We’re all experiencing a lot of things for the first time in 2020. New health regulations, wearing masks, social distancing, lack of human contact, empty sports stadia… to name just a few. We’re also having to learn a lot of new vocabulary to fit this rapidly changing new reality. This is also true in eCommerce. “What is click & collect?” was a question that many of us asked the first time we heard the term and yet, as we go deep into the pandemic, it has become an essential element of shopping for many people. We’re going to take a look at what click & collect means and how it can vastly improve your business right now.
What is click & collect?
As consumer behavior has changed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we have started to limit visits to the malls for safety reasons. High streets were closed in many countries but, even now that they are open, we spent less time in-store and more time online. Businesses have been quick to adapt to new regulations.
One such response is the rise in click & collect, whereby customers order goods online and then only enter the store to pick up the pre-bagged and pre-paid goods. It limits in-store shoppers and eases the burden on stores as they try to help people keep social distance and keep stores hygienically clean. The introduction of local delivery, contactless delivery, and click & collect services have helped stores maintain sales and strengthen customer loyalty. For some companies, it has even been an opportunity to reach completely new clients and increase sales.
83% of new Click & Collect consumers stated they were using the service as a way to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing practices.
The rise of click & collect services
Click & collect services were available before but the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the usage of this sales channel. Some companies have taken it a step further with “drive & collect” services where staff members pack purchases directly into the trunk of the car.
Click & collect sales surged 63% once shelter-at-home protocols were announced.
Existing users are one thing but this type of service has started reaching new audiences. The number of households using click & collect grew by 33%. And, just as crucially, 66% of new users say that they are likely to use click & collect in the future.
This new customer base also includes seniors who strongly favor shopping in physical stores but are at greater risk of serious infection. The forced change in the approach to shopping manifested itself in a 25% increase of click & collect usage among this group.
Benefits of click & collect for customers and retailers
Aside from the previously-mentioned benefits of keeping people safe in trying times, there are notable benefits for both customers and retailers.
Customers can place an order in a convenient way, on a computer or smartphone, whenever and wherever they want. They have more time to familiarize themselves with the products and make sure they have not forgotten anything. A visit to the store allows them to add something extra to these digital purchases, or they can avoid queues and receive the order with touchless transactions.
87% of existing customers are likely to use click & collect in the future.
Retailers can integrate existing loyalty programs to online user accounts. Having all orders in one place allows retailers to connect the dots about user behavior and preferences. This opens up personalization and marketing possibilities that improve customer experiences and strengthen the relationship with the brand.
A minimum number of customers in-store allows essential workers in the retail industry to have less exposure to potential infection and allows them to handle orders faster, spend more time taking care of sanitary measures in the store, and work more efficiently. They can even work while stores are closed by offering curbside pick-up.
How we can help you?
We can help you reduce the time-to-market of your click & collect implementation. We, as a vendor but also a producer of a variety of eCommerce-related solutions, decided to create a best-of-breed ecosystem focused on mobile operations.
We decided to use Vue Storefront as a frontend and commercetools on the backend. Both are based on a headless approach and, with multiple built-on integrations (CMS, payments, and other third-party services), it’s a perfect basis on which to kickstart such a project.
Flexible API enables us to connect new services with the currently-used eCommerce platform or we can build on top of that. There’s no need to change the whole architecture just to implement click & collect services.
42% of consumers are more likely to use click and collect services from grocery and pharmacy stores.
In this concept, we focused on medium-size retailers with a brick-and-mortar chain of stores. If you want to implement this in your eCommerce, you need to take care of the pick-up places: remember, the more locations you offer to your customer, the better.
It’s worth noting that 23% of online shoppers prefer some form of click & collect over home delivery. Don’t lose out to competitors who are faster to offer the customer what they want and need.
Find out more about Click & Collect Accelerator. If you want to discuss a perfect solution for your business, leave us a message!
Published November 10, 2020