In 2013, the phrase ‘click and collect’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary along with the word of the year: ‘selfie’. Offering a way for consumers to order items online and pick up in-store, click and collect has become a popular omni-channel retail strategy.
According to Raydiant, over 75% of consumers have used a ‘buy online pick-up in-store’ service at least once. Coming off the back of the worst year for retail sales, 2020/2021 was a record-breaking year in which click and collect thrived.
In 2020, 80% of UK retailers offered a click and collect service, with turnover expected to soar to €11.9 billion by 2023, up from €3.2 billion in 2013. Across Europe, click and collect turnover is forecasted to reach €45.1 billion by 2023. In the US, figures are expected to reach $74.24 billion by 2022.
COVID-19’s impact on click and collect
With many physical retail stores having to shut up shop over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic, click and collect has been a saviour for both retailers and consumers.
In a survey conducted by Raydiant, 35% of respondents cited COVID-19 as a leading reason for using buy online pick-up in-store offerings.
The value of purchases made through click and collect in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic increased by 63%, with the number of households shopping online and collecting their purchases in-store growing by 33%.
According to Adobe Analytics, orders placed online and picked up at brick-and-mortar stores in April 2020 increased by 208% compared to the previous year.
Types of click and collect
There are a few different types of click and collect, each with its own benefits.
Ship to store
With ship to store, customers purchase their chosen items online, and orders are fulfilled and shipped from a distribution centre to their chosen store.
Buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS)
With BOPIS, customers purchase items through a real-time online store inventory and pick up their order in-store. This is the most instant of click and collect options, with items often available within a few hours.
Reserve and collect
Similar to BOPIS, with reserve and collect, customers usually have access to store inventory, but don’t complete the purchase until they collect the item. Reserve and collect allows consumers to physically touch and try the product before completing the purchase – something that’s missed with online shopping.
Curb-side pick-up is a service that’s become more popular since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this method, consumers purchase an item online and wait in their car in a designated area for a store member to bring their purchase to them.
The benefits of click and collect
According to Adobe, consumers are 20% more likely to convert with retailers who offer BOPIS compared to those that don’t. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of click and collect for consumers and retailers.
- Saves on delivery fees – according to research from Bell and Howell, 76% of consumers opt for click and collect to save on shipping fees.
- More convenient – convenience is a real driving factor in purchase decisions today, with 52% of shoppers stating that half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience.
- Quick returns – if a customer purchases or reserves an item online and collects it in-store, they have the option to review the item and return it there and then if it’s not right for them.
- Saves time – not only can customers often collect items ordered on the same day or the next day, but it also saves them heading to a store to purchase an item and finding it’s out of stock.
- Avoid checkout queues – 56% of shoppers want a quick in and out experience with click and collect, and 22% say not waiting in line is important to them.
- Cheaper shipping and fulfilment – deliveries are less costly and complicated if they’re going to one shop rather than multiple homes.
- Gain additional sales once customers are in-store – 50% of BOPIS consumers said they’ve made an additional, unplanned purchase in-store when picking up already-purchased items, and over 37% of retailers stated this as the main reason they offer BOPIS.
- Competitor advantage – 50% of shoppers said they’ve decided where to buy online based on whether or not they could pick their orders up in-store.
- Reduces basket abandonment – on average, around 70% of consumers abandon their shopping basket online, with the main reason being due to unexpected shipping costs.
- Can reach a wider audience (especially with brand partnerships)
Click and collect challenges
While there are various benefits of click and collect, just like everything that comes with the omni-channel customer journey, it’s not without its own set of challenges.
Implementing a click and collect service involves overcoming complex technological, organisational and practical challenges – from building multi-channel attribution models to the physical accessibility and optimisation of collection points in-store.
For many smaller brands and retailers, these challenges are hard to overcome. However, data suggests that the rewards are worth it.
Brand and retailer partnerships
Click and collect partnerships allow brands to become accessible to a wider audience. UK retailer John Lewis has partnered with Co-op to offer John Lewis customers an option to collect their online orders from a local Co-op store. The partnership is currently in action at 500 Co-op stores across the UK. This kind of partnership works well when retailers with a smaller store portfolio join forces with stores with a larger portfolio – not everyone in the UK has a local John Lewis, but the majority have a local Co-op.
Many brands also use ‘Where to Buy’ technology as a way of reaching a wider audience – giving customers the option to purchase their products from a local retail stockist.
Hatch’s Where to Buy Local solution helps brands leverage the convenience of click and collect, providing ready-to-buy customers with the option to purchase products from a brand website via their preferred retailer, whether they choose click and collect or home delivery.
As we’ve learnt throughout this article, click and collect is not only a convenient way for customers to shop, but it also offers retailers a way of reaching a wider audience and getting ahead of competitors. Click and collect is not a trend or a gimmick but a viable purchase option that’ll continue to deliver for years to come.
Does your business offer click and collect options yet? If not, why not?