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The Future of Click & Collect: How Retailers Can Boost Customers’ Shopping Experience
We’ve all been there – ordering something online and choosing the Click & Collect option to avoid delivery charges, only to have to go through the pain of collecting once we get into store.
In an age where consumers’ time is precious, effective communication and interaction has to be key. It’s true that customers can easily find the best price for the item they’re looking for, but customers are not swayed on price alone; the overall shopping experience has a huge influence and service is a significant factor in gaining a competitive edge and securing repeat custom.
Recent research we conducted showed that Click & Collect is popular and convenient with shoppers. In fact, 35% of grocery shoppers and 44% of shoppers purchasing online from DIY and ‘out of town’ retail brands choose to collect their goods rather than have them delivered. Of those that do collect, convenience was cited as the main motivation for collecting, coupled with not being tied to a delivery time and cost saving.
There’s also a geographical split on the issue - in Northern Ireland for example, shoppers are most likely to collect their groceries, but least likely to collect from DIY/out of town retailers. For shoppers in larger cities such as London, ease of use and having their cars loaded are most important, with a designated parking area another key factor.
Our research showed that when arriving at the collection point, having the goods ready for collection was by far the most important criteria, with 67% of respondents rating this as the number one priority. This was especially true amongst the men surveyed, although this is perhaps no surprise considering most men dislike shopping! Click & Collect is all about speed and convenience. If queues build up due to poor communication, slow service and mistakes, customers will get annoyed.
Prompt collection of Click and Collect is likely to make or break the success of the service, and that needs efficient staff communication in store. On-line ordering is about efficient fulfilment, so getting the order from storage area to customer fast, is all-important.
If retailers want to encourage more take up of Click & Collect they could consider the drive thru model where operators have fine-tuned fulfilment of car-bound order taking. With a combination of order points and headsets, store staff are pre-alerted to customer’s arrival, with wireless headset communication maximising the prep time to expedite orders from storage areas and getting them into the hands of the customer efficiently.
Keeping customers engaged and coming back for more is simply a matter of creating a good experience and in this case that means a quick and efficient service based on good communications.
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Author: Tom Downes, CEO Quail Digital.
Tom Downes established Quail Digital in 1995 manufacturing high quality wireless headset systems for the fast food and grocery industries. He has gone on to introduce products into a host of other sectors, diversifying the system’s usage. Today, banks, home and fashion retail, DIY stores and restaurants are now implementing the system.