Omnichannel • 08.01.2018

Click & Collect: More in-store sales thanks to store pickup

Opportunity and challenge for the retail sector: Retailers can really benefit from this service

Click and Collect, In-Store Pickup, Click & Go: there are many terms that describe the store pickup process of online orders. Retailers can really benefit from this service; provided that they are armed with a professionally developed concept of course.

The service with the many different names has one key advantage for retailers: online customers visit a “real” store. Once the potential buyer is already on site, the visit can also result in additional sales. More and more customers not only purchase the merchandise they ordered online but also buy additional items. A 2017 study by JDA/Centiro found out that 15 percent of customers in Germany do so intentionally, while it’s an unplanned decision for 20 percent of shoppers. According to a Bell and Howell study, 69 percent of shoppers in North America purchased additional products.

Generally speaking, customers increasingly use this type of service. It’s not just half of all Americans who have clicked and collected at one point of another, Europeans are also catching up in this area. In 2016, 28 percent of Germans have already taken advantage of this service and the numbers are increasing.

Schriftzug Click und Collect
Source: Panthermedia.net/halfpoint

Customers love convenient deliveries and returns

According to JDA, in-store delivery is especially tempting because customers save money by not having items delivered to their home. They think pickup is a more practical option (more than half of them actually miss deliveries made to their home) and they can be certain that the desired product is actually available at the store.

After shopping at an Ernsting’s family store in Bonn, one 60-year-old customer said, “If I order an item for pick up at the store, I can be certain the exact item I saw online is actually also available at the store. In the past, I have seen something online but couldn’t find it at the actual store. But in this case, the product is available within a few short days and I can simply pick it up while I am out shopping anyway. The payment process is the same as if I make a typical purchase. It works really well.“

This offers retailers the chance to have items that are otherwise only available online at their brick-and-mortar store. This expands the sales floor. Online retailers also benefit from this service. After all, one of the main reasons online customers change vendors is a bad experience with returns according to JDA. That’s why it makes sense to facilitate returns at the store – which is exactly what many vendors do.

The agony of choice: Where should the items be picked up?

Pickup at the Ernsting’s family store was easy and quick. The customer presented her order number, the sales associate picked up a folder, located the page with the current orders based on the barcode and retrieved the package after a brief search and handed it to the customer.

With an increasing number of orders arriving at the store, the processes and store associates have to be well prepared for the order pickups. Experts unanimously recommend to set up an especially marked location for in-store pickup. However, they don’t all agree as to where at the store this area should be located. Some suggest a central location – as shown by how C&A solves this issue in its city center store in Bonn – right next to the main checkout. The Bell and Howell study supports this option and indicates that interviewed customers prefer an order pickup location at the front of the store.

Verkäuferin gibt Tasche an Kunden
Waiting is the last thing customers want when picking up their orders
Source: Panthermedia.net/AndreyPopov

Meanwhile, other experts believe a location in specialty departments makes more sense. While a central location definitely adds to a quick locating process, the theme-related reference is primarily intended to boost additional sales. In a white paper titled “Click & Collect: Multichannel entry with pitfalls”, Martin Himmel, Managing Director of ecom consulting GmbH, maintains that an online shoe order should not be picked up in the housewares department for example. After all, if the customer doesn’t like the shoes, he could simply try on a different pair of shoes at the shoe department and also choose matching socks and care products to go along with his purchase.

Space and time prerequisites to facilitate this service have to be an essential part of creating an omnichannel concept. While a small cupboard behind the cash register might work for some retailers, major stores like C&A in Düsseldorf require an extra space. In this case, orders are arranged in alphabetical order by customer name. Given the approximately 50 orders per day, this means a lot of extra time and effort. What’s more, customers can order up to 50 clothing items at once and leave them at the store for up to 14 days before they have to pick up the merchandise. Orders that have not been collected are returned to the head office. At Ernsting’s family, orders are opened after five days and sold at the store.

Having said that, one thing is certain when it comes to the location: it is essential to clearly mark the pickup location. Does that seem logical? It does, yet according to JDA, customers were unable to find designated locations at stores in ten percent of all cases.

Software and employees have to be in synch for things to work

The key success factor in this service is a well-trained workforce and, above all, plenty of employees working on the sales floor. After all, customers expect that they don’t have to wait when it comes to store pickup. According to JDA, in reality, staff was unable to locate orders in 17 percent of cases last year.

Throughout the overall ordering process, it is important to inform customers about available products, shipment status, and availability at the store in a transparent and friendly manner. This is where the right software can automatically support all levels of the omnichannel procedure ranging from the purchasing process to inventory management all the way to the notification of sales associates.

Martin Himmel emphasizes that POS systems should no longer just be able to confirm inventory at closing time but do so as quickly as possible. He deems real-time inventory management as somewhat unrealistic – but it should be feasible at minute intervals. Retailers have to clarify where their merchandise comes from and ensure that they don’t run into situations where the goods are needed online and at the physical store at the same time.

Customer orders should be confirmed by employees once the items are ready for pickup. Customers can subsequently be notified automatically. The communication with the customer should be friendly – especially in cases where there are any delivery problems.

And speaking of communication: while a well-planned process, positioning and digital support are the basic prerequisites for a successful Click & Collect service, the key benefit for retailers is the fact that they can play up their best asset: personal customer service. The salesperson is able to offer alternative products if the ordered item is not to the customer’s liking, explain how returns work or even assemble furniture for the customer, as is already the case with Tchibo stores.

Advertisement
Author: Natascha Mörs, iXtenso

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail: Photo: Nordstrom Rack President Karen McKibbin to retire...

News • 10.01.2018

Nordstrom Rack President Karen McKibbin to retire

After three decades marked by expansion and success she will be retiring from Nordstrom in March

Thumbnail: Photo: C&A signs UN Womens Empowerment Principles

News • 21.03.2018

C&A signs UN Women's Empowerment Principles

Alain Caparros, CEO C&A Europe, described C&A’s commitment to gender parity as a key principle of the company’s culture

Thumbnail: Photo: Meet the iXtenso team at EuroCIS 2018!

News • 16.02.2018

Meet the iXtenso team at EuroCIS 2018!

We will report live for you from the trade fair ground

Thumbnail: Photo: Carrefour signs the 2018 French Business Climate Pledge...

News • 15.12.2017

Carrefour signs the 2018 French Business Climate Pledge

Investing in low CO2-emitting technologies and reducing energy consumption

Thumbnail: Photo: Click & Collect solution for UK retailers

News • 03.01.2018

Click & Collect solution for UK retailers

Tryzens delivers Salesforce Commerce Cloud integration for start-up HubBox

Thumbnail: Photo: Artificial Intelligence: a real opportunity for brick-and-mortar...

Report • 19.03.2018

Artificial Intelligence: a real opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers

Combining personalized service with AI to optimally reach the customer

Thumbnail: Photo: Shoppers to lose out if UK doesn’t adopt EU global trade deals...

News • 28.12.2017

Shoppers to lose out if UK doesn’t adopt EU global trade deals

“Higher tariffs inevitably mean consumers would face higher prices”

Thumbnail: Photo: Ergonomic Solutions Launches SpacePole MultiClip™...

Company News • 11.01.2018

Ergonomic Solutions Launches SpacePole MultiClip™

The NextGen universal payment mount for the Ingenico Lane Series of payment terminals

Thumbnail: Photo: eBay Inc. reports fourth quarter and full year 2017 results...

News • 01.02.2018

eBay Inc. reports fourth quarter and full year 2017 results

eBay delivers record fourth quarter driven by strong holiday performance

Thumbnail: Photo: Retail jobs jumped nearly 13,000 in November...

National Retail Federation • 11.12.2017

Retail jobs jumped nearly 13,000 in November

Retail industry employment increased by an unusually high 12,900 jobs in November over October

Supplier

APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
5250 Industrial Blvd NE
55421 Minneapolis
Ergonomic Solutions GmbH
Ergonomic Solutions GmbH
Kammerratsheide 43
33609 Bielefeld
4POS AG
4POS AG
Neuhofstrasse 25
6340 Baar ZG