process and choosing the right click and collect technology, businesses can set themselves apart from competitors and keep buyers coming back.