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July 22, 2021
As more people turn to Click & Collect (C&C) to take care of their shopping needs, pickup and delivery apps are quickly sending traditional cash registers the way of the dinosaur. With eCommerce retailers seeing gains in sales and substantial cost savings through their in-store pickup programs, it's only a matter of time before click and collect challenges brick and mortar retail outlets.
In 2020 alone, pandemic-driven demand for click and collect and in-store pickup exploded, resulting in a 60% surge in growth, compared to 2019. In the second quarter of 2020, retail giant Target reported a 60% increase in pick-up sales and an eye-watering 700% spike in their drive-up sales.
These numbers present compelling proof that in-store pickup through C&C is quickly becoming mandatory for successful retail and grocery eCommerce.
In this article, we look at what businesses are doing to boost their eCommerce sales by getting the most out of their in-store pickup and delivery apps.
COVID-weary clients are turning to pickup and delivery app-powered shopping options, and businesses are taking notice. While traditional retail outlets aren't going to disappear anytime soon, companies and eCommerce retailers alike are taking advantage of the sharp rise in sales that these new omnichannel strategies are delivering.
As economies and markets rebound while the pandemic subsides, businesses will take some time to recover. This means that many are looking to cut costs as they get back on their feet. Click and collect offers eCommerce retailers a double financial benefit – saving costs by taking advantage of getting customers to pick up in-store and boosting revenue by adding a new sales channel to the mix.
Let’s explore some of the benefits and advantages of how implementing click and collect can boost the bottom line.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most businesses were forced to close as lockdown restrictions forbid people congregating in stores. Delivery services were soon overwhelmed as customers turned to making their purchases online from home. This led, inevitably, to delayed deliveries and mix-ups as the logistics supply chain was stretched to breaking point.
Customers who visit to pick up in-store will simply grab their waiting purchases outside. They don't need to enter or interact with other people. The need for a sales assistant, store manager, and anyone else required to assist visiting in-store customers is also removed. This saves in wages and, added to shipping cost savings, means a significantly cheaper cost of sales.
Deliveries cost money. Whether you're making use of a third-party logistics service or taking care of them yourself, someone has to foot the bill for transport vehicles, fuel, and delivery personnel. Ecommerce retailers are then faced with a choice: absorb the cost of deliveries, or pass them on to the customer.
Pick up in-store leaves the traveling to the client, allowing them to collect their goods at their discretion. Besides removing the costs of getting your products to the customer, they're also more inclined to add items to their purchases since they're the ones who'll need to make additional trips if buying other goods later on.
One of the biggest complaints when it comes to eCommerce is missed or delayed deliveries. When a customer makes a purchase online, they will expect to receive their goods on time. However, traffic problems, vehicle breakdowns, spikes in seasonal demand, and even bad weather can delay a delivery. This can be especially frustrating for retailers since – more often than not – the problems lay with the delivery company and not you.
By giving the customer the power to choose when and where they wish to collect their goods, the user experience is immediately enhanced. Clients no longer have to wait at their delivery address to receive their purchases. They won't need to interact with a delivery person, and they can always reschedule their pickup should the need arise.
Retailers will save time and money on uncompleted deliveries heading back to the distribution centers, while any unclaimed curbside pickups can be safely stored at the pickup point until the customer arrives.
Parcel lockers mean that retailers can expand their pickup points far beyond the limitations of their own physical stores. These innovative C&C solutions mean that customers can now pick up their goods any time, at any number of points.
InPost, for example, has located thousands of parcel lockers across the UK, allowing customers to pick up their goods 24/7 at points that suit them. InPost’s integration with stores allows customers to choose their pickup point at checkout, before sending them a unique code via text or email, letting them know precisely when their order has been delivered at their locker destination of choice.
Everybody wins in an effective partnership. Some brands take advantage of each other’s access to different locations and markets by working together and functioning as in-store pickup locations for each other. The UK’s John Lewis in-store pickup partnerships with grocery chain co-op, Boots and Waitrose outlets, have allowed customers access to in-store pickup at over 900 locations. Impressive when you consider that the company operates only 35 physical outlets!
These collaborations allow stores to save on the need to invest in additional brick and mortar outlets, and when your partners’ customers pop in to collect their orders, chances are that they’ll grab something off your shelves, too.
We all know that C&C is here to stay. However, some corners of the market still prefer walking into stores instead of using pickup and delivery apps. Special offers are a great way to incentivize customers to make use of your click and collect features, saving you money and giving them a reason to do so.
From "app-only" deals to using discounts to reward customers who use in-store pickup and delivery apps, innovative incentives help you guide your clients towards collecting goods in-store. This not only fosters improved brand loyalty but also allows you more opportunities to boost those sales.
Yes, it’s easy to discuss how click n collect can boost revenue and save on costs, but how effective is it really?
While many brands have only recently hopped onto the C&C bandwagon, many have been fine-tuning their in-store pickup strategies for years. Among them, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy have seen stunning results recently. We take a peek at what they did to take advantage of click and collect.
When The Home Depot announced in 2017 that they would embark on a multi-year drive to enhance their digital offerings, they took on an enormous task. These included installing pickup lockers at hundreds of stores, redeveloping their pickup and delivery app, outfitting distribution centers, and significantly expanding their services.
Their foresight paid off tremendously when, as COVID upset the retail order in early 2020, their existing C&C infrastructure became invaluable to their business. With digital sales doubling, over 60% of online orders are picked up in-store. Their BOPIS and curbside pickup fulfillment options are seeing massive growth. Suffice to say, The Home Depot's ambition three years ago is paying off today.
Lowe's has set the tone when it comes to leveraging technology to boost sales. By focusing on improving their contactless delivery customer experience in adding pickup lockers to over 1700 outlets, Lowe's also sped up their migration of Lowes.com to the cloud. This was done in response to the boom in demand for click and collect pick up in-store options.
They also added smart tech to their pickup and delivery app, speeding up and streamlining their C&C store processes. Lowes' FlyBuy Pickup feature notifies customers when their order is ready for collection. It then uses the customer's live location to keep staff informed about when precisely to expect their arrival at the store.
Best Buy saw considerable growth during 2020, not only because of its existing click and collect offerings but due to the pandemic itself. Specializing in time-sensitive products that very suddenly became critical during the lockdown, the retailer took advantage of the sudden increase in demand for home improvement items.
This saw more than 40% of the company’s online sales customers shopping on its pickup and delivery app, with 53% of total domestic revenue coming through digital sales in Q2 alone, up from 16% in 2019.
While the COVID-19 pandemic decimated many industries, the positive effects of the crisis on eCommerce are impossible to ignore. Customers are looking for easier ways to shop, with health and safety now a major consideration.
Click and collect in-store collection and pickup lockers eliminate many of the costly delivery fees associated with purchasing online and allow retailers to encourage their customers to play their part in optimizing the value chain, saving money for both retailer and client.
Whether you're a mainstream retail brand, or a small startup, adding click and collect to your omnichannel strategy is vital to success and easy to implement. From significant cost savings to partnerships that increase revenue, C&C is paving the way for a smarter, healthier, more affordable future.
If you’re looking for a technological partner who’ll guide your click & collect implementation, reach out! We’d love to help you over at New Gravity!
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