Following this week’s Retail Business Technology Expo, Mike Durbridge, director of omnichannel at B&Q UK & Ireland, has announced that click-and-collect will be an increasingly important tool for retailers in the future as they look to leverage more value from their physical stores.
With shoppers taking to click and collect in their masses, many of the world’s top ecommerce companies are being forced to rethink the multichannel experience they offer customers.
Amazon is already trialling physical stores in the US, and many etailers are expected to follow suit.
Click and collect’s success is especially significant in the UK, with a survey of shoppers conducted by Postcode Anywhere revealing that 95% of UK consumers planned to use click-and-collect services over the last Christmas period alone. Consumers may enjoy online shopping, but they no longer like waiting for deliveries. Customers now demand clear, guaranteed delivery options with click-and-collect becoming a popular choice, so that they can be confident their order is going to arrive on time.
“How do you sweat this fixed asset more and play on the convenience of click & collect and its guarantee of service? Click & collect will be a key for retailers in the future. It’s all about balancing up physical retail and online,” explained Durbridge.
Studies have found that 40 percent of consumers are proven to pick up something extra in store whilst collecting their click and collect order. Durbridge cited that many businesses have put their collection desks at the furthest point from the door as a way of enticing customers into impulse purchase.
He suggested that, “The reason customers use click & collect is for convenience, so to make them walk ten minutes is not making it convenient – it’s just about the commerciality and not the service for the customer.”
Results from last year’s Christmas shopping season found 25 percent of consumers stocked up on additional goods from the same store they had collected a parcel from and the popularity of the service meant shoppers were expected to create £1.15 billion worth of spontaneous spending, through increased opportunities for browsing.
B&Q’s director believes that the key to an improved customer experience for cross-channel retailers providing the click-and-collect service is getting cleverer with time. He suggests offering solutions such as Drive Thru collections, which have already been trialled in the US, and the use of beacons to improve the speed and convenience in-store, where customers can be notified to collect their goods.
“Everybody is trying to drive click and collect times down… Giving the customer a quicker, faster, guaranteed proposition is key. If you want to have a really successful click and collect strategy [the experience] is the fundamental…but we’re so focused on the technology, and the systems and the processes that sometimes we forget about the customer.”
numero believes that although drive thru click-and-collect has been extremely popular over in the US, it’s not quite as practical for the UK due to the space required, although the idea of customers not even needing to leave their car could make the idea even more convenient and appealing.
numero believes that utilising in-store beacon technology to understand your customers’ needs could be the next obvious step for click-and-collect services. This technology has huge potential to enhance the shopping experience, making it quicker and easier for customers to access information that they are looking for, and letting retailers know when customers are coming into the store to speed up the delivery process.