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June 17, 2021
Click and collect is driving a retail revolution that has transformed how people shop. In the wake of the receding COVID-19 pandemic, click and collect services have become crucial for digital eCommerce and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers looking to strengthen their omnichannel strategies.
The numbers speak for themselves. Over 90% of US retailers now offer some form of click and collect service to a market where more than two-thirds of customers – yes, that's over 150 million shoppers, according to Forbes - were already "clicking and collecting" before the crisis hit.
But, simply offering a service where customers can order online and collect their purchases at designated pickup points or in-store is no longer enough. Like all things digital, the consumer shopping experience is king, and new ideas are transforming click and collect, BOPIS, and curbside pickup services daily.
We look at some features which have become “must-haves” for businesses hoping to turn their apps into click and collect goldmines.
Before we dive into the top in-app click and collect features, let’s take a look at the benefits of introducing click and collect options:
The cost saving of adding click and collect and curbside pickup to your sales channel mix cannot be overstated enough. From drastically reducing third-party delivery handling and shipping costs to reducing the need to integrate expensive logistics software with yours, you’ll see massive savings in the long term.
People love choice. Click & Collect allows customers to choose how they get their goods. The ability to skip the queue translates to an improved shopping experience, as it makes buying way more convenient.
The ease offered by click and collect means that customers are inclined to buy more, more often. According to Global Data, close to 40% of customers purchased an additional item while collecting their online orders.
The devastating economic impact of the pandemic and lockdowns has seen countless traditional stores closing for good. Many have since turned to click & collect and curbside pickup services to stay afloat, quickly becoming the mainstay logistics (and financial backup) solution for many of them.
Click and collect enhances the customer shopping experience and slashes shipping costs, all the while adding a powerful tool to your omnichannel strategy.
Here are eight crucial features that will empower your click and collect module to thrive.
We've already mentioned that choice is critical in boosting the shopping experience. Besides choosing HOW they wish to collect their purchases, customers also want to dictate WHEN they will receive their products.
Adding a pickup date selection feature to your app takes the pressure off the customers to collect on your terms, gives you some breathing room in processing orders, and reduces shipping costs for both you and the customer.
Another shopping experience booster is adding a location selection feature to your app. This allows customers to choose their closest, most convenient location for collection. Geolocation technology assists customers in finding the nearest pickup point based on their current location.
Offering only one collection point kind of defeats the purpose of click & collect, and customers who live far from your store may not feel that it is worth the travel. They might instead rely on delivery services that drive up shipping costs.
Location selection app features are ideal for customers who may be out of town or have a specific preferred pickup point. At the same time, this feature is also handy for retailers with multiple store locations.
Curbside pickup allows people to visit the store without ever having to enter the premises. A step further than BOPIS, curbside pickup options hold the added benefit of having a pickup point available outside the store. Customers can leverage this option beyond business hours or if new lockdown measures ever come into effect.
This unique feature has allowed many stores to remain operational, even during the darkest days of the outbreak. Retailers who have retained curbside pickup options are also seeing massive gains and savings in shipping costs.
In a paranoid world where cybercrime and fraud are on the up, many click and collect services have fallen victim to nefarious opportunists. While app security features have improved significantly, customers still demand higher levels of safety and security when making use of click and collect. Especially, when it comes to payment and curbside pickup verification.
Including a variety of secure payment and verification mechanisms allows shoppers to choose the methods and providers they trust. This ensures that you won't lose out on customers who don't make use of your specific in-app transaction vendors. Knowing that they're covered by multiple verification methods, gives them the peace of mind they expect.
With 92% of consumers demanding regular status updates, it is imperative to keep them informed on the progress of their order. The click & collect shopping experience depends on efficiency and convenience, and the moment an order is ready for collection, you must let customers know.
Incorporating a good customer communications module into your app lets you inform customers precisely when they’re able to pick up their products, while providing critical information about:
Remember to include information on the delivery section of your website or app that relates to notification procedures, required collection verification documents, order update frequencies, email or text notifications options, and for how long an order will be held at a pickup point.
Click and collect and curbside pickup services do come with the added risk that you happen to sell the same product unit both in-store and online at the same moment. Naturally, any stock-out situation will hurt the shopping experience and damage your perceived ability to fulfill an order.
To overcome these issues, eCommerce retailers require an effective order management system, working in tandem with your POS, ensuring you have enough inventory on hand to be able to serve the needs of click and collect, curbside pickup, and in-store customers.
Order management systems allow your app to reserve enough stock to supply online shoppers while ensuring that in-store shelves are kept full. POS integration keeps you on top of your sales activity in real-time, monitoring and integrating with your order management system to ensure that there is always sufficient supply available.
Click and collect can also reduce cancelations and returns. However, they still do happen, and managing this can be treacherous if not addressed carefully. A customer's entire shopping experience may be determined by your ability to handle these processes. Clearly stating your terms and conditions on the topic avoids confusion or unnecessary delays when a customer sends an item back or changes their mind after clicking that checkout button.
Here are some of the critical issues that retailers must consider when implementing their returns and cancelation policy:
While allowing customers to amend their orders after they have clicked but before they've collected can present some challenges, adding this feature to your click and collect app enhances the shopping experience.
Flexible order modifications also have the potential to boost sales, allowing customers to add more items to their initial order. Stores that stock all the items in an order can simply adjust the contents before the customer arrives to collect.
Ensure that your inventory management systems and POS integration is capable of handling these changes, and remember to be on-hand to answer any queries or deal with challenges.
At this point, you might wonder – what if you already have an existing eCommerce app? How do you go about adding a click and collect or curbside pickup service to your current app features, without compromising your customers’ overall shopping experience? Well, you can choose between two courses of action:
If you want to find out whether it’s possible to add a click and collect service to your existing app, reach out! At New Gravity, we have experience implementing several click & collect solutions and we’ll be happy to assess how we can help your team.
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