As more consumers turn to online shopping, retailers are looking for new ways to bridge the gap between their physical stores and their online presence.
One solution that has gained popularity in recent years is click and collect: a service that allows customers to buy online and pick up in-store. Ripple has all the information you need if you’re considering implementing it within your store. We’ll take a closer look at how click-and-collect works in retail, the benefits it offers for both customers and retailers, and some key factors that can make or break the customer experience.
What is Click & Collect?
There’s no denying the convenience of online retailing when it comes to shopping. But sometimes, you can’t beat the experience of visiting a physical store. That’s where click and collect comes in.
This service lets customers order online and then pick up their purchases at a physical store or agreed-upon pick-up point. With click and collect, shoppers get the best of both worlds: the ease and flexibility of online shopping and an in-store experience.
There are also more personal and custom options for shoppers who turn to online shopping. Manufacture online, pick up in-store (MOPUS) allows customers to purchase bespoke, on-demand products that are made at the point of pickup, such as fitted furniture and wooden panels.
By allowing customers to pick up their online orders in-store, retailers can reduce shipping expenses and increase the number of customers visiting their physical stores. Meanwhile, customers can benefit from the convenience of online shopping without having to wait for home delivery. Plus, if they want to add additional items to their order when they pick up in-store, they can do so easily and without having to place a new online order. All in all, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
How Does Click-And-Collect Work?
Retailers who offer click-and-collect make the shopping experience more convenient for their customers. Making click-and-collect work smoothly requires good communication between the retailer and the customer and the right technology and resources to manage the process.
By utilizing technology, businesses can manage their inventory efficiently and offer customers the convenience of purchasing items online. Customers can either pay in advance or make payment at the store when picking up their orders.
Once an order is placed, the products are prepared for the customer, making sure they’re ready for collection. The package is then moved to the agreed pick-up point, whether it’s inside the physical store, at a delivery locker, or at any other location that’s convenient for the customer.
When the customer is ready to collect their order, they can do so at a time that suits them. This flexibility is one of the key benefits of click-and-collect, which has become increasingly popular among consumers.
Benefits Of Click-And-Collect For Retailers
Click-and-collect isn’t just convenient for customers—it’s also a smart strategy for retailers looking to stay competitive in an increasingly digital world. Here are some of the key benefits that click-and-collect offers for retailers:
1. Boosted sales
By offering click-and-collect, retailers can increase the chances of making additional sales. When customers come to pick up their orders, they may be tempted to browse the store and they will also have the chance to check their purchases, lowering the possibility of returns due to wrong sizing or other issues.
2. Reduced shipping costs
Shipping costs can eat into a retailer’s profits. Click-and-collect reduces these costs by allowing customers to pick up their orders in-store or at a designated pick-up point, cutting out the need for home delivery.
3. Increased foot traffic
Click-and-collect can help drive foot traffic to physical stores, which provides valuable foot traffic data. This information can help retailers better understand customer behaviour and make more educated decisions about shop layout, merchandising, and inventory management.
4. Enhanced customer experience
With click-and-collect, retailers can offer customers greater flexibility and convenience. Customers can choose when and where to pick up their orders, helping to increase the chances of making a connection with the shoppers. This is done by carefully implementing retail design tactics and sales, boosting brand exposure and awareness, which in turn can improve brand loyalty and the volume of purchases.
5. Improved inventory management
Click-and-collect can help retailers keep better track of their inventory. By having a clear view of what products are being ordered and collected, retailers can make more informed decisions about stock levels and replenishment.
Disadvantages Of Click-And-Collect For Retailers
While click-and-collect offers many benefits for retailers, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here are some of the potential disadvantages that retailers may face when offering click-and-collect:
1. Increased staffing costs
Click-and-collect requires store staff to manage and fulfil online orders, which can increase staffing costs. This is particularly true if retailers experience a surge in online orders, which can be difficult to manage with existing staff.
2. Limited capacity
Depending on the store’s size and available storage space, click-and-collect may have limited capacity. This can be a problem if retailers experience a sudden increase in online orders or if there’s a high demand for certain products.
3. Risk of inventory errors
Click-and-collect relies on accurate inventory management, which can be challenging for retailers. There’s a risk of inventory errors, which can result in orders being fulfilled incorrectly or products being out of stock when customers come to collect.
4. Additional costs
While click-and-collect can reduce shipping costs, it can also come with additional costs. Retailers may need to invest in new technology to manage online orders and prepare packages for collection and designated pick-up points or lockers.
5. Operational Complexity
Click-and-collect adds a layer of operational complexity to a retailer’s business. Managing online orders, preparing packages for collection, and ensuring that they’re available at the right time and place requires careful coordination and attention to detail.
6. Opening Times
Not every store can remain open for long periods. Smaller boutiques often have fewer numbers of employees, which can limit their availability to stay open for those coming to pick up their click-and-collect orders. Retail lockers are a great solution to this issue as they maintain convenience for the customer without impacting the business.
How To Trial Click-And-Collect For Retailers
If you’re considering offering click-and-collect as a service to your customers, it’s a good idea to conduct a trial period before launching the service in its entirety.
To begin, you should choose a pilot store or a selection of products. Rather than rolling it out to all stores and products at once, this step will allow you to test the service and make any necessary adjustments before scaling it up.
You must also determine your collection point and decide where customers will be able to collect their purchases. This could be at the physical store, a designated pick-up point, or a locker. However, it must be a convenient location for your customers.
Training your staff is also important so that they are capable throughout the whole click-and-collect process, from managing online orders to preparing packages for collection. They should also be able to assist customers who come to collect their purchases.
Test your technology and make sure your website and inventory management system are set up to handle online orders and click-and-collect requests. Test the process from start to finish to ensure it runs smoothly.
From here you can begin to promote the service and let your customers know about the new click-and-collect option through your website, social media, and in-store signage. Offer incentives such as discounts or free gifts to encourage customers to try the service.
Finally, gather feedback and ask customers who use the click-and-collect service for insight into their experience to identify any areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments before scaling up the service.
Speak To Ripple’s Team About Click-And-Collect Designs Today
We understand that every business is unique, and that’s why we take the time to listen to your goals and objectives before providing a bespoke solution. Our team has a wealth of experience in supporting stores looking to launch click-and-collect systems, and we use the latest technology and best practices to ensure seamless and efficient integration of the service.
By working with us, you can benefit from our expertise in retail store design, including collection point signage and improving the customer experience when collecting in-store.
Speak to Ripple’s team about click-and-collect designs today and let us help you take customer experience to new heights.