Click and Collect

Click and collect definition: How it works, benefits and more

What is click and collect?

Click and collect is a convenient shopping model that enables customers to purchase products online and collect them from a physical store location at their convenience. It’s an omnichannel delivery method where your online channels, like websites and apps, seamlessly work in tandem with your retail stores.

Also known as BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In-Store), click and collect provides customers with the flexibility and convenience of online shopping, combined with the immediate gratification of in-store pickup.

How does click and collect work?

Although different retailers follow slightly different click-and-collect processes, there are eight main steps to the process:

Step 1: Online product selection

The click and collect journey begins with customers browsing through your online store's website or mobile app.

They can explore your brand’s wide range of products, check availability, compare prices and read customer reviews. Once they find the desired items, they add them to their shopping cart.

Step 2: Checkout Process

When customers finish selecting your products, they proceed to the checkout.

During checkout, they provide their information, such as contact details, preferred pickup retail location and payment method.

This step ensures that your store has the required information to process the order and notify them when the product is ready for pickup.

Step 3: Order Confirmation

Customers will receive an order confirmation after the checkout process.

This confirmation typically includes an order number, a summary of the online purchases, the chosen pickup location and an estimated timeframe for order preparation.

Step 4: Order Processing and Preparation

Once your store receives the order, your team initiates the processing and preparation stage, which. involves locating the items, ensuring their availability and packaging them securely.

Inventory management systems play a crucial role in keeping track of your stock levels and ensuring accurate order fulfilment.

Step 5: Notification of Order Readiness

When a customer's order is ready for collection, the store sends a notification to them through their preferred communication channel, such as a confirmation email or SMS.

This notification contains specific instructions, including the pickup location within the store and the designated time frame during which the order can be collected.

Step 6: Customer Arrival and Identification

Customers then visit the chosen store location at their convenience within the specified timeframe.

Upon arrival, they proceed to a dedicated click-and-collect counter or area, where your store staff are ready to assist them.

Customers may be required to present their order confirmation, identification or any other relevant information to verify their identity.

Step 7: Order Pickup and Assistance

Once their identity is verified, your store staff retrieve the prepared order and hand it over to them.

They may also provide any additional assistance or answer questions related to the products or the shopping experience.

This personalised interaction means your customers have a positive customer experience, which helps foster brand loyalty.

Step 8: Returns or Exchanges (if applicable)

If customers wish to return any items from their click and collect order, your store staff will guide them through the appropriate process. The specifics of returns and exchanges may vary depending on the store's policies and procedures.

7 key click and collect benefits for retailers

While click and collect offers many benefits to end customers, it also benefits retailers like you in numerous ways:

1 - Increased Footfall and In-Store Sales

Click and collect drives customers to physical store locations, increasing footfall and creating opportunities for additional in-store purchases.

When visiting the store to collect their orders, they’re more likely to browse and explore other products, leading to cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

This boosts your overall sales and helps maximise the potential of each customer interaction.

2 - Cost Savings on Shipping and Returns

With click and collect, you can reduce shipping costs significantly.

Instead of shipping individual orders to customers' homes, you consolidate orders for in-store pick-up, minimising transportation expenses.

Moreover, click and collect reduces the likelihood of returns since customers have the opportunity to examine the products before taking them home.

This results in delivery cost savings associated with return logistics and restocking.

3 - Inventory Optimisation Implementing

Click and collect allows you to effectively leverage your existing store inventory.

By integrating online and offline channels, you can consolidate your inventory data and provide real-time stock availability information to customers.

This visibility helps prevent stockouts, improves inventory management and reduces the risk of overselling. You can optimise your inventory across channels, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

4 - Enhanced Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Click and collect provides you with an opportunity for direct customer engagement.

When customers visit the store for order pickup, you can engage with them, offer personalised assistance and create memorable customer experiences.

This interaction helps build stronger relationships, fosters loyalty and encourages repeat purchases.

Additionally, you can leverage click and collect data to gain insights into your customer preferences and tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.

5 - Streamlined Operations and Efficiency

Implementing click and collect requires you to optimise your operational processes, resulting in increased efficiency.

By integrating online and in-store systems, you can automate order processing, streamline order fulfilment and enhance overall operational efficiency.

Click and collect also helps manage customer expectations by providing clear pickup timeframes, reducing wait times and ensuring a smooth and efficient collection process.

6 - Adaptation to Changing Consumer Behaviours

As consumer preferences evolve, you must adapt to remain competitive.

And click and collect aligns with the growing demand for convenience and flexibility in shopping experiences.

By offering this service, you cater to your customer’s changing needs and position yourselves as a modern, customer-centric brand.

This adaptability helps you stay relevant and gain a competitive edge in the market.

7 - Data Insights for Business Growth

Click and collect generates valuable data that you can leverage for business growth.

By analysing click and collect trends, you can gain insights into your customer behaviour, preferences and purchase patterns.

These insights can inform inventory management decisions, marketing strategies and product assortment planning.

By harnessing the power of data, you can make decisions that drive business growth and maximise profitability.

Click and collect vs curbside pickup: 4 key differences

While click and collect and curbside pickup share the same underlying concept of online purchasing and in-store pickup, curbside pickup became famous with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating the need for your customers to enter the retail store entirely. Below are notable differences between them:

1 - In-Store Experience

Click and collect and BOPIS require customers to enter the physical store to collect their purchases, allowing them to explore additional offerings and potentially make additional purchases. Curbside pickup eliminates the need for customers to enter the store, providing a contactless experience.

2 - Convenience Level

Curbside pickup offers the highest level of convenience, as your customers can stay in their vehicle throughout the entire pickup process. Click and collect and BOPIS require them to enter the store but still provide significant convenience by streamlining the purchasing and pickup journey.

3 - Physical Interaction

Click and collect and BOPIS typically involve customers having some physical interaction with your store employees during pickup. Curbside pickup minimises physical contact, ensuring a safer experience for them and the store staff.

4 - Operational Setup

Implementing curbside pickup may require additional operational considerations, such as designated parking spaces and optimised order delivery to vehicles. Click and collect and BOPIS can utilise existing in-store pickup areas.

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