5 Tips to Improve Your Click and Collect Process

5 Tips to Improve Your Click and Collect Process

To stay in business during that fateful year that we'd all rather forget, the retail and hospitality industries had to undergo a major transformation in how they operated. Investing in digitalisation and technology, in particular, became necessary in order to adapt to the unique challenges of 2020.

With the shift in customer needs and government guidelines, the click-and-collect process had become more popular among grocery stores, supermarkets, and restaurants of all sizes.

If you, too, are inclined to adopt a BOPIS strategy today, you might have a few questions, such as:

  • What is click-and-collect, exactly?
  • How does click-and-collect work?
  • Do we still need it today?
  • How can we optimise the click and collect process?

We will answer these questions and focus on how click-and-collect stores might benefit from this method. That way, you'll be able to prioritise what genuinely matters and overcome any potential obstacles.

What Is Click and Collect (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store)?

Click-and-collect is an easy way for shoppers to purchase items online and pick them up at a designated location — whether it’s through curbside pickup, in-store pickup, or using automated storage lockers.

It is compatible with retail and hospitality businesses of all sizes. It helps them keep track of inventory and save money on shipping costs. What’s more, customers either don’t need to wait in line to receive their purchases, or the waiting time is significantly reduced.

It’s a win-win on all fronts!

How Does Click and Collect Work?

Customers who use the complimentary click-and-collect service place their order online through the store’s e-commerce platform, and then choose a payment method and a pickup location.

Afterwards, the staff assembles the order and lets the customer know when it’s ready. This is usually done using booking software that takes care of the notification emails and texts automatically.

Is It Still Relevant?

There are many reasons why customers love click-and-collect, the main ones being convenience and reduced costs.

Not surprisingly, consumers appreciate click-and-collect regardless of the unique context of 2020. For example, according to a 2016 survey promoted on Entrepreneur.com, 30 per cent of consumers prefer the same-day delivery option ensured by BOPIS. Furthermore, 73 per cent of respondents admitted they would rather avoid shipping fees if possible.

Luckily, click-and-collect fulfils both of these conditions. In fact, this system saves both the customer and retailer a lot of time and effort. It makes sense why this delivery system is here to stay. We’ve experienced a more effective way of shopping — so why not stick to it?

Additionally, according to Business Insider, we should see a significant increase in click-and-collect sales by 2024, and more buyers will use this option (from 144 million consumers in 2020 to over 160 million in 2024).

How to Optimise Your Click and Collect Process.

Whether click-and-collect shops and restaurants want to use a curbside pickup method or another BOPIS strategy, there are a few essential things worth keeping in mind to make this strategy foolproof:

  1. Choose an Ideal Pickup Location

    In the study mentioned earlier, 32 per cent of consumers had chosen the click-and-collect delivery method because the pickup store was near their home.

    So, in order to make click-and-collect work, retailers and restaurants have to offer a convenient location point.

    They also need to ensure that customers can find these locations easily. For example, they can highlight them on Google Maps and install a clear signage system at the pickup location — especially in the case of click-and-collect lockers that can be harder to find.

  2. Make It Accurate and Seamless

    First of all, there’s no doubt that increasing order accuracy is essential to boost customer satisfaction. In fact, most shoppers will switch retailers if they have an unpleasant click & collect experience, such as a long wait time or interacting with untrained staff.

    Second, using an online booking platform or software to automate some communication processes can help provide a better and more seamless shopping experience:

    • You send accurate and timely updates on the status of their order, so they know when to arrive at the pickup location and avoid long queues;
    • You can connect with your customers by allowing them the option to provide feedback on this service. You can also correlate their feedback to specific data (pick-up time and location) and be able to identify the issues you need to address.

  3. Raise Awareness Among Your Customers

    With such a terrific service you provide, it would be a pity if your customers didn’t know about it or didn’t know how to use it. For example, they might be glad to know that not only they can benefit from same-day delivery, but their shopping habits will leave a significantly lower carbon footprint.

    We would recommend promoting your BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) strategy inside your venue, on your e-commerce website, and on all your social media platforms. That way, your hard work will not go unnoticed.

    Most importantly, don’t forget to show some clear visual instructions on the product page, where your customers are ready to make a purchase.

  4. Ensure Your Staff Is Trained for BOPIS

    It’s not easy to provide exceptional customer experience when you have no direct contact with the buyer, but it’s not impossible either!

    It all starts with a well-prepared team — as click & collect can increase your staff’s workload.

    You will need to explain the importance of click-and-collect to your employees, as well as train them on processing and packing online orders. Naming a supervisor to manage the workflow would be a good idea as well.

  5. Make Payments and Refunds Easy and Accessible

    Providing easy access to payment methods is essential in any e-commerce initiative. It can include “cash on collection”, online payment, or both.

    While ‘contactless’ payment methods were more favoured during the pandemic, it’s still a good idea to ensure a more hygienic payment system. Moreover, allowing customers to use their debit cards without typing in their PIN codes not only reduces device contact but is also more accessible for those with visual impairment.

    As for refunds, they can seem more tricky or laborious. Click and collect shops typically receive the unwanted items at their stores or warehouses and exchange them for other products or issue a refund. They may also arrange a collection at the customer’s home (which can be more costly for both parties).

    With all of this being said, you should consider what options work best for you, your team, and your clientele.

Key Takeaways

If you want to create a click and collect process that provides a stellar customer experience without putting too much pressure on your team, it’s a good idea to remember these tips:

  1. Be mindful of the pickup location;
  2. Create a seamless and accurate click-and-collect process — booking software is key here;
  3. Promote it — after all, you deserve the credit for going the extra mile with this free service;
  4. Make sure your team is well-prepared for click & collect;
  5. Ensure easy and accessible payments and refunds.

If you want to learn more about how booking software works, feel free to reach out to our team at Storeplay IQ. We also invite you to tell us about the challenges you may have faced when implementing click-and-collect — we would love to help!