What you’ll learn:
- The benefits to your business and customers of offering Click & Collect and Live Stock In-Store tools
- The challenges retail businesses can face trying to set up omnichannel inventory tools without the right eCommerce integration
- How to offer a truly omnichannel service to customers
Click & Collect isn’t just another way to secure an online sale. With changing consumer needs, having an eCommerce site that can integrate with your point of sale and offer real-time Click & Collect availability comes with a range of crucial benefits for your business and customers.
Let’s go over exactly what these benefits are and how they’ll equip your business for success.
The benefits of offering Click & Collect for your business and your customers
A better experience for your customers
As we’ve discovered, in-store shopping is still by far the most preferred option for Australian & New Zealand consumers over eCommerce. However, they’re increasingly using the web and mobile to find nearby retailers offering the best products and the quickest, easiest way to get hold of them.
By offering a well-designed Click & Collect system, your prospective customers have the visibility to see that a store close to them has inventory available and the option to visit the store and purchase the product they want the same day. For many shoppers, this is a preferred shopping experience as it allows them to try before they buy — allowing you to target customers that don’t want to commit to purchasing before picking up with Click & Collect.
Offering customers multiple options will go a long way to differentiating your brand and maximising your chance of winning their business and long-term loyalty.
Driving higher value in-store purchases & named sales
In addition to offering more convenience and flexibility to the customer, driving online customers in-store to pick up their purchases is attractive to retailers, as it tends to generate higher average transaction values.
With suitable training and systems to encourage staff to maximise cross-selling and offer attractive multi-buy promotions, the average transaction per order can be dramatically increased. In-store visits also offer an opportunity to build a more emotional connection with shoppers, generate loyalty program sign-ups and capture customer profiles to pave the way for customer growth programs.
Click & Collect and Live Stock In-Store tools provide bricks and mortar retailers with the reach and market coverage of eCommerce, the opportunity to differentiate on customer experience and the higher average order values and lifetime value potential of in-store.
But getting it to work in a frictionless way isn’t simple without the right tools and eCommerce platform.
The challenges of setting up Click & Collect without the right tools
Operationalising Click & Collect needs the right eCommerce & POS sync
Click & Collect relies on having the right business systems in place to ensure accurate in-store inventory data is reflected on your eCommerce site. If there isn’t a live, two-way sync of inventory data between your in-store point of sale and your eCommerce platform, then you risk making Click & Collect sales when stock isn’t available.
This risk can be exacerbated if your inventory visibility doesn’t include stores or warehouses nearby with stock. Once a Click & Collect purchase is made, systems need to be in place to ensure stock is reserved/allocated at the store for the customer to pick up. A customer who shows up to collect their goods and is told they can’t is unlikely to ever purchase from you again.
Holding dedicated Click & Collect inventory is not the answer
Some retailers attempt to get around the challenges mentioned above by holding dedicated stock in their stores just for Click & Collect sales. However, this presents the risk of your retail stores being unnecessarily overstocked which can negatively affect your inventory turnover and GMROI (Gross Margin Return on Inventory).
Retailers need to ensure they have omnichannel solutions in place that allow them to view their stock across each store and channel, balance their stock allocations evenly and integrate those stock numbers with their online store to eliminate missed sales and disappointed customers.
An omnichannel solution to Click & Collect
Retailers need live, real-time omnichannel systems in place that allow inventory across all of their stores to be up to date in their eCommerce store and instantly reserved for collection once a Click & Collect purchase is made online.
The same systems used for Click & Collect should also enable a real-time Live Stock In-Store function on your eCommerce site, giving customers who prefer to try before they buy the confidence that the stock is available in-store.
Where inventory is not available in the preferred pickup location, the right Click & Collect system will offer alternatives for customers. This could be integrating with Google Maps to give the customer a clear view of the next closest location that they can pick their item up from, or enabling third-party locations such as the Post Office or shopping centre collection hubs.
Though there are challenges in implementing a successful Click & Collect and Live Stock In-Store service, when brands are equipped with a powerful system that integrated their online store, owned stores and warehouse inventory, retailers can easily overcome these obstacles and reap the benefits.
Retail Express offers an agile POS solution that integrates with your eCommerce site and provides a continuous two-way sync of inventory data, Click & Collect and Live Stock In-Store capabilities and advanced business processes to enable your stores and eCommerce to work in unison and provide a frictionless experience that your customers demand.
You can book a personalised demo with one of our retail experts today to be shown exactly how our eCommerce features and integrations work to help your business succeed.