Click and collect – the winning user experience strategy

Before the covid-19 crisis hit the world, the click and collect concept was a growing trend for customers and now it is expected to grow much more beyond throughout this pandemic.

More and more customers are exploring the ease of online shopping and then picking up their orders at the store which is close to their location.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, shoppers in certain areas of the globe turned to click-and-collect as a matter of protection and necessity, purchasing orders from Walmart, the mall or their nearest high street stores without ever leaving their vehicles. Although the service was particularly helpful during the crisis, it also exposed millions of consumers to a reliable service that they would not be able to give up as well as ease of limitation.

Matt Katz, managing partner at global consultancy SSA & Company was questioned will this click and collect service stick even after the post pandemic world? Matt katz anwered saying

“I’d say it will stick. It’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle… and it is a terrific customer service offer.”

At the supermarket, the click and collect service provides  the customers with the option to skip the crowds and long queues, helping them handle their kids in the car and giving them hand to load the groceries in their car trunk. In the malls, it offers customers a simple central pick-up point for a multitude of shops inside.

Kerbside pick-up eliminates the gap between e-commerce and traditional stores, giving shoppers the immediacy and comfort of traveling to shops for their orders, as well as the absolute ease and safety of online shopping.

Click-and-collect is a quickly expanding activity. Many retailers have been introducing technologies that allow their customers to buy online and pick up their order at a store or checkpoint that is convenient for them, with retailers like Walmart leading the charge.

The aim of the click and collect concept is to reposition the customer relationship service of traditional off-line retailers. Indeed it could create a new form of customer interaction, a

meeting point and a different user experience for customers. This new on line customer

experience with the off-line retailer becomes a core component of the customer

relationship, developing to create a value which is sustainable in future. Here, the customer co-creates the value through  interacting within the system.

While fast food outlets have been using the click and collect method for many decades, this channel is more recent in the retail market. Indeed, the first French food click and collect service was introduced in 2004 by the Auchan Group under the “Chronodrive” banner. This opening has revolutionized conventional retailing, actively engaging consumers in the production of services. In the US, pickup is a way to compete with Amazon for one hour.

Deliveries and the invasion of new territory, such as mid-sized markets.

Companies of all sizes are taking note of companies like Nordstorm and Walmart have already implemented click and collect. For local businesses in a metropolitan area, click and collect enhances some sense of interaction and neighbourhood feel; letting the customers to purchase their goods or products from their preferred choice of retailer and pick-up at StreetSide  or at a time of their purchasing, and connect with the vendors.

Some case studies on click and collect model that might interest you!!!

Walmart’s in-store self-service kiosks, named “Pickup Towers,” provide a convenient pick-up service for online orders. When a consumer purchases an order online, they can use the Walmart application to alert the retailer when they are on their way to the store to ensure that their items are ready upon arrival. And then  Customers can approach the store, find the Pickup Tower, and use their smartphone to check the order confirmation barcode. In 45 seconds, the system door opens and the products appear on the conveyor belt.

Amazon’s Hub Locker+ enables customers to pick up products from a nearby locker. The customer selects one of the several Amazon Hub Locker+ locations during the checkout process while shopping on Amazon.com. The customer will then pick up their things from the locker, sometimes on the same day, without waiting in a queue.

Nordstrom provides a pick-up facility where shoppers can receive online orders without leaving their vehicles. Upon delivery, the store employee walks the customer’s order to their vehicle at the designated pick-up spot. Nordstrom also provides the ability to pick up in-store.

Challenges of E-commerce:

For most of the time, retailers are under pressure to satisfy the ever-changing needs and demands of customers. There are occasions where the consumer is asked to wait for long periods to have his or her product delivered. Also the product is frequently sent back to the warehouse very often due to the absence of a customer at the provided address for distribution. A few housing societies and offices have tight security controls and fixed timings for internet deliveries maintained.

Not only orders, the customer needs to give a request to the e-commerce player to return a specific order, wait for an individual to come and retrieve the order, which can be a time-consuming and tedious procedure altogether. This further raises the waiting time for the e-commerce player in question or leads to loss of revenue. Then, when it comes to order fulfilment, there are many problems that e-retailers face every day.

Fulfilment of the order is the significant part of the e-commerce journey. The Click & Collect concept is now being tested by many e-commerce stores, where consumers can make an online order and opt to collect their purchase at a pre-chosen venue, rather than having it shipped to their home.

What makes retailers to adopt click and collect ?

Click and collect helps the retailers to save a lot. It lowers operational costs and optimizes impulse purchases. Retailers notice that in-store collection also offers them more ways to connect with consumers and improve customer experience.

There is a company called cleveron. The company provides click and collect service for retail and logistics services.

Cleveron develops innovative parcel lockers and robots to streamline omnichannel solutions and deliver a seamless customer experience. Their solutions :

Reduce the cost of last mile deliveries

Facilitate parcel withdrawal and return operations

Improve the omnichannel customer experience

Cleveron retailers also gain a key benefit of 50% unplanned purchase from shoppers when they come to collect their products from the store.

Also For instance, Bell and Howell company conducted a study of 530 shoppers and it has been found that 49% of customers were likely to buy an additional product when they come to pick up their order.

Worldwide digital buyers

Worldwide, it is expected that over 2.14 billion people buy goods and service online in the year of 2021.

Purchasing products and services online has become a standard procedure for many people around the world. Some chose to shop online for convenience, others because of the affordable price offered by some e-commerce sites. Digital customers can also be swayed by a number of digital resources when shopping, such as brand emails and product reviews.

In the U.S., online shopping is expected to remain prominent in the future, as the country is one of the leading online retail markets ranked by online shoppers with growth forecasts over the coming years. About 80% of internet consumers in the U.S. are projected to make at least one online purchase during the 2019 calendar year, a large improvement from 2013, when this share stood at 73%.

Most stores offer free in-store delivery, but some retailers charge a pick-up fee in order to recover staff and storage costs.

Click and collect service also ensures that consumers feel more secure with their returns.

 Click and collect is a win-win situation for both the customers and the retailers:

  • The Click & Collect service provides consumers full control over the delivery of their goods with e-commerce players offering different options for collection fulfilment.
  • Unprofessional delivery services are eliminated and there are low to small additional fulfilment charges.
  • If the product does not meet the customer requirements or in case there us any problem, customer can also able to check the quality of the product and return it to the store.
  • For retailers, when customers come into their store directly it would help them to manage e=customer experience in a better way and also they can sell additional products and handle the returns efficiently.

The Click & Collect approach also performs well in certain circumstances where a customer desperately wants those goods but does not have the time to visit markets in search of them.

There is an ever-changing retail tech start-up scene. With new companies coming up all the time, it’s difficult to keep track of all those companies, so let’s identify the start-ups which might cause real disruption in this sector. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of the top click and collect start-ups in the world right now.

Food Retailers and industries using click and collect are:

The next big sector that will experience the influence of online shopping is food and beverage retail and wholesale

The food industry has largely used click and collect, most commonly restaurants with takeout and delivery services.

Food:

In 2016, 23% of customers purchased food or beverages, or both, online. Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) are conducting a study to analyze what needs to be done for the emerging digital grocery landscape by food and beverage suppliers and brick-and – mortar retailers. The study initially contributed to the estimate that online consumer food and beverage sales could hit $100 billion by 2025.

Before we could have opted click and collect to order pizza by walking into the supermarket or the restaurant. Beyond pizza, today’s world has shoppers collecting their groceries for a week. Grocery segments battle high shipping costs with online purchase, pick-up in-store. MarketLine reported in 2018 February that Walmart had opened its 1100th pick-up location for online grocery customers in the U.S., and its e-commerce revenues increased by 44 per cent.

You will also like our article on waste and food technology startups

There are already several marketplace platforms for local traders and Here is an example of a list of platforms that offer click and collect services:

  1. Alfred store: Online delivery marketplace for grocery products
  • Awadac: Awadac offers a digital solution for the restaurant and hospitality trades.
  • Cabazen: Cabazen is Click and Collect’s first solution entirely dedicated to convenience stores.
  • Deliverect: Connects online food delivery services with POS
  • Hoppins: Independent stores account for 60% of the French textile market. However, they represent only 20% of the revenue of this market. Hoppins is the first click-collect platform that digitizes these stores, to help them develop their sales.
  • Just eat (allo resto): The best restaurants delivered to your home.
  • Le click and collect pour les restaurants: Founded in 2012, Click Eat is a Parisian start-up that resonates with the restaurant industry. It presents itself as a web platform that allows consumers to discover the restaurants around them, pre-order their lunch online and pick it up directly, avoiding queuing.
  • Les habitués: The start-up LesHabitués develops a mobile and web solution allowing its user to have a prepaid account to facilitate his daily purchases and enjoy benefits.
  • Ma boutique en ville: Ma Boutique En Ville provides an interactive map of business locations. It allows the towns and communities to set up a Click & Collect platform for neighborhood merchants. Cities can therefore improve the visibility of merchants by offering them a digital service adapted to their needs.
  1. Ma ville mon shopping: A subsidiary of the La Poste Group, we are a local and collaborative e-commerce platform that aims to revitalize the downtown trade.
  1. Miap: Solution for digitizing the ordering, payment and loyalty process for bars and restaurants, based on artificial intelligence. Miap is a free mobile application that adapts to table service, click & collect, delivery.
  1. Ollca: Ollca is a platform for shopkeepers and craftsmen of the food trades (bakeries, butchers, first-timers, cheese makers, wine shops, grocery stores…) to have an online shop and new services such as delivery and withdrawal. express in store (click and collect).
  1. Oordrz: Mobile app for shopping from nearby shops.
  1. Ordatic: Provider of integration solution to connect food delivery platform with POS.
  1. Piwii: The sublimated local trade (click – collect, delivery in less than 45 minutes, joint loyalty program…).
  1. Rapidle: Rapidle is an application that allows you to order your groceries from your local retailer, pay in a 1-click and remove your products in a line-cutter.
  1. Shopopop: Shopopop is a collaborative delivery platform for Drive races and local commerce.
  1. Siouplait: Discover the Sioup app: Ask, order, pay.
  1. The ring.io: click and collect and online sales from your mobile. It provides customer relationship management solutions to retailers, small businesses and SMEs. It offers solutions for customer management, supplier management, quote management, invoice management, online payment, online appointment, and product management. The product is available on a subscription basis
  • Uber eats: Uber Eats is a food delivery platform that makes getting great food from a favorite local restaurants as easy as requesting a ride
  • Veando: Veando is a web and mobile application of the Social and Solidarity Economy, created in Vannes in November 2017 to support local trade in the face of online sales giants and the proliferation of drives.
  • Wishibam: The start-up Wishibam is developing a solution to offer an omnichannel shopping experience. End customers can purchase the products available in-store, directly on the merchant site, and enjoy the same advantages on this new distribution channel as at the physical point of sale (loyalty program, discounts, accompaniment personalised…).
  • Cleveron: Robotics-based parcel terminals and last mile click and collect pickup solutions.

What if small business does not have websites ?

In France, the French Government has said that it will offer financial assistance to businesses that need to develop their website or even build one, and a €100 million package has been set aside to do so.

That said, “click and collect” does not involve a website strictly. The term can be used by an organization in the manner it prefers, through a website or through distributed channels (similar to take-out menus).However, a website will make it easy to advertise the delivery services of company  which would probably help to boost the revenue.

The Government recommends retailers to put up posters in their shop windows to notify passers-by of their services, but also to use social media to advertise their ‘click and collect’ services, to send out text messages or to inform them in any other way possible.

Business owners who wish to register for “click and collect” can contact the French Chamber of Commerce to find the location of their business.

There are different type of click and collect services:

  1. Click and collect in-store retail.
  2. In-store lockers
  3. Remote pick-up: involves the use of different associated stores as pick-up locations. Other choices include UPS, FedEx or post offices as designated pick-up locations.
  • Ship-to-store: helps an online shopper to get an item shipped to the store from a distribution center and made available for collection when it is not possible to locate an item in stock at a retail store.

The click and collect model also has been expanded to sectors like fashion and home goods.

Fashion:

For example Zara’s click and collect – Zara’s Click-and – Collect pop-up store at Westfield Shopping Center in East London is assisting shoppers with their online orders, refunds and trades. The concept shop features an online order area where consumers can pick up their orders without the need for assistance from staff, thanks to an automated facility behind the store. Customers can scan the QR code or provide a pin number to authorize the warehouse to recover their purchases.

Home goods:

Home and General Goods Retailer Target unveiled a service in 2018, where supermarket employees brought shoppers’ orders to their vehicles. It sounds like a nostalgic throwback to the restaurants that have the drive-up and the servers carrying their meals out. Here, the customer orders their products in the Target app and can choose “drive-up” at checkout. When the shipment is ready for pick-up, the customer parks at a designated location and waits for the employee to transfer their products straight into the car.

What could be the next for click and collect ?

Ecommerce has provided customers with different variety of options. In an era where distance is given more priority for the sake of health, click and collect has evidently seen a rise in value and importance.

Right now in this situation, staying inside helps shoppers and the retailers, and their employees, remain safe. Click and collect still has a prosperous future even beyond the COVID-19 period,. Some customers may want to “move out by staying home,” where they won’t incur any extra costs like paying tips or gas in their vehicles to-and-from the destination. while in their home they can enjoy all the comforts of a dinner out. While this applies to the restaurant industry, already well-acquainted with meal pickups, shopping online and picking up products from shops specialized in home goods, fashion, and even groceries could still have impact.

Buying habits are significantly different due to COVID-19. But perhaps it has accelerated the future. People are not willing to stand in line also because of health concerns. The evolution and trajectory of commerce in general will betrayed if we move back to “normal” ways of purchasing. One thing we can be confident of is that customers like alternatives that complement their lives.

Conclusion:

Nowadays, and it’s no secret that one of the biggest reasons the clients are dropping their carts would be the prices, methods and delivery times. It is therefore important to diversify the delivery methods and to satisfy the needs of the customers.

The introduction of the “click & collect” program offers users more flexibility and options, resulting in an rise in revenue.

Above all, it is also important to break the boundaries between online and offline by implementing a comprehensive omnichannel strategy.

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