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Why Store Environment is So Critical For Click And Collect Services

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
Why Store Environment is So Critical For Click and Collect Services Follow along with this familiar scenario. You’ve entered a store and have had the chance to look around for the items you need. You’ve been assisted by the store associates and have easily been able to make it to the checkout line. The attendant is courteous and helpful, and it is extremely easy for you to complete your purchase. But... in the time it takes you to return your payment card to your wallet, your purchased items have disappeared. Poof – they’re gone and now it’s up to you to find them. Are you shaking your head, thinking about how frustrating this would be? If so, then you already understand the importance of the store environment to Click and Collect.

The “Collect” is Just as Important as The “Click”

The example above may be a little extreme. When making a Click and Collect purchase, your items don't just vanish from your sight. They were never right in front of you in the first place. Most often, they are in a distribution centre or brick-and-mortar location waiting to be bought. This scenario highlights why it’s important to not only pay attention to the ease of the “Click” but to also seriously think about the “Collect” part of the omnichannel strategy. Designing an intuitive, responsive and optimized e-commerce website is crucial. With a site like that, customers can find the products they’re seeking. They can discover the information they need. They can even get help to complete their purchase. It also helps the retailer as more purchases would be made. Better yet, the customer is happy because it was easy to complete the transaction.

The Click and Collect Service Extends Beyond Financial Transactions

Even though the financial transaction is complete, the service -or journey- is not over for the customer who has opted for a Click and Collect order. These customers chose to forgo home delivery. They chose to pick up their purchases either at the store or at another pickup spot. The most common reasons for this are convenience and speed. The reason why is that customers want their items faster than home delivery allows for. Or they may want to save money on shipping when the order is below a certain value. Not only can customers save money by not paying shipping costs, but they can also take advantage of special deals and promotions - targeted for Click and Collect shoppers. Some retailers choose to waive any sort of fee attached to the Click and Collect service. This might be for a limited time or for an ongoing promotion. Customers can also save money (and time) by being able to see and examine their items at the pickup location. In that sense, Click and Collect saves time and money as consumers don't need to return the items they did not like. As for convenience, many Click and Collect retailers offer more beyond an in-store pickup. They have other convenient pickup locations making it even easier for consumers. But Click and Collect convenience doesn’t stop at the pickup location. For the omnichannel customer, convenience includes communication about pickup instructions. It includes store signage directing the customer to the Click and Collect service area. It also includes the availability of in-store staff to help with collection. Basically, all of the things that help traditional in-store customers (like the opening story). When retailers extend the positive experience of the customer past the financial transaction stage, they are revolutionizing the retail journey. This both, for their customers and for their brand. Satisfying the customer up to and during the financial transaction is important. It helps with the all-important buying experience. But, if retailers are interested in creating repeat Click and Collect consumers, focus on the entire customer journey.

How do we Know Click and Collect Customers Care About The In-Store Experience?

According to research on the Superconsumers of Click and Collect, veterans of omnichannel place a very high priority on the in-store experience. These customers have been buying online and picking up in-store for longer than two years. They know what a retailer needs to do to keep their business. Superconsumers are loyal advocates of the convenience of Click and Collect services. But, they are also more likely to take their savings and roll them into unplanned purchases. These purchases happen both during the pickup and during any item-return trips. By combining the ease of e-commerce and all of the qualities that enable a positive experience for the Superconsumer in-store, both retail and customer benefit. For more on how this distinct group - the Click and Collect Superconsumers - can help you build a successful Click and Collect program, download the whitepaper here.   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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