One of the most popular trends today in online retailing is customers buying online and picking up in-store, a practice referred to, cleverly, in the U.K., as “click and collect.” In fact more customers are asking for the service from the retailers they most often frequent. It’s a hybrid shopping experience: Customers can purchase an item anytime anywhere and then pick it up at their convenience at the retailer. Using this delivery model, a retailer can cultivate a convenient, streamlined image to the busy consumer; in addition, some stores are quite adept at drumming up related sales — upselling — at the time of pick up.E-commerce
A year ago, Accenture and hybris software, an SAP company, commissioned Forrester Consulting to study how retailers can deploy successful omnichannel strategies. The Forrester study found that consumers expect more options from their retailers in the era of omnichannel: 71% regard in-store inventory online as a required feature, and half expect to buy online and pick up in-store. The Forrester research found that too often, retailers seemed to be complacent about their omnichannel capabilities. On the contrary, omnichannel is constantly evolving as customers’ expectations continue to grow.
Despite the convenience of having an item shipped directly to a consumer, a new survey from retail technology company POPcodes reports that 86 percent of customers who order products online and pick them up in store do so to avoid shipping fees. The POPcodes study also found that 57 percent of consumers use the “order online, pick up in-store” option because they believe it makes returns and exchanges easier. Four out of 10 respondents said they have picked up an online order in person.
“This survey reiterates what many of us in the retail world already understand: The Internet has certainly changed the way consumers shop, but they will always have a special place in their hearts – and wallets – for shopping in a store,” Gregg Aamoth, CEO and co-founder of POPcodes, said in a statement. “Retailers simply have to figure out how to better tie the virtual and physical shopping worlds together.”
If you’re not offering click and collect, the time is now to get a strategy together. Customers are clamoring for it; the POPcodes research reported that 97 percent of consumers who have chosen that option said they would do so again. Buying online and picking up in-store personalizes the online transaction, opens an avenue for an upsell and is an effective competitive weapon. Bridging the gap between online and in-store shopping is a win-win for both retailers and consumers alike.
Tags: click and collect, Retailers