The Rise of ‘Click and Collect’

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Click and collect is becoming one of the most promising trends in the retail. But what is it?

Harry Wallop at the Telegraph explains; “You, the customer, buy something online. Then, rather than wait for the postman to ring the doorbell three days later, you go to the shop and collect it yourself.”

In the wake of the era of internet shopping, brands have come to understand the need to offer both an online and brick and mortar presence – the two are complimentary rather than independent.

How does Click & Collect work?

A brand offers shoppers both online and in-store shopping. First, the customer buys a product on-line. They are then offered different delivery options: home delivery, delivery to a distribution centre or collection in-store. If they choose the latter, they then select the most convenient store location and time slot (through online appointment booking).

The customer can then alert staff of their arrival in-store for purchase collection by scanning a bar code/QR code sent with their email/MMS booking confirmation at a kiosk. Digital screens displaying brand messages are used to keep customers informed of their order progress (‘processing’/’ready at collection point’ etc). Once the order is ready, an advisor brings it to the customer for collection.

According to Economie Matin, “these digital tools…could allow brands to respond to consumer needs with possible uses including; queue management, stock level management etc.”

Big brands are buying into the idea

Brands from all areas of retail (clothing, domestic appliances, books,  etc.) have started to offer their customers a click & collect option: TescoHouse of Fraser have all set up their own service. In September, a new click & collect partnership was established between Argos and eBay.

They stand to benefit from the move to click & collect in many ways:  reduced logistical costs (packaging, deliveries, returns etc), attracting armchair internet shoppers to attend the store and thus potentially increasing turnover, increasing customer loyalty and improving customer satisfaction.

A strong presence on social networks is an essential step in improving customer relations and rewarding  customer loyalty. Some brands have even installed touch-screen tablets in-store allowing shoppers to carry out a quick survey rating different aspects of their experience (sales assistant service, waiting times, etc.).

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