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What is click and collect and how does it work? [Pros and cons]

Even before the coronavirus pandemic set in during 2020, there was a rise in click and collect orders. Some sources expected a whopping 78% increase on 2019 figures while other more modest figures indicated a 32% rise.

Needless to say, click and collect orders are expected to double by 2025 and surpass the expected figure of £8.2 billion. If you’re a business owner who would like to offer it, but you’re unsure of what click and collect is, this post is for you.

Click and collect – meaning

Click and collect, also known as curbside pickup, is a relatively new method of selling products to customers where they place their order online and then collect it at a specific location.

This means that they’ll be able to browse the internet for products, select the most relevant one for their needs and then collect it at their convenience from a place that’s close to them while saving them fees on shipping or delivery. 

How does click and collect work?

Click and collect has been designed to offer customers convenience, and it works in a relatively straightforward way.

It begins with a customer placing their order online and then selecting the “collect” option when it comes to the method of delivery. The checkout process then takes them to a secure online payment gateway page through which to pay for the goods.

Once paid for, the seller steps into action. They confirm the sale and forward all the details that will be necessary for the collection. This means the items are prepared for collection and when ready, the merchant informs the customer.

The customer gets a notification about the time frame and the correct location from which to pick up their goods. If they did not attend to online payment, they would have to pay on-site. 

A few more peculiarities about click and collect:

  • A customer has several options to collect their goods. These may include a pick-up at a physical store, possibly the one closest to the customer
  • Pickup at a collection point
  • At a locker, where the customer receives a code to unlock it
  • And lastly, there’s a parking lot or curbside pick-up, which is just what the name implies – an employee of the business will take the goods to the customer

You might wonder “who is click and collect for”? Can any business type use this method of delivery or is it specific to certain industries?

While many business types can offer click and collect, the most prominent types so far have been fashion and home goods; alternative food suppliers; car dealers, and public libraries.  

Click and collect is also called curbside pickup

Some challenges involved in click and collect

Because click and collect is a sort of hybrid model of shopping – providing both an online and physical experience, business owners need to be aware of some challenges that they could face with implementing it. These include organisation and planning and a clear vision for the way forward.

Here are some of them:

Warehouse management

This is where you need to manage your inventory well. This means always having stock available as well as ensuring that you’ll be able to easily access your inventory so that your customer could collect it.

Communication

Communication with the customer should be clear and timely. For example, both you and your customer need to be clear about the time when the goods will be picked up and the location of the collection spot. 

Dealing with questions and problems

This refers to cancellations and questions that customers may have. This is also a part of your customer service and you need to have your entire team on board and know exactly who is responsible for what.

Clear markings

Merchants and business owners should do their best to make it as easy for the customer to find the collection location. Otherwise, it could lead to frustrated customers. 

Avoid long queues

This is not only a safety measure that your customers will appreciate, but will help improve the overall customer experience. If you’re expecting periods of high demand, it might be time to consider hiring more staff to minimise waiting times.

Advantages of click and collect

The growth of click and collect, which has been alluded to above already, is rising and rising fast. But why?

What are some benefits for both customers and merchants of this specific model of operations? Let’s take a look: 

  • It leads to higher customer satisfaction
  • It is faster, more convenient, and more affordable as opposed to home delivery
  • It is flexible and offers a collection date and time that suits customers
  • Customers can save time by not having to queue
  • The rate of order handling and fulfillment is much faster
  • Buyers tend to spend more on these types of purchases, leading to higher basket value
  • There are lower logistics costs for retailers
  • It reinforces the omnichannel strategy
  • It reduces the costs of running a delivery service
  • It adds another source of revenue and boosts one’s consumer base
  • It can help reinforce a sense of community for consumers
  • There are no delivery costs associated with click and collect, leading to savings for businesses
  • Reassurance that products are in stock
  • Quick availability
  • Up-sells and cross-sells are possible
  • The different payment methods are secure for the customer and the merchant
What are the pros and cons of click and collect

Disadvantages of click and collect

The click and collect model doesn’t come without disadvantages, though, and you should measure these against the advantages to determine whether this model is for you.

Here’s what you need to consider:

  • You’ll have to allocate more in-store resources, such as employees who will handle these types of orders
  • Your inventory will need to be monitored actively to ensure the process is error-free
  • You’ll need to ensure your omnichannel management, which includes your sales channels and management systems, is connected to ensure that accurate information is shared with your customers about stock availability and pickup times. 

How to ensure effective click and collect

To make sure that your click and collect business model is effective, you need to take some of the following steps to ensure excellent customer service and strong customer satisfaction:

  • Ensure that customers don’t wait too long in line for the in-store staff
  • Advise customers about their order’s status
  • Make provisions for a specific area in the store where your customers can collect their items 

Conclusion

Click and collect has become a very popular way for consumers to make purchases. This hybrid, omnichannel model brings together the convenience of shopping online while giving customers the ability to go to the store and collect their items at a time and date that’s most convenient for them.

For retailers and business owners, it’s also an opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell as customers are more likely to add more items to their shopping baskets with this model as opposed to online shopping only. Research has proven that this is the case. 

To take advantage of click and collect, make sure you have an online store through which to market and sell your products. Choose myPOS Online to help you create your own online shop for free. You also get beautiful design templates to brand your store effectively. There’s free hosting and no need for developer resources.

It’s an all-in-one solution that ensures your customers can enjoy a great shopping experience while offering both you and them a safe and convenient way to shop. It’s a win-win for all. Plus, you as a business owner can enjoy instant settlement of funds.

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