Click and Collect is not a new phenomenon but it has become the go-to choice for both businesses and customers.
Did you know that 72% of Aussies placed a Click and Collect order last year? The same report shows that customers chose this fulfilment method for three main reasons — speed, cost, and convenience. It’s no wonder businesses in Australia are racing to implement Click and Collect strategies.
Click and Collect isn’t just a game-changer for your customers; it’s a game-changer for your entire operation.
We uncovered the untapped potential of implementing a Click and Collect model. Read on to see the advantages of a Click and Collect model and learn how to implement it in practice.
Why do you need a Click and Collect strategy?
Click and Collect fulfilment strategies bring many benefits for both you as a retail business and your customers:
1. It’s cheaper: your customers will save on delivery costs
Click and Collect strategies and drop-off PUDO networks are great for sustainability in last-mile delivery. When it comes to getting products from the store or warehouse to the customer’s doorstep, logistics can be both complex and costly, especially during the last step of the journey.
However, with Click and Collect models and PUDO networks like Hubbed, you have the power to simplify this process. By providing your customers with the option to collect their orders from a convenient pickup spot, you can effectively bypass the traditional last-mile delivery. This not only saves valuable time but also reduces costs for both you and your customers.
2. For fast, flexible, and convenient fulfilment
As mentioned earlier, the recent Power Retail consumer behaviour report highlighted the top three reasons why customers opt for Click and Collect: cost, speed, and convenience. And guess what? These advantages extend beyond the customers themselves — they bring significant benefits to you as a retailer too!
Take Australian Oz Hair & Beauty for example. After implementing a new Click and Collect strategy, they experienced an impressive 8% increase in NPS (Net Promoter Score), a metric that measures customer satisfaction. Not only that, but their last-mile experience improved significantly, resulting in happier customers and a more streamlined fulfilment process.
Speaking of speed, not every customer is willing to wait 3 to 5 business days for their order to arrive. That’s where Target’s 4-hour Click & Collect model comes into play. It’s a shining example of how offering same-day pickup within just 4 hours of placing an order can truly delight customers and set your business apart from the competition.
Lastly, providing more and better fulfilment options is a great way to foster long-term relationships with your customers and enjoy repeat purchases.
3. More upselling and cross-selling opportunities in-store
One of the remarkable benefits of implementing Click and Collect or BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) fulfilment strategies is the increased foot traffic to your physical store, presenting a golden opportunity for upselling and cross-selling.
It turns out that customers tend to be more inclined to make impulse purchases when they visit a physical store compared to when they shop online. So, when your customers come in to collect their orders, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be tempted to buy something extra, especially if your well-trained staff employs effective upselling techniques.
4. For easier returns
Last but certainly not least, a Click and Collect strategy opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, as it can serve as a two-way street. Not only can customers conveniently pick up their orders, but they can also utilise the same pick-up or collection spots as return points for any unwanted or defective items.
Third-party services and PUDO companies like Hubbed could help you set up your returns management. They offer services like branded returns labels, freight management, parcel tracking, and more, allowing your customers to drop off their parcels at any of their collection points.
Simplifying the eCommerce returns process is a crucial element in providing your customers with an exceptional shopping experience. By allowing them to return items at the nearest collection spot, you’re granting them enhanced flexibility and convenience, which is often enough to give you a competitive edge.
How to master a flawless Click and Collect strategy?
Now that you understand the importance of a Click and Collect strategy for your retail business, let’s see how you can implement it:
Step 1: Structure your warehousing, distribution, and fulfilment
Firstly, start by securing storage space at all collection spots. Depending on your fulfilment model, your collection spots can be your retail stores, warehouses, or distribution centres.
The next thing you should do is decide on the most suitable fulfillment approach for your business. Here are a few options to consider:
- Picking and packing items from the existing store inventory (allows instant pickup but must hold a larger inventory at all times).
- Shipping items that are missing in one location from nearby stores.
- Shipping all Click and Collect items from a warehouse or a fulfilment centre to the chosen collection store.
When deciding on your distribution structure, consider the shipping costs and fulfilment speed.
Step 2: Ensure real-time inventory visibility
When you manage inventory across multiple locations and cater to customers through various channels, it becomes crucial to implement a reliable warehouse management system or an omnichannel POS to help you stay organised.
The complexity of your business will determine the level of sophistication required for your chosen system. As you expand your collection spots and sales channels, you’ll need a robust tool that can handle the growing demands.
Your primary objective should always be to maintain updated, real-time visibility into your inventory. This ensures that you can avoid stockouts and prevent the sale of items that are no longer available.
Step 3: Outline clear instructions for your customers
Your customers need to understand how your Click and Collect process works. More specifically, they need to know two things:
- when will the product be available for collecting
- where will the product be available
We recommend staying in touch with the customer regularly, at the very minimum by sending these updates:
- order confirmation email (with the order number and customer details)
- order updates (optional)
- ready for collection email or SMS (with the store location, what to bring for verification, latest pickup date)
- pick up reminders (optional)
- post-purchase feedback email.
An example of a good Click and Collect explanation with dedicated FAQs is the Australian household and hardware retail chain Bunnings Warehouse. As you notice from the screenshot below, their FAQs help customers understand exactly where, when, and how to pick up their Click and Collect orders.
Don’t forget to also place clear signage at your physical store leading your customers to the Click and Collect lockers, curbside, or a similar designated area.
Step 4: Train and upskill your staff in the new protocols
Now that you have the necessary technology and operational structure in place, it’s crucial to ensure that your staff is well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively utilise it. Training your staff is key to maximising the benefits of your Click and Collect strategy.
Firstly, your staff should be trained on the system’s functionalities to receive timely notifications or triggers when an order arrives. This ensures that they can promptly initiate the picking and packing process.
Additionally, they should be aware of the necessary steps to send a trigger or notification to the customers once their order is ready for pick up. This seamless communication helps to provide a smooth and efficient experience for both your staff and customers.
All things considered, as a fulfilment strategy, Click and Collect seems to be a win-win for both customers and retailers. Customers can enjoy the convenience of saving time and money on shipping, while retailers can capitalise on increased foot traffic and the potential for additional impulse purchases.
So, all that’s left to do is invest in the right infrastructure, technology, and training. You need to prepare your backend before you can accept Click and Collect orders. Hopefully, this article will guide you in covering all bases and master your Click and Collect strategy in a way that reaps the most benefits to your business!