In an age when e-Commerce reigns supreme and consumers are engrossed by a never-ending quest to make purchases as fast and seamless as possible, the concept of “click and collect” has emerged in recent years as a preeminent factor in retail. In fact, a recent study conducted by KIBO indicates that two-thirds of shoppers made a click and collect purchase last year, nearly double what that number was just three years ago.
Though the “clicking” is obviously a breeze for consumers, oftentimes the same can’t be said for the “collect” part. For businesses, the process of tracking inventory and making sure a product is available mere hours after a purchase can be a complicated one. So how can your company implement click and collect into your business model to stay relevant in this current age of eCommerce? Read on for the ultimate click and collect guide.
Why Click and Collect Has Become So Popular
Click and collect, whether through in-store pick-up or the use of smart locker systems, is here to stay, and its popularity is only going to grow. In fact, multiple reports indicate that 90 percent of retailers plan to implement click and collect services by the year 2021 or sooner.
And it’s easy to see why businesses are so serious about adding click and collect to their business models. At its best, click and collect presents a true win-win scenario for consumers and businesses alike.
Why Customers Love Click and Collect
For consumers, the benefits of click and collect are obvious: it provides shoppers with unmatched convenience, allowing them to pick up their favorite products at a nearby store location within hours of clicking “buy,” all while avoiding delivery fees and irritating “can I help you find anything today?” interactions with in-store employees.
And as an added bonus, click and collect makes the return process infinitely easier for consumers. Using the click and collect purchase of clothing as a common example, if the clothing item doesn’t fit properly or doesn’t match the customer’s expectations, they can simply execute a return or an exchange right then and there in the store.
That makes for a far easier return/exchange process than if the customer realizes the same problem(s) once the clothing item has already shipped to their home.
Why Businesses Love Click and Collect Too
A few years ago, with the rapid growth of both online shopping and home delivery, many believed that brick and mortar stores were doomed to become ancient history. With the recent emergence of click and collect, however, brick and mortar has become en vogue again, and actually offers distinct advantages over exclusive online retailers like Amazon.
Because Amazon et al’s presence is mostly limited to the Internet, they exclude themselves from the capacity to a) draw foot traffic and b) provide the customer with a memorable buying experience. Brick and mortar stores, on the other hand, can capitalize on both foot traffic and personal touches to increase customer satisfaction for click and collect shoppers, building stronger brand loyalty in the process. In fact, Amazon is even starting to expand their physical presence with acquisitions and strategic partnerships so they too can take advantage of the opportunities of a brick and mortar presence.
Additionally, while logic might dictate that consumers cutting their time spent in-store by half results in them making in-store purchases less frequently, the opposite appears to be true. A recent case study published by RetailCustomerExperience.com reveals that 61 percent of shoppers who make a click and collect purchase also make an additional unplanned purchase while they’re in the store. That number soars to 75 percent when the shopper is a millennial.
Click and Collect Successes in Retail
As a major national retailer that has brick and mortar locations within 10 miles of roughly 90 percent of American consumers’ residences, Walmart has recognized the opportunities click and collect creates, and has cashed in on them in a big way.
According to a recent report published by Packaged Facts, a whopping 42 percent of click and collect customers surveyed claimed that their most recent click and collect purchase came from Walmart. And the retail giant has capitalized on that surge in foot traffic, as the same study revealed that half of these click and collect customers made an additional unplanned purchase while they were in the store. Through the use of secure retail lockers, retailers are primed to assert themselves as preeminent click and collect players
Click and Collect on the Rise in Grocery Stores
But success with the click and collect model isn’t exclusive to retailers. Refrigerated lockers will also be making an appearance in the click and collect movement. With Nielsen Reports indicating that online grocery shopping will become a $100 billion industry by the year 2023, click and collect presents a unique opportunity for grocery stores as well.
Currently, only 1.5 percent of total sales in the United States come courtesy of click and collect grocery purchases, but in France, where the click and collect grocery model has already gained steam, that number stands at 5 percent and is expected to reach 10 percent. With the same Nielsen report showing that millennials actually prefer click and collect over home delivery for grocery shopping, the US seems primed for a similar surge.
How to Implement Click and Collect
So how can your business avoid the potential pitfalls that click and collect can present? The key to smooth implementation of click and collect lies in emphasizing communication and maximizing convenience, guiding the customer through the process at every turn.
Here are some ways you can achieve that:
Customers like to know the exact status of their purchase so they can plan their days around picking up their click and collect order. You can facilitate this with triggered emails or text messages to confirm that a click and collect transaction has been accepted and inform the customer when the order has arrived in store.
Be sure to include pickup instructions so the customer knows exactly where to go and what to do when they arrive in-store. To further enhance the customer experience, provide an option for shipping updates that notify customers on each phase of the delivery process.
And always make sure to follow up, either with an email/message asking the customer about their experience after they pick up their click and collect purchase, or to remind customers that their order is ready if they don’t pick up their order within a certain time frame.
Designate Both Parking Spots and a Pickup Area
Make the pickup process quicker by designating parking spots close to the building for click and collect customers. You can even set up curbside pickup as one of your company’s delivery options. And be sure to place the pickup location as close as possible to your location’s entrance.
While a common practice for retailers is to tuck certain items in the back of the store so that the customer has to walk by several items that they may consider buying, applying this same strategy to the placement of your designated pickup area defeats the purpose of click and collect. Convenience is the name of the game.
Set up In-Store Signage
To make the pickup process even more straightforward for your click and collect customers, consider setting up in-store signage near the front entrance directing customers to the pickup location.
Capitalize on Cross-Sales
Give your click and collect customers picking up their orders incentive to stay in your store and shop around by sending emails with printable discount offers.
An effective strategy is to collect your customers’ online data in order to send discount offers with personalized recommendations, an outstanding way to build brand loyalty.
Pre-Sort Items that are Ready for Pickup
Hassle-free click and collect pickup essentially boils down to having two things: an effective inventory system and a knowledgeable staff.
Set up an inventory system that can be audited quickly so that your employees can pre-sort click and collect items that are ready for pickup, cutting down the retrieval time later when the customer arrives to pick up their order.
How Parcel Pending’s BOPIL Retail Solutions Can Help Your Business
As the world’s leading provider of Buy Online, Pickup in Locker (BOPIL) solutions, Parcel Pending can help your company maximize its click and collect operations at every turn.
Our top-tier parcel lockers are marked by:
As soon as a click and collect purchase is placed in one of our secure lockers, the customer is notified via an email or text message that includes a one-time numerical code. Pickup is as simple as typing or scanning the code into the locker, no waiting in lines, no checking in with customer service, just a hassle-free pick-up experience.
For even further convenience, click and collect customers can download the Parcel Pending Mobile App on their smartphones for instant push notifications that keep them from having to sift through email or texts. The app enables customers to scan the barcode accompanying their click and collect purchases directly from their phones or press a button to automatically open the locker holding their order.
Comprised of an industrial-grade indoor/outdoor screen as well as 18 gauge rolled steel construction, our burglar-proof lockers are virtually impenetrable, ensuring that the only way to open a locker is to have the one-time access code.
And our lockers aren’t just built tough; they’re also built smart. Their built-in infrared scanners are able to detect items in each locker unit, while their built-in security cameras capture every single delivery and pickup.
Parcel Pending’s BOPIL Retail Solution lockers are engineered and designed with your store in mind. Our lockers accommodate not only multi-sized locker units to fit packages of any shape and size, but also a wide selection of premium colors or custom wrap to match your store’s unique aesthetic and branding.
We also provide refrigerated lockers to accommodate groceries and other temperature-sensitive click and collect purchases. And each of our locker solutions is fully compliant with the American Disabilities Act, ensuring that all customers, regardless of disabilities, will be able to retrieve their click and collect orders from our lockers with ease.
No matter how much space is available in your store or how that space is configured, our talented team of engineers is delighted to collaborate with you and your staff to install a locker solution that maximizes the space and matches the other elements of your business and location.
The Parcel Promise
At Parcel Pending, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding, 24/7 customer service to ensure that your lockers work every day in any environment. As a result, 15 million customers and counting have placed their trust in us for fast, safe, secure, and reliable delivery.
Click and collect makes sense for all parties involved: it provides customers with convenience and brings physical stores valuable foot traffic. But if your company’s click and collect operation isn’t fast, reliable, and hassle-free for customers, you might as well not even have it.
Shoppers want the in-store pickup of their click and collect purchases to be just as automatic as when they clicked their mouse to buy it. If it’s not, you’re bound to lose customers and the sales they bring with them.
To reap all of the many benefits that click and collect has to offer, look no further than Parcel Pending, the industry leader in BOPIL solutions, for secure, fast, guaranteed delivery of click and collect purchases that keeps your customers coming back and your bottom line in perfect shape! Improve your delivery services and overall customer experience with our secure and convenient lockers from Parcel Pending today.
1) “Click and Collect Statistics, Challenges, and Strategies” by Stephan Serrano of Barilliance
2) “Walmart’s Click and Collect Strategy Pays Off” by Alicia Kelso of Grocery Dive