We’ve all been there. You arrive home to find a ‘sorry we missed you’ card for that dress you needed for your big night out. Frustrated, you’ve now got to travel to the local depot, which is only open whilst you’re in work to collect your items, reminding yourself to not order online from that retailer again. Sound familiar?
Improving delivery and collection service through Click and Collect is crucial to retailers, as customer expectations are higher than ever and 43% of customers (including 52% of 21-25 year olds) agree that a store using Click and Collect means they now shop online.
Inspired by Argos back in 2000, Click-and-Collect is used by approximately 72% of UK shoppers and is proving to be a major boost to multi-channel sales conversions. However, while convenience and free delivery are amongst the top motivators for consumers using Click and Collect services, recent Cybertill and You Gov consumer research highlights that retailers are potentially failing to deliver a pain free service:
- 65% of consumers are frustrated when items ordered for click and collect arrive later than promised or they only have a rough collection date and time
- 57% are most frustrated when there are long queues for collection, with 52% being most frustrated when they find themselves waiting in the wrong place!
- Poor mobile signal in-store is also a bugbear for 38% of respondents
Providing the customer with more choice over how they shop, this multi-channel approach is an essential element in helping retailers retain market share. Introducing an efficient Click and Collect service can be easily integrated into retail software and is something that cloud based EPoS and retail management systems are leading the way in. Providing business of all sizes the ability to seamlessly integrate Click and Collect, gives retailers the competitive advantage, whilst keeping up with customer expectations. As a retailer you need to take the time to assess if you want to improve your delivery and collection service and more importantly, if your current retail system can cope with the improvements.
7 tips to improve delivery and collection:
Real Time Stock:
Real time stock is essential in letting customers know that the items they want are available in store. No one wants to waste their time travelling to a shop only to find the item they want is out of stock. Cloud EPoS is leading the way with this and retailers are not restricted stock only being updated during store opening hours. All stock is real time and updated when each reservation or transaction is processed whether in store or online with no time delay.
More people are using mobile smartphones as part of their customer journey and with online sales for September sitting at 17.8% in the UK, providing customers with the option of reserving and collecting in store via their smartphone is crucial, as is allowing payment via mobile in store on collection to avoid queuing, which gives the customer an improved experience.
Convenient Store Collection:
Customers will want to choose a collection option that is most convenient to them, which may not necessarily be from the nearest store to their home. Allowing customers to select collection from a variety of stores will provide convenience and encourage future ordering and collections. John Lewis use their Waitrose stores to their advantage for customer collections, providing them with the option to collect their orders when they do their weekly shop.
Alternative Collection Points:
High street retailers have followed their online competitors including Boohoo, ASOS, Missguided and Littlewoods in joining forces with companies such as Collect Plus to offer alternative pick up points from over 6000 local stores across the UK. Increasing choice and convenience for the customer without them having to travel too far encourages repeat sales and loyalty.
Most fashion retailers offer next day collection on orders placed before 8pm; however, stores such as The Fragrance Shop have implemented click and collect express within two hours, providing customers with the speed of ordering a last-minute gift and collecting at a convenient time, especially if they are in a hurry. Other retailers following suit are B&Q and Cotswold Outdoor with their one hour click and collect service available for items held in stock in store.
Communication is key:
63% of consumers stated that real-time updates via text message, email or push notification is a something they want from retailers offering click and collect. Shoppers need to know that their order has been processed and when their items are ready to collect, while retailers need to communicate all this information quickly and at every stage of the order process to keep customers happy. Failing to do so can leave the customer feeling confused and unsure when their order will be available, potentially damaging future orders.
In store experience:
You’ve placed your order and are collecting it from the store but you’re not sure where the collection desk is and there is a huge queue for the till! Once again frustration sets in. This is where retailers need to ensure the in store experience for customers keeps them coming back. Having a separate, well sign posted area of the store dedicated to collections will remove frustration and long queuing times, leaving the customer feeling confident in ordering again from the retailer, especially as this is a pain point for over 50% of consumers surveyed. Adding fitting rooms to the collection area for items reserved also provides a seamless experience, blending the online and in store experience.
How does your collection and delivery service stack up? Download the latest Cybertill and YouGov consumer Click and Collect research here.
Rachel is passionate about retail and the ever-changing retail technology environment, with a keen eye for upcoming retail trends that are set to shake up the sector. She started her career as an intern at a national charity and has progressed rapidly into her current role with Cybertill.
Rachel has a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing from Liverpool John Moores University. I think it’s fair to say she knows her stuff!