Ordering online and collecting in the store is on the rise. Handle it well and offer customers the speed and the easy of a webshop as well as a personal service of a classic store visit. As a retailer you can develop a strong click & collect strategy that offers more than just a webshop. Learn how to get your organisation, communication and staff ready.
Delivery is the challenge, in the broadest meaning: ensuring that customers get what they want. Speed is important but if you are on up if you anticipate on the plans, location and expectations of the customers. You are able to offer more than an anonymous delivery service or an easy collection point. You can make a significant difference with a smooth service. That will take some thinking and preparation. Here you can read some tips and tricks to get you started.
Think about what you want to offer and make it crystal-clear on your website. Many webshops offer customers who order online the option to collect their purchase themselves.
A clever click & collect strategy goes further than that. Click & collect does not wait until the customer passes by the online cash register to order online. A true click & collect webshop shows customers where and when certain items are available.
With crystal-clear delivery terms (and location) for every product you lure your customers to your store. They order online and collect in the store that is closest for them. That is often easier than making sure that somebody is home to accept a package.
Is a product in stock in a nearby store? Show that.
“The business man that forgot his marriage anniversary is relieved when he clicks the order button. He will leave work a little early to collect the gift he got for his wife.”
Do you need to transfer an item from another store or the warehouse? No problem, as long as you clearly mention when it will be available in a nearby store.
“The busy mom, who is still looking for an outfit for a marriage during the weekend, checks her diary. Perfect: the day after tomorrow she can collect that cute little dress during her lunch break.”
The condition to keep your click & collect customers happy is to ensure that your online supply matches the available stock in your store. You don’t want your customer to stop by for an item that you just sold the last piece of.
Through cloud software and an online cash register system you can seamlessly connect stock at different locations. The cash register deletes every piece that is sold from the online supply. Vice versa, the staff is notified when a piece needs to be taken out of the store for an online order.
Once your customers have tried click & collect, the chance is higher that you will see them again. Make sure that you register in which store they want to collect their order. So next time when they order online, you can offer that same location.
When a customer places an order online, it needs to be processed by your staff. The communication towards the customer is of importance. Clearly mention that the order can only be collected when it is confirmed through email or text message.
It is important that you let your customers know this before they coming to your store. When you can immediately notify that the item is available again, the sale might still go through.
When you aim on short term delivery, your staff needs to be notified of online orders quickly. Online orders can be quickly ready when your online cash register system is integrated with your webshop. As soon as an order is ready, the confirmation email or text message is being sent to the customer. In an optimal system, that happens with just one click.
We want to make it easy for the customer so try to avoid misunderstandings. Along with the address, also mention the opening hours.
Does your customer has to announce himself to a separate desk or give an order code? Put that information in your email or text message. So a customer knows how the store visit will go and what he has to bring to smoothly find his purchase.
Think about how you want to welcome your click & collect customers. You know they will be coming to your store. Be prepared and look at the collection moment as a part of your marketing strategy. Are focussing on speed and efficiency when giving the items? Or are you going for a personal approach and try to recommend other items in your store?
When you leave the order unpackaged till the customer arrives, he can see perfectly what he is buying. If the product does not match the expectations, you can offer an alternative in the right size, colour … so you can avoid returns and disappointment.
The most tangible benefit from a store visit is that you can show the customers your products and let them feel or try them out.
A pick up in the store is the perfect moment to upsell.
“your staff can explain certain things, present promotions or draw the attention. The customer might want to browse for a while, while his purchase is getting wrapped. Draw the attention to the most strategically placed items and anticipate on interest.”
Do you want to avoid irritating hasty customers with sales talks?
“offer them the choice for a fast service with a ‘quick pick-up’, possibly with the option ‘gift wrapped’. So you know whether items need to be wrapped in advance so they are ready for quick pick-up”.
Is there a separate desk for online orders? Provide signs customers notice as soon as they walk in. The collection can be the same as a regular store visit too. Make sure that click & collect customers have the feeling that you expect them and that their order is ready.
Make clear agreements with your staff about the approach and storage of online purchases. Think about the reception of click & collect customers and make sure that your staff uses customer information and their product knowledge. Provide training if necessary.
You can offer an additional trump with the possibility to return bad buys back to the store. That also counts for online orders that are delivered by post or courier. So you can save your customer of having to repackage and sending the item back.
It allows you to ask for the specific reason why they are returning the item. That can provide you with useful feedback for the information and presentation of your products on the website. Further, it can help you with the relationship your customer and future sales.
Best case scenario, your staff can offer the customer an alternative that does meet the expectations. That way the sale can go through and you change the original disappointment into gratitude. Count on it that a customer won’t forget such a smooth service.