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3 Hard ICE Reasons Shoppers Want Bricks and Clicks

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
3 Hard ICE Reasons Shoppers Want Bricks and Clicks It's clear. Shoppers want bricks and clicks. IHL reports that click and collect service was up by over 46% in the past holiday season. This in a retail environment that simply is not satisfying the demand for omni-channel services. But why? Why are customers interested in bricks and clicks? What drives shoppers to want both, more than shopping at the online store, or bricks and mortar store?

Hard ICE - Bricks and Clicks

Why consumers like bricks and clicks shopping experience comes down to three points. Customers like the: Instant Gratification Control Experience (product or service)

1. Instant Gratification

Who doesn't love the feeling of buying a product, and using it right away? It's the beauty of traditional retailers. The physical store has been all about this immediacy of want fulfillment. The physical presence and physical location meant shoppers knew exactly where to go. When they had a desire, they went to the store to get it, right away. Then online shopping threw the retail world out of whack. Convenience reigns supreme. An online presence leads to the ease of online shopping. Online retailers have been there to provide breadth, variety, price, and most of all convenience. But so far, convenience meant delayed gratification. Part of the bricks and clicks model is joining the convenience of online, with the immediacy of the physical store. In this case, convenience means customers can make sure their store has what they want, as NOT to waste their time.

2. Control

Another important reason customers like BOPIS (click and collect), is control. Yes, they have the convenience of online shopping. But, combining online and offline shopping means they control how, when, and where they get their merchandise. Think for a moment about the growing problem of porch piracy. Porch piracy is the theft of packages left at a person's door when they are not available to receive them. As online sales grow, and retail market share of digital commerce expands, theft concerns grow too. Control isn't often highlighted in the bricks and clicks business model. Yet, it is one of the benefits for consumers. Shoppers now buy goods and control when they want to pick them up. Timing missed shipments, and the potential of goods being stolen are taken out of the equation.

3. Enhanced Experience

Actually, experience breaks down into three parts. There is the buying experience of the goods. Then, there is the product experience of the goods purchased. Finally, there is the receiving/collection experience of the purchased items.

Buying Experience

Whether the customers use a mobile phone, laptop, desktop or social media to buy; there is an online experience. Part of that experience is showing them detailed inventory visibility down to the store level. Then offer a fair and easy to understand returns policy. Finally, give them the right choice of merchandise. Online is important. That's where a good e-commerce system like Episerver, Shopify Plus, Salesforce or BigCommerce, come in. Then give customers the right unified experience. That's where a powerful distributed order management system like OrderDynamics, makes sense. Getting the online experience right takes effort, finesse, and the right retail technology.

Sensory Experience

A big part of the bricks and clicks experience is touching, feeling, smelling, and getting a sense of your goods. The physical store is perfect for this, and customers know it. They want the opportunity to see and experience the merchandise before they take possession. Think of a new style of pants (trousers). Online you can see that it is the right size, colour and style. But, customers' can only feel them for texture and fit, in the physical store. Above all, this might be the most important experience pushing the bricks and clicks model.

Service Experience

Finally, our third part of the bricks and clicks experience is the in-store service. Customers like people. Well, most of them do. Naturally, we all want a positive and effective service experience at the brick and mortar store. Moreover, many customers yearn for that personal touch. Most noteworthy, omni-channel retailers need to make this in-store customer experience a great one. The BOPIS: State of the Industry study shows that customers recommend the service when the in-store experience is excellent. It comes down to a pickup experience that satisfies them. Make it a positive and quick experience, exceed shopper expectations in some small way, and give them that personal touch.

ICE Rules

Three reasons shoppers want bricks and clicks is that it makes sense. It delivers on the convenience of online. Yet, it blends in the best parts of physical retail. To make your retail succeed, blend the best of both worlds. Then encourage shoppers to benefit from the Instant gratification, Control and Experience of bricks and clicks retailing.   Author:  Charles Dimov is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.
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