It’s no surprise that Click & Collect is the fastest-growing fulfilment method globally, given the benefits it brings to retailers who do it well. It continues to gain popularity in Australia, with 42% of retailers now offering the service.
Why has Click & Collect risen in popularity?
Shoppers are increasingly choosing the option for three main reasons:
To save money on delivery costs
45% of shoppers choose Click & Collect to avoid home delivery charges; it gives them the instant gratification of online shopping without having to pay extra. As delivery costs for regional areas are high, it particularly makes more sense for customers to drive to their nearby store to pick up their goods instead.
37% of shoppers choose Click & Collect as they don’t want to wait for the goods to make their way to them via courier. While eCommerce players continue to improve fulfilment speed and same day delivery is becoming an ever more common option this usually comes at a premium fee. Waiting a few days for goods to arrive is still the norm for online orders. With Click & Collect, once a purchase is completed the goods should be available to pick up from their selected store on the same day or from early the next day (if a retailer has optimised their processes and systems).
For more reliability
Click & Collect gives customers the peace of mind that their order is safe, as it is in their hands instead of a courier. It also allows customers to dodge the dreaded ‘we missed you’ card, where an item is returned to the warehouse or an inconvenient collection point.
How do retailers benefit from Click & Collect?
As well as being able to offer customers convenience, Click & Collect also allows retailers to drive more traffic to their physical store and capture customer behavioural data across both channels.
More opportunities for in-store purchases:
Driving customers to bricks and mortar stores increases the opportunity for up-selling and cross-selling in-store. Research shows that nearly 50% of customers who visit a store to pick up a Click & Collect purchase will make a second unplanned purchase.
Being able to meet customers needs across both online and in-store channels drives customer retention, overall trust, and brand loyalty. Current research shows that 60% of Australian consumers prefer brands that will serve them across multiple channels.
Click & Collect Strategy: What To Consider
Unfortunately, almost 20% of consumers experience problems when ordering online and picking up in-store. It’s important to consider the factors involved in this type of order fulfilment, to ensure the experience is a positive one (and can drive a return for the business!)
1. Where will orders be fulfilled from?
There are a few different Click & Collect fulfilment options that can be used (in combination) to ensure stock availability to shoppers, each having their pros and cons:
Option A: Picking from store inventory for instant pick-up:
This involves store staff selecting the product from the existing store inventory, ready for customers to pick up straight away. It is the most cost-effective method as it requires no shipping of products from store to store. It’s also the fastest option for customers to collect products if stores want to be competitive with their pick-up time. However, choosing this method means retailers must have an extensive range available across multiple stores, and be sure and accurate in what their inventory in each store holds.
Option B: Transferring from store to store:
This strategy is where if products aren’t available at a chosen store, they are able to be shipped from the nearest possible store. This method involves shipping costs to transfer products between locations. However, a pro of this method is that customers are potentially given a greater range of products to choose from if their desired product isn’t available in the store geographically closest to them.
Option C: Shipping from a distribution centre:
If an item isn’t available in the desired store, this is the next option - shipping it from the distribution centre. This option is useful if new stores are still establishing their inventory, yet want to offer Click & Collect as a way to remain competitive. However, the costs of shipping may negatively impact a retailer, and it is important to consider this. Having a unified Omni-channel retail management system with a holistic, real-time view of data between online and store channels is essential for Click & Collect fulfilment to be effectively orchestrated. Without a proper system in place, you'll end up frustrating customers, missing out on sales and processing lots of refunds.
2. Pickup time-frame: how fast can it be done?
Retailers need to communicate clearly to customers what inventory they can make available, and when. Customers who travel to pick up products in-store need transparency, or they run the risk of making unnecessary trips, wasting time and losing trust in a retailer.
3. Staff training - including cross-selling and up-selling
Staff must be well-equipped to deal with Click & Collect orders, and well-versed on the protocols of what to do. Upskilling your staff to increase the basket size when customers come into stores for their Click & Collect orders is an essential.
4. Instructing the customer on what to do
It’s important to take care in choosing the right messages to send out to the customer at the different stages of their order. Customers do not want to be flooded with unnecessary emails - however they must be kept in the loop about where their product is and what the next steps are.
5. What happens when orders aren’t collected?
Though this doesn’t happen too often, it’s still good to have a protocol in place for uncollected orders:
A) What is the set time limit in which customers can collect their orders? It’s good to make this clear, so customers know when they can come to collect them.
B) After this time limit expires, issuing a refund: this is a common practice for uncollected orders. Kindly let the customer know that if their order is not collected within the timeframe, they will be refunded.
Retail Express can help you integrate your inventory between channels with our omni-channel software solution, syncing all your platforms to provide a seamless experience for customers.