5 Click and Collect Challenges to Expect and Tips to Overcome Them

5 Click and Collect Challenges to Expect and Tips to Overcome Them

According to the 2022 Inside Australian Online Shopping report, around 81 per cent of Australian households made online purchases via more channels than ever before. However, the volume of online shopping is expected to stabilise after the massive surge in the pandemic.

As retailers strive to offer a better customer or shipping experience, many decide to implement click-and-collect delivery. In fact, it has seen a 13.6 per cent rise in 2021!

Aussie customers enjoy the unique perks of click-and-collect. They are able to shop in the comfort of their homes and pick up the items themselves — either in-store or in other designated locations — while running errands.

By and large, this complimentary service is seen as a success story for ecommerce, but it can also pose some serious challenges for retailers, as it requires a great level of organisation.

The following are typical issues that may arise in stores using a click-and-collect shopping method:

  • Lacking technological solutions
  • Organising the workforce
  • Difficulties in substituting out-of-stock items

Ever since the lockdown in 2020, Storeplay IQ has managed to help hundreds of retail stores optimise their click-and-collect delivery systems.

This experience allowed us to gain plenty of insight into the challenges that shop managers face when using this system — or a hybrid shopping system, in general. We have learned alongside them as we had to come up with unique solutions for specific business needs.

In this post, we'd like to share our experience and findings in the hopes that it may inspire stores with click-and-collect delivery to make the right tweaks and streamline their back-end processes.

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the most common issues and what you can do to overcome them.

1. Having to Manage Too Many Click-and-Collect Orders

One of the greatest benefits of click-and-collect is convenience for both the shop and the customers.

For one, customers can pick up their online order when it’s most suitable for them, without having to adjust to the schedule of a third-party delivery service. Furthermore, if there’s a special shopping event like Black Friday, your customers would want to avoid crowded spaces and long queues, and opt for online shopping with in-store pickup.

Second, your company eliminates additional transportation fees and packaging — at least with a strategy like curbside pick-up, where customers receive their products at the shop’s premises.

However, if your staff has to prepare hundreds of packages to be collected on the same day, you will end up with a lot of unhappy customers and stressed employees.

Luckily, a few tweaks in your click-and-collect system can make all the difference:

  • Allow your customers to select a pick-up time on your booking platform instead of contacting you by phone or email;
  • Limit the amount of bookings and block enough time for your staff to be able to prepare the orders;
  • Customers should be able to announce their arrival automatically through the booking platform instead of making phone calls.

All of this is possible with Storeplay IQ, by the way!

Imagine having such an effective system during the holiday shopping season. With your shop running like clockwork, your customers and frontline employees won’t feel that dread and fatigue around holiday shopping.

2. The Pick-up Location Is Not Accessible to Your Customers

Accessibility is one of the most valued benefits of click and collect. What we mean by it is that, nowadays, you can set up contactless click-and-collect lockers or other innovative solutions that help elderly customers or those with disabilities easily pick up their orders.

However, a good intention can sometimes have an undesired outcome.

Perhaps, as a customer yourself, you once had the unpleasant surprise of having to pick up an order in a shop considerably farther away from your house than anticipated. Or you had to travel to a badly lit area at night.

If you don’t take into account some potentially unpleasant scenarios when designing your click-and-collect system, you may deal with lots of complaints.

3. The Staff Doesn’t Have Enough Time or Resources to Adapt

Adapting to any new delivery system takes time and may even require some trial and error until you develop a high level of accuracy.

Click-and-collect, in particular, also requires having a nimble attitude in order to manage fluctuating order volumes and juggle all the tasks specific to hybrid shopping.

Sometimes, it may feel like you need to be everywhere at the same time, both online and offline!

One possible solution, that is already gaining traction across the globe, is voice assistance. Some major retailers like Argos already use it for their customers to check stock availability much easier and make online payments. Well, the same principles can be used for your staff to increase its flexibility and quickly respond to change.

More specifically, a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google can facilitate many routine tasks like restocking and overseeing order numbers and delivery arrivals.

4. Challenges in Customer Communication

Communication and, especially, clarity in communication are crucial in any relationship, including that with your customers.

If, for some reason, an in-store pickup location is not available anymore, don’t designate another one automatically — it might not be possible for your customer to travel there. It’s always a good idea to communicate first, in case they would want to choose another click-and-collect delivery option.

Furthermore, certain methods require more online communication than others. Focus on designing the right user experience even if you must rely on software and displays, to give the shopping experience a more personalised, friendly, or VIP feel.

5. Trying to Do Everything

In previous posts, we talked about various BOPIS or click-and-collect systems you can implement in your shop, alongside or in place of home delivery. We saw how each BOPIS strategy responds to specific customer needs and preferences, at least in our current climate.

While you may be tempted to include several solutions and try to make all your customers happy, keep in mind that you can’t do everything — or at least, not at the same level.

You need to be prepared to make some difficult decisions at some point. Focus on the benefits that are most important to you and that you can deliver to a high standard.

Overcome Any Click and Collect Challenge with Storeplay IQ

There is no doubt that the benefits of click-and-collect are worthwhile for any retail business, big or small. But you need to try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and staff in order to adjust the system to best fit your business needs. Otherwise, an improper setup can make anyone dismiss a BOPIS strategy as ineffective.

One tool that can help you optimise your operations is Storeplay IQ — our online appointment booking, click-and-collect, and virtual queuing platform for retail and hospitality businesses. It ensures fast and accurate order processing, as well as integrating virtual queuing in stores with click-and-collect delivery.

Moreover, it can help you measure the results and performance so that you know what needs improvement.

As one of the most renowned management experts, Peter Drucker, once stated, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it".

If you want to learn more about how you can reap all the benefits of click-and-collect, we are more than happy to help!