Click-and-collect has become a popular option for retailers to combine convenience with instore browsing. In fact, click-and-collect orders are worth £42.4bn, accounting for 8.4% of the UK’s total retail spend.
This popular option has been utilised by many of the world’s most successful retailers, tying perfectly into an omnichannel offering that meets shoppers’ preferences.
Keep reading to learn more about click-and-collect, including the pros and cons of this model, as well as how it works for retail businesses.
What is click-and-collect?
Click-and-collect allows shoppers to place an order online and then pick it up at a physical store or agreed pick-up point. This approach to purchasing combines the convenience of online shopping with the experience of visiting a physical store, saving time and money for both retailers and customers.
It can sometimes be referred to as ‘buy online, pick up instore’ (BOPIS), ‘click & collect’, or ‘click and collect’.
Benefits of click-and-collect for retailers
There are numerous benefits of click-and-collect for retailers, including:
Lower cost than home delivery
Retailers can keep costs down for themselves and shoppers, as there is no need to pay for delivery services with this approach.
Convenience for shoppers
Click-and-collect is seen as convenient, allowing shoppers to pick up their orders at a time that suits them, as well as allowing them to speak to store staff and make returns if they desire. With more than 90% of consumers choosing a retailer based on convenience over any other factor, click-and-collect is a great way to deliver in line with shoppers’ preferences.
If your collection point is instore, there is an increased likelihood that customers may also spot additional items that they would like to purchase. Consider your visual merchandising around the pick-up point to wow shoppers and encourage impulse buying.
Supporting omnichannel retail
Taking click-and-collect orders online brings consumers to your website, creating more awareness of your full offering, for example, home delivery. By utilising instore, online and even phone orders, it is possible to boost loyalty and remind consumers of the different ways they can shop with you.
Faster order handling
Providing storage is accessible instore, collection allows for faster order handling, making it possible to offer same-day, or even 30-minute collections.
Memorable experience with click-and-collect for retailers
It’s a lot easier to provide a memorable experience instore, giving staff the opportunity to welcome customers, answer any questions they need and represent your brand in the best possible light. Click-and-collect can bring shoppers instore, making this possible, whereas home delivery doesn’t enable interaction between your brand and customers.
Disadvantages of click-and-collect for retailers
Disadvantages of click-and-collect include:
To provide an outstanding experience, inventory management must be accurate. This requires real-time stock availability to prevent shoppers placing orders that cannot be fulfilled. Automating through inventory management technology can be a great way to increase accuracy and prevent errors.
Additional instore resources
Click-and-collect requires more space if you have a designated collection counter, as well as staff to get the right products from warehousing into the customer’s hands.
How to trial click-and-collect for retailers
One of the best ways to confirm demand for collection is to trial it for a set period of time. An example of this is Primark, who have begun by trialling a click-and-collect service for children’s products in 25 stores. The aim of a trial is to understand shoppers’ preferences, gather feedback and identify any challenges that may exist.
Once a trial has taken place, it makes it possible to make amendments as required, or if necessary, scrap the idea of offering collections.
How does click-and-collect work?
- The retailer has visibility of stock and allows shoppers to make a purchase online, taking payment online, or offering payment instore
- The products ordered are taken from storage and prepared for the customer, ready for collection
- The package is then moved to the agreed pick-up point, whether this is in the physical store, at a delivery locker, or in any other agreed location
- The customer collects at a suitable time for them
Click-and-collect for retailers really can be that simple – it just relies on having the right technology in place to keep on top of stock levels, good communication with customers and the resources to make it happen.
Click-and-collect for retailers FAQ
What is a click-and-collect store?
A click-and-collect store is one where shoppers can make a purchase online and pick it up instore. This is sometimes called a click and collect store, or the BOPIS approach.
Is click-and-collect a good idea?
Click-and-collect is a successful addition to many retail businesses, combining the convenience of online shopping with instore pickup and the social aspect of physical retail. Whether it is a good idea for your business depends on your resources, as it does require staff, logistics and inventory management to do it successfully.
Is click-and-collect the same as online shopping?
The purchasing side of click-and-collect is the same as online shopping, however the fulfilment is where it differs. Instead of having it delivered to your home, you collect your order from an agreed location, which is often a physical store.
Who pays for click-and-collect?
Many retailers offer click-and-collect for no additional charge, while others will charge a small fee to cover the cost. In some cases, it can be worth charging for extra fast collection, particularly if it requires collecting products from separate warehouses in short timescales.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.