After a long day at the office, a dad with two young kids needs items from the store. He picks up the children from daycare. The last thing he wants to do is take them out of the car to go in the store.
Sometime during the day, he went to the store's app to buy what he needed. Before leaving the daycare parking lot, he opens the store's app to let them know that he's on his way. As soon as he arrives at the store, he parks in a designated spot. The app notifies the store he's on the premises. Within a few minutes, an employee comes out with the groceries.
This convenience is called click-and-collect.
Reuters references an Adobe Analytics report revealing that at the end of 2018, the process of ordering online and then picking it up climbed 47 percent compared to the previous year.
ICSC confirms the growing popularity of click-and-collect. Its recent survey finds that more than 50 percent of adults use it. Of those, 60 percent employ it frequently. Ninety-six percent use click-and-collect again.
Another factor in its rise is customers are making more micro-shopping trips, or trips that last fewer than five minutes. Even with quick trips, customers still pick up last-minute items while in the store. A win for brick-and-mortar stores.
Shoppers like click-and-collect because they can get their items faster without paying delivery charges. When they run into problems, they're right there at the store to ask for help. In one case, a parent ordered a blue calculator and the store brought out a pink one. They did the exchange right on the spot.
In another case, a customer needed shoes in a larger size. The customer didn't have to go through the routine of putting them back in a package and driving to a postal store to ship them back. Instead, the customer drives to the nearest store. Customers like click-and-collect because it gives them more control, greater inventory options, faster service, and guaranteed product availability.
Customers also get items that the store does not typically carry. For example, one store stopped carrying a customer's favorite product. Fortunately, the store's app still offers it and delivery is free with store pick-up. Customers are willing to wait a day or two to pick up.
Retailers benefit too. Customers come inside to collect their items and end up shopping for more while in the store. ICSC's survey reports that 67 percent of click-and-collectors buy more things while picking up their online order.
Another plus is it overcomes online shopping cart abandonment. People abandon their online shopping carts because of shipping costs, later delivery dates, or unacceptable return policy. The free pick-up via click-and-collect works around that. Most importantly, it becomes a key part of the omnichannel customer experience by offering more options and fewer barriers. The downside is the store may have to remodel or tweak the layout for click-and-collect. However, the benefits and customer convenience more than make up for it.
Whether or not you do click-and-collect, you want to ensure you have a retail center security program in place. It can deter crime and identify suspects. To learn about security solutions, please contact us.
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