Click and Collect is an increasingly popular way of shopping – time-poor customers prefer to do their browsing and selection online, rather than trekking round stores, and once they have found and purchased the product they want, they love the efficiency of picking it up at the store, rather than waiting for delivery.
The name ‘Click and Collect’ sounds simple – deliberately so, because this is how the experience is meant to be for the customer. But like a lot of seemingly simple processes, there is a lot that needs to go on behind the scenes to ensure a smooth experience.
So what are the key factors when building a Click and Collect system – just what do Click and Collect customers demand from their shopping experience? Here’s my view, based on my discussions with retailers and shoppers:
- Brand experience consistency – shoppers want the same brand experience whether they are using ecommerce retail or shopping in-store.
- Consistency between online options – whether they are shopping from a PC, tablet or smartphone, shoppers want the site to look and react the same way
- Quickly find the products they want – they need the ecommerce retail store to make it easy for them to find exactly what they need, fast
- Saved carts – shoppers don’t always get to check out at the first visit, and love it when they can go back to the ecommerce retail store and retrieve their cart without having to start their search over again
- Product reviews and comparisons – shoppers tell me that one of the great advantages that drives them to online shopping is being able to see what other customers thought of the product, with online reviews. They also love the ability to compare several products side by side to help make their final decision, and finding inspiration from the ‘customers who bought this also bought…’ feature of the online store.
- Shopping history – many shoppers value the ability to see what they bought last time, especially for products they buy on a repeat basis.
- Fast availability – once they’ve found the product, Click and Collect shoppers want to know which store has the stock now, or to have the stock at their local store as quickly as possible
- Payment options – just as in the store, Click and Collect customers want to have as wide a range of payment choices as possible, including credit card, cash on collection, loyalty points and gift cards
- Shoppers, whether shopping in-store or through ecommerce retail are happy to spend their time browsing, but definitely don’t want to wait to pay. Many a sale has been lost by an inefficient checkout process and Click and Collect is no different – online customers want to be able to check out rapidly, without necessarily having to give extensive personal details, and with as few clicks as possible.
It’s a demanding list, but Click and Collect customers know they have an ever-increasing range of shopping choices and will vote with their mouse – selecting those retailers who meet their demands.
For retailers who get this right, the rewards are huge – there’s a whole heap of customers wanting to shop this way and a ton of opportunity for profit and growth.