Click and Collect 101: Getting it Right to Drive eCommerce Sales
The rise of the Click and Collect strategy in eCommerce during the pandemic wasn’t surprising. This strategy had been in the market for quite some time now.
Click and Collect first emerged back in the year 2018. Though the pandemic wasn’t even here yet at that time, the results were still awesome. At least an increase of 75% was recorded as compared to previous years.
A cross between two different models of business, Click and Collect wasn’t something people felt different. it almost felt like a natural evolution of both – e-commerce and brick-and-mortar business.
What seemed like an innovation back then became a necessity when the world was completely taken over by the pandemic. Since people didn’t have a choice anymore. Click and Collect seemed like the best possible option for customers to buy anything and everything they needed. And, as things moved forward, Click and Collect was soon one of the most highly trending strategies across the globe.
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Businesses that had the foresight of preparing for changing trends made a fortune through this strategy. Companies such as Target observed a humongous increase in their sales with up to a 700%. A considerable rise from their pre-pandemic sales figures. Further into the second quarter of 2020, the company saw a rise of 200% in their sales. This shows the world the fruits of the Click and Collect strategy.
If you ask me, I think this trend is here to stay because it simply makes sense. COVID or no COVID, Click and Collect ain’t going nowhere anytime soon!
In this post, we’ll be putting the Click and Collect strategy under the microscope. Let’s take a look at how it helps businesses in increasing their sales and profits.
Table of Contents
- What is Click and Collect?
- How Does Click and Collect Work?
- Examples of Businesses That Are Using Click and Collect
- Implementing Click and Collect: Are your systems technically capable?
What is Click and Collect and Why is It Important?
In simple words, Click and Collect is a method of sales. It’s where your customers place orders online and pickup their particular orders from the nearest physical shops available. Various businesses prefer to do this differently. While some may call it curbside pickup, others refer to it as pickup in store (BOPIS).
Where eCommerce websites and mobile apps have created ease and comfort for customers. It has also created many new problems for businesses as well. Cart abandonment, low conversion rates and high delivery costs, problems like them are major reasons for a lack in the performance of businesses.
However, with Click and Collect, the convenience of your customers is prioritized while eliminating and reducing the problems stated above. In essence, the most crucial stage in the buyer’s journey is made better.
How Does Click and Collect Work?
Combining online with retail shopping experience, Click and Collect strategy creates a hybrid business model. Here, customers simply place their orders online. And, rather than waiting for orders to be delivered to their homes. They choose to pick up their orders from their nearest physical shops. No more hassle for businesses to be concerned about delivering the customer’s orders on time and undamaged. No more additional delivery costs to worry about.
Some companies are even offering different services to offer a higher level of convenience to their customers. An example is Asda’s Try it On facility at their collection points, giving their customers a chance to check the products before taking them home. In case of any mix-ups or damages, customers can easily return the parcels then and there. This is also giving the customers an added advantage of not having to wait days to return their parcels. It is usually something that irritates customers in the online delivery method.
In industries like Grocery or Food and Beverage, where sellers are already working with a very low margin of profit and fighting constant battles of their own to ensure fulfillment of online orders; Click and Collect strategy seems to be the best for them.
Furthermore, research shows that most customers end up buying 50% more than what they had originally bought. Now, not only this strategy persuade customers for impulsive buying but it is also a great way to increase the overall foot traffic of the physical store as well.
Moreover, this strategy has been known to work amazingly well. Especially, when it comes to the spike in seasonal sales or holiday sales. It helps businesses to cater to increased demand easily.
Examples of Businesses That Are Using Click and Collect
Let’s take a look at how the pros are doing it.
Order Pick Up by Kroger
Kroger has completely transformed the whole order pickup experience for their customers in the most brilliant manner. When a customer places an order using their app, they also choose the time and date for pickups as well. Now, this is where Kroger associates use their expertise. They buy fresh produce for customers according to their orders placed. And, hand them their orders in the parking lots when they arrive at their chosen times.
Furthermore, to offer an even better and much more personalized shopping experience. The app also allows customers to provide Kroger with special instructions such as “only fully ripe apples”. Moreover, customers have the option to communicate with the store 15 minutes before their arrival time. So, the staff can keep their orders ready before customers reach the shop, giving a highly seamless shopping experience.
Toyou by ASDA
Taking the Click and Collect concept to another level by introducing innovative robotics technology paired together with self-service parcel towers and introducing QR codes and much more, ASDA has certainly changed the whole landscape of the Click and Collect concept.
ASDA has partnered up with over 100 retailers across United Kingdom, which allows its customer to shop from any one of their convenient Toyou locations. It’s simple, just place the order via the mobile app and when you are ready to collect your order, you will get an order ID and QR code through an email confirmation.
ASDA is also offering its customers with more than just a pickup service because with 300 locations across the country, ASDA is also offering its customers with the facility of trying their fashion products before taking them home with them. If not happy, then they can simply return the parcels through the Toyou parcel tower easily.
Drive-Up and Order Pickup by Target
Target has stepped up its Click and Collect strategy by offering their customers two options: order pickup and drive up.
Ordering through their mobile app will automatically let you choose the store nearest to your location, which you can always change in the settings as well. Now, upon selecting a particular store location, it shows you exactly what is available in the store and you can order anything you want from that. Moreover, your orders take only a couple of hours to get ready for pickup.
When you choose the Drive-up option, you do not even have to get out of your car and you can simply pickup your orders from the parking lot from your designated place. Moreover, using the app’s communication feature, you can always stay in touch with the staff and let them know when you are there and they can bring your order to you and load it all up within just a few minutes.
Store Mode by Zara
With Zara, you can use their store mode to see their store’s inventory in real-time and choose any product from it to place an order. With three different Click and Collect methods such as Click and Go, Click and Find, and Click and Try, customers are offered a seamless shopping experience.
Click and Go option allows the customer to place orders online. And upon completion, they receive a QR code through the app, which you can use to pickup your order when you arrive at the store.
Click and Find option enables customers to have a completely virtual shopping experience, where the app guides them to buy any product from the store through their on-screen map feature.
With the Click and Try option, customers have the option to place an order and try out the product when they visit the store. This particular option is considered to be highly popular among many fashion brands, considering the nature of their products.
Click and Collect by Forever New
With the traditional Click and Collect model, where customers buy through the App and pickup their orders from their nearest stores, Forever New has also introduced other innovations as well. These innovative options are Reserve in-store and Find in-store. Their usage is simple and quite interesting as far as offering a unique and amazing customer shopping experience is concerned.
Both these options are interrelated where the customer uses the find in-store option to browse through the products and after choosing their desired products, they can use the reserve in-store option to have the store reserve that particular product or products for them. No, the customers do not have to pay in advance to use this option. Customers can choose to try the reserved product within the designated timeframes and buy them once they are happy with the product or else go for something else entirely.. However, this option has helped in offering Forever New with higher sales and a better shopping experience to their customers as well.
Implementing Click and Collect: Are Your Systems Technically Capable?
Think of Click and Collect model as a double-edged sword because if not implemented in the right manner, this option can damage your business more than it can help. While this concept can help your sales skyrocket and increase your customer experience to a much higher level than before, it also has the potential to ruin your customer experience as well (if not done right).
To have your Click and Collect model work perfectly, you need to ensure that your customers are not facing time lagging issues when picking up their orders as happened back in 2016. Moreover, not being able to maintain the right stock volumes can also pose a problem.
Admittedly, in 2016 this model faced quite a few of theseabove. However, what you need to consider is that today’s customer has become much more demanding than the customer of 2016. Customers expect their whole shopping experience to be flawless. Therefore, for eCommerce businesses, you have no more room for making mistakes or experimentation, when it comes to Click and Collect.
Here are some tips, that can help your eCommerce business in implementing this model in the most seamless manner.
Inventory management is key to offering a seamless Click and Collect model to your customers. And, for this, you will need a proper flow of information. This offers your business the accurate information it requires to meet the demand of your customers.
Recording customer data, installing the latest inventory management systems, and having a highly responsive supply chain management system in place is what your eCommerce business needs to make the Click and Collect method work.
Integrating Your Systems
The whole world is coming together and various systems integrating. And, ensuring that all your tech is synching up seamlessly is extremely important for you. It allows to minimize the margin of error in your day-to-day operations. Information flows better with integrated systems. Hence, integrated systems are what you need to make Click and Collect work properly.
A Designated Location for In-Store Pickup
Click and Collect allows your business to cut down on costs. However, you need to keep in mind that it is your customer who is bearing this cost and in return. And, you must offer him or her the best customer experience possible. Properly organizing your operations by having a separate location for order pickups by customers and having trained staff to make it happen smoothly will pay off in the long run.
System for Storing Parcels
For a hassle-free and efficient parcel storing and retrieving system, you will require an organized way of storing your merchandise. Having completely organized and sorted storage facilities in just the right locations can help you keep everything in perfect harmony.
Email and SMS Automation
Communication is the backbone of a flawless customer experience. Communicating with your customers at the right time to offer them information about when and where their parcels are waiting for them is imperative. Notifying the customers via email and text messages is now standard practice to ensure a good customer experience, especially in the Click and Collect model.
Creating Workflows for Click and Collect
Offering your customers a seamless and highly responsive customer experience, your order collection and pickups need to be handled separately. Specialized workflows need to be allocated and performance needs to be measured through separately made KPIs.
Providing your customers with free parking spots, designated especially for Click and Collect customers can help you in increasing the overall customer experience.
The growth of the Click and Collect model is not expected to slow down in the coming future. Research reports show that the sales from Click and Collect are estimated to surpass over $140 billion by 2024. However, failing to implement this model in this manner can also manage to turn into a complete nightmare for your eCommerce business in today’s highly competitive market.
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