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Click and collect refers to the online shopping journey where customers choose to pick up the order at a designated store. It’s an excellent contactless ordering option for you and your customers to transact more safely during COVID-19. However, the popularity of click and collect has skyrocketed even before the coronavirus. According to a report by Insider Intelligence, consumers in the United States spent $72.46 billion on click and collect in 2020, representing 9.1% of total eCommerce revenue. This number is estimated to increase to 83.47 billion USD or 9.9% in 2021. So “What is click and collect?”. This article will introduce the click and collect definition and how you can easily set it up for your business. So read on to get started!

What is click and collect?

What is click and collect?

Click and collect is an omnichannel delivery method. Customers place an order online (click) and then go for an in-store pickup at a physical location (collect) instead of getting a delivery. Even more importantly, for retailers affected by exposure restrictions, the most crucial click and collect meaning to retails is to boost your online sales. Click and collect isn’t a new concept. Since 2017, 30% of online shoppers have placed an order online and opted to pick up their order in a store. However, 2020 has seen a spike in demand and turned it into one of the best — the hottest retail trend, up 554% over the same period.

COVID-19 will change the way people shop in the future. However, the in-store pickup trend in the online shopping journey is here to stay. According to a survey by Numerator during COVID-19, two-thirds of customers plan to continue using click and collect services after COVID. Therefore, it’s more important than ever for retailers to optimize their click and collect strategy to keep consumers coming back. After knowing “What does click and collect mean?”, let’s read on to find out how and why!

How does click and collect work?

How does click and collect work?

Click and collect process may vary slightly between retailers. However, your retail system needs to synchronize your online website and offline POS to provide a smooth curbside pickup and in-store pickup. Some modern solutions like Magestore POS sync the POS in offline stores with your eCommerce website, eliminating a lot of staff manual work for a better customer experience. Moreover, it completely follows the standard click and collect process, including the following main 8 steps:

  • Step 1: Customers place an order online through the retailer’s website or mobile app.
  • Step 2: Customers can choose a pick-up store for their convenience.
  • Step 3: Customers choose a specific date and time to receive the order (click and collect).
  • Step 4: Customers complete order.
  • Step 5: Store staff will assemble and prepare the product and notify consumers when the order is ready.
  • Step 6: Customers come to the selected store to receive the order.
  • Step 7: Customers receive the package and get a complete status for their order.
  • Step 8: The system records the completed purchases for further sales reports.
Omnichannel POS system for click and collect services

Thus, if you’re running a website and physical stores simultaneously or intend to expand your business both online or offline, an omnichannel POS system is a perfect choice.

How click and collect benefits retailers

How click and collect benefit retailers

The growing demand for click and collect services during the pandemic is why retailers should consider adding it to a comprehensive retail solution. Customers benefit from the low cost, convenience, and speed of this execution model. For retailers, click and collect allows you to continue operating during future social distancing times and brings many other benefits such as:

1. Save money on shipping fees and operating costs

Click and collect can save you and your customers on shipping and spend more money on you. Take a look at a successful example of a pet food and accessories retail that has adapted to the new normal with Magestore click and collect solution at all their 11 stores in Canada.

“Click and collect services allow our customers to order and prepay for their favorite items,” said store owner Greg Penno. “Set up in-store pickup properly on the point of sale system, and our staff is quickly notified when a new order comes in. As a result, I can manage all orders in real-time across sales channels. Now, I have much more confidence to stay in business and satisfy my customers even during COVID. In addition, we can manage demand and queue times in my store more efficiently.”

2. Reduce delivery delays

In-store pickup reduce delivery delays

As soon as customers receive a notification when their order is ready, they can receive it themselves instead of waiting days or weeks for delivery. Especially when customers use click and collect services during the lockdown period, customers choose when to choose based on their time and needs. Therefore, it leads to faster order fulfillment as it avoids any issues that might affect home delivery. In big-box retailers, supermarkets, and restaurants, customers choose to click and collect as a quick, convenient, reliable, and contactless option and give them greater control.

3. Streamline retail operations

You may still have to pay the rent and general costs of electricity, gas, and insurance during the downtime. So it makes sense to keep your store running so you can maintain cash flow. Meanwhile, click and collect isn’t resource-intensive to run as a distribution option. Therefore, this is ideal for small businesses with a limited number of employees. Plus, you reinforce a sense of community and encourage spending, which benefits both retailers and customers.

4. Increase customer engagements

Click and collect services increase customer engagements

There will be almost no physical interaction between your customer and your brand for online orders delivered by a third party. In-store pickup helps retailers maintain a relationship with customers throughout the purchase journey and provides the opportunity to upsell at the point of purchase. Many local retailers to national chains like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart offer click and collect services. One interesting point is that often click and collect carts are twice the size of other ordering methods. The convenience of this service is a critical factor in creating a retailer’s satisfaction and customer retention.

Who should consider click and collect?

Who should consider click and collect?

According to the GlobalData report in 2019, clothing and footwear is the largest sector in the click and collect market, accounting for nearly 60% of spending in 2018. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t set up and benefit from in-store pickup if you operate in the other industries. Retailers of the food industry should consider click and collect because they’re the best adopters of this model. Most grocers and restaurants can easily convert and offer click and collect services on their eCommerce site. You’ll have the added benefit of allowing takeout as an additional option and then remaining open in the future. It’s also an excellent choice for drink shops, pubs, and bars. In addition, fashion and home goods stores are also ideal places to apply the click and collect shipping method.

Click and collect vs. Curbside pickup

Click and collect vs. Curbside pickup

With the online purchase and in-store pickup (BOPIS), customers can choose between 2 most popular picking methods: Click and collect and Curbside pickup. Although essentially the same, curbside pickup allows customers to skip going into the store entirely. Customers notify the store when they arrive at the pickup location, and the store staff will bring them out. Curbside pickups are especially popular with older and at-risk shoppers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers don’t even have to leave the vehicle, keeping physical contact to a minimum.

However, even though online shopping has become the norm for most customers during COVID-19, plenty of people still prefer the in-store experience, and in-store shoppers are likely to spend more than that online shopping. In general, click and collect services can be a compromise between the individuality of traditional shopping and the convenience of eCommerce.

Related questions

What do you need to pick up a click and collect?

What do you need to pick up a click and collect?

All customers need to pick up a click and collect is to go to the store at the selected pickup location, present their order confirmation proof, and collect the order. When you arrive at the selected store, clear signs indicate the in-store pickup area. The store staff will check your proof of identity or any specific details for your order and ask you to sign your order.

How long does it take for click and collect?

Click and collect can be done on the same day for products in stock in your selected store. However, this time may vary from item to item or type of business. There will usually be the terms “Ready today” (your items are ready to pick up at your chosen store by the end of the order date) and “Ready tomorrow” (your items are ready to pick up at your chosen store by the end of the next business day).

Thus, retailers need to notify customers if their orders are available for in-store pickup at the selected store within 3—5 business hours, depending on product availability. With most retailers and especially takeout restaurants, you need to pay attention to the preparation time factor.

Do you need ID for click and collect?

Do you need ID for click and collect?

Yes, you need an ID for click and collect like your order ID number or the credit card you used online to pay for the goods. The ID must have the same name used to place the order. If you don’t have either, retailers may accept your loyalty card or at least one of the following types of identification:

  • Driver’s license
  • Cell phone bill
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Checkbook, credit card, or debit card
  • Passport

If you ask someone to collect your in-store pickup orders on your behalf, they’ll also need your order ID and collection code (if applicable).

Final thoughts

Click and collect meaning to retails

Hope the article has provided you with an overview of “What is click and collect?”. Click and collect services are a great way to offer customers a cheaper, greener alternative to home delivery. Plus, it feels more personal and helps encourage customer spending for local retailers. More than that, it’s a solution for businesses to ensure that business continues during COVID-19.

So now is the best time to explore and implement click and collect to benefit your business. However, there is something you need to consider before deciding to set up in-store pickup. It can come with cost implications, inventory management to operate. Therefore, an automated POS system will help you control efficiency, time, and fulfill orders on both your online and offline systems.

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Author Jeng Nguyen

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