Have you ever made an online purchase and planned to pick it up in the store? Chances are, you have - and the process could have been smoother. Maybe you arrived at the store and experienced a long wait at the service desk, or store staff had a difficult time finding your order. And it’s also possible that you didn’t complete the order because you didn’t make it to the store - for whatever reason.
Retailers across the globe are struggling to accommodate the increasing desire for buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), or click-and-collect - and with good reason. According to a report by Qwick Media, the total click-and-collect opportunity in the U.S. is approximately $42 billion. Bell and Howell reports that over half of shoppers purchase more when they come in for pickup.
The opportunity for increased sales is clearly quite large, and with that large opportunity comes the costs of changing infrastructure to support click-and-collect. Today, retail stores aren’t set up to manage large volumes of BOPIS orders.
That’s probably why you had to wait a long time for your pickup. Maybe there weren’t enough employees to man the pickup desk, or packages weren’t stored in a centralized location. Or they weren’t stored at all, and an employee had to retrieve your merchandise from the sales floor.
We’re still waiting on the data on how click-and-collect performed over the holiday season. However, there are ways to help prevent potential issues with click-and-collect using same-day delivery. Now that the holiday shopping frenzy has passed, retailers can return to business as usual processes and focus on assessing the last season and making improvements for the coming one.
So how can same-day delivery relieve the strain of click-to-collect orders?
Same-day delivery keeps inventory flowing out the door - rather than piling up at the service desk.
Visualize a retail service desk that’s normally clear. Now picture it again - completely overflowing with packages this time. You can’t see any counter space, and the floors behind the desk are piled up with customer orders. There’s no organization, and employees searching for pickup orders are sorting through every package.
Same-day delivery can help unblock the large volumes of customer orders sitting at the service desk. Rather than having customers come in to get packages, offer same-day delivery as part of the online checkout process. And in addition to checkout, consider adding on same-day delivery as a call-to-action after the order is placed. Email customers the day their package is available, and even a day or two after, to offer same-day delivery. They might change their minds about heading into the store - and be pleasantly surprised at the option.
Same-day delivery ensures higher customer satisfaction than click-and-collect alone.
If you read the research on click-and-collect, customers are overwhelmingly using it it for convenience purposes. Three-quarters of respondents in a Bell and Howell study report that “a quick in and out experience” and “no waiting in line” were their top two reasons for using it.
However, that’s not what consumers are getting when they use click-and-collect. Research by Cybertill finds that 32 percent of respondents waited in long lines for pickup, and another 32 percent had significant wait times as employees searched for packages.
Rather than having customers come to stores, consider offering same-day delivery to increase customer satisfaction. That way, customers don’t have to deal with potential inconveniences at the store, and can still receive their orders on the same day they place them.
And don’t forget to think about your strategy to drive adoption of same-day delivery. You can offer it as a paid option at checkout, and then use it to manage inventory flow for packages that aren’t retrieved.
What challenges are you facing in managing click-and-collect orders? Tell us in the comments.