More ways to buy, more chances to sell

Making Click and Collect work for your business and customers

8 Sep 2020

Online shopping is now standard, with more and more customers preferring to shop from the comfort of home. But a simple purchase and delivery service is no longer enough for most businesses – as consumers get savvier about online shopping, they expect a wider range of options. 

For retailers, this can be a challenge – offering more online shopping choices can often mean reworking or replacing older software systems and training staff in new processes. On the other hand, giving customers new ways to buy your product can hardly be a bad thing – the easier it is for people to buy and collect from your store, the more likely you are to make a sale. 

One online option that’s gaining more and more traction? Click-and-collect. At its simplest, click-and-collect is just a way of cutting out the delay and expense of delivery – customers buy online, then drive to their local store to pick up their purchases. The Warehouse was one of the first businesses to offer the service in NZ in 2013, with other retailers following soon after. Major supermarket chains got in on the act a couple of years later – with Countdown launching their popular click-and-collect service in 2016. Today, click-and-collect is used by a huge range of retailers, with the concept executed in different ways – including in-store pick-up, reserving items to try in person and drive-through collection. It all depends on what you’re selling, and what your customers want. 

Here’s how to make it work for you.

Merging online and real-life sales

At its simplest, click-and-collect is just a way of cutting out the delay and expense of delivery – customers buy online, then drive to their local store to pick up their purchases. Supermarkets like Pak'n'Save and Countdown were some of the first to introduce the concept in New Zealand. 

But, with many retailers struggling to strike a balance between online sales and brick-and-mortar stores, click-and-collect can bridge the gap. Kiwi fashion brand Max offers a click-and-collect service where customers can reserve items online, then visit a store to try on and buy. Others, like Smith & Caughey’s and Health2000, let customers complete the purchase online then visit to pick up. 

To make the service even simpler, some retailers offer pick-up from lockable cabinets outside the store – so customers can collect purchases without leaving the car park. Drive-through click-and-collect – sometimes called curb-side delivery – takes the concept a step further. Other retailers offer pick-up options from other locations, like post offices or dairies, meeting customers halfway and cutting down on delivery costs. 

Whatever the method, it’s about giving your customers a range of options and making it as easy as possible to buy your product.

Increasing sales, impulse add-ons

If you have to rejig your whole online system and change in-store processes, is it worth offering click-and-collect? New Zealand shoppers seem to think so. In June, click-and-collect orders made up almost 20% of all revenue for our retail clients, and 14% of all orders – that’s a significant portion of sales that you could be losing out on.

Many retailers also find that click-and-collect helps them reach a new audience. If you only have a few retail locations, online shopping and click-and-collect can help you reach people who would likely never walk into your store of their own accord. 

Another benefit: unlike traditional online shopping, many click-and-collect offerings bring people into real-life stores. This means more opportunities for up-selling and increased spending. Research shows that 85% of click-and-collect shoppers buy something else on top of their original purchase when they come in to pick up. Online shopping can be great, but you can’t go past seeing things in person for those impulse buys.

Getting the details right

Like any online or in-store sales tactic, success is all in the details. You won’t see the benefit of click-and-collect services if you don’t make the experience easy and pleasant from end to end. 

  • Online: Start with a great online experience by making sure your site works perfectly in every format. Many people prefer to browse on their phones, so it’s worthwhile to make sure your website looks just as good and works just as well on mobile. Make your range of delivery options crystal-clear at checkout – this might include click-and-collect, traditional delivery, curb-side pick-up, or delivery to another location. 
  • Notifications: You also need to set up an effective notification system to let customers know when their purchases or reserved items are ready for collection. This can be done through email or SMS, or even as a push notification on the customer’s phone – it all depends on your set-up. 
  • Instructions: Include clear instructions on your site and in purchase confirmation emails – let customers know where to go and what to bring. People will not be pleased if they need ID or proof of purchase and show up without it. 
  • In-store: Make sure your collection point is well-signposted and accessible, and that orders are labelled and ready well before the collection time. If an order goes missing or isn’t ready in time, have a clear contingency process so staff know how to get it sorted out promptly. 
  • Returns: Customers will sometimes change their minds about a purchase, so it’s important to have a clear returns process as well. Some clothing retailers – including Smith and Caughey’s – let customers try on items when they collect and return or exchange them immediately if they’re not happy.

Start with the right solution

Click-and-collect can’t happen without a great, functional eCommerce site designed to meet your specific needs. And that’s where Solutionists comes in. We design and build custom eCommerce sites for retailers all over New Zealand and Australia, including innovative features and options for customers – click-and-collect included. 

If you want to expand your delivery and collection options, we can help give your customers a seamless, stress-free online shopping experience – and boost your sales at the same time. 

Want to offer more online options? Get in touch now. 

author:

Solutionists

date published:

8 Sep 2020