Click and collect is in high demand by consumers. But provision varies – and whether your customers will pay for it remains up for debate.
Click and collect is a great opportunity for online retailers to improve their customers’ shopping experiences. The number of UK shoppers using click and collect is set to more than double in the next three years. The same research found that 35% of online shoppers in theUK buy online and collect from store, compared with 13% in the US and 5% in Germany. By 2017, 76% of UK shoppers are expected to use the service, it said.
Click and collect is therefore a desirable offering. It adds to the customer experience and meets the demand for customers to be able to browse and transact on their own terms.
But despite this demand, click and collect availability is far from a standard offering. Only two-thirds of the top 50 UK retailers currently offer the service and only 14% offer more than one collection option.
For those retailers which do offer click and collect, terms and conditions are different. For example, what can be ordered using click and collect can vary: at Marks and Spencer, for example, all clothing, beauty, homeware and ‘Food to Order’ orders can be collected. But furniture, flowers, wine, gift cards and made-to-measure orders cannot.
While the concept might be similar, its cost varies. How can retailers add value to their click and collect and even tempt customers to pay for it?
Tesco stopped charging for click and collect for grocery orders over £25 in April this year – it had previously been charging between £2 and £3. The move brought it in line with some of its competitors, while others still do not offer the service at al
Can you charge?
But do such disparities between competitors mean there might be an opportunity to add value to the service and perhaps even charge for it? Tracking, speed and the efficiency of the collection point in store all have a role to play.
Whether or not your customers will pay for click and collect is difficult to predict. Perhaps you could offer free delivery on orders over a certain amount, or only charge for same day collection (a standard click and collect delivery service is free, but could take 3-5 days)?
However, if customers need to pay for the service, retailers need to at least promote its advantages or risk it not being used – consequently missing out on valuable footfall and additional sales in store.
Cost of delivery is one of the biggest barriers to online sales. Retailers need to balance this against increasing demand for free click and collect.
Click and collect is just one way to engage your customers. Discover more by downloading your free eGuide: The store of the future: 10 ways to make people love shopping again.
This post first appeared on the Sanderson blog