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The Evolution of Click-and-Collect and How it Will Affect You

The Evolution of Click-and-Collect and How it Will Affect You

Shoppers everywhere enjoy the convenience of shopping online, but are also drawn to the immediate gratification of shopping in a physical store. Click-and-collect programs combine both experiences, which is why this form of shopping is rapidly gaining popularity. It’s first important to understand what exactly click-and-collect is — it’s the process by which the consumer orders online (the click) and collects his or her merchandise at a local store (the collect). Click-and-collect has created even more of a seamless experience for shoppers, because unlike shopping online, customers can save on delivery costs and avoid shipping delays and the dreaded “sorry we missed you” note. In fact, 69% of shoppers prefer to pick up online orders in store to avoid shipping costs, according to LoyaltyOne.

Where Click-and-Collect is Now.

The International Council of Shopping Centers’ Holiday Consumer Purchasing Trends Study polled a total of 1,014 consumers from December 28 through December 30 of last year. The survey found that during the most recent holiday season, nearly one-third of shoppers opted to click and collect. Of those, 69% purchased an additional item while picking up their item(s) in store, and 36% made another purchase in an adjacent store while picking up.

Such a method has created new tasks for in-store staff, as they have to pick and pack orders for shoppers in addition to their existing duties. Click-and-collect programs build brand loyalty as well, most shoppers want the option of how they want to shop. When it’s convenient for them, they’ll come in and when it’s not, they’ll shop online. This program shows that their retailer cares enough to create another convenient shopping method that even eliminates shipping costs. Customers are more likely to stick with one or two brands when these type of methods exist.

Where Click-and-Collect is going.

We expect to see even more of an increase in click-and-collect this holiday season. This year, mobile will play a larger role in the click-and-collect process, making it even more convenient for consumers to shop online. With the increase in this form of shopping, retailers know they are expected to make changes to remain competitive. And truth be told, it’s not only shoppers who are benefiting from click-and-collect.

Click-and-collect is actually creating more jobs for retail stores and organizations as many realize the importance of digital initiatives. Roles like Chief Digital Officers (CDO) have been created to design and implement more online programs and to ensure the success of those programs. It’s a role that hasn’t been fully fleshed out, but it’s agreed upon that it’s needed: Milton Pappas, CDO of New York & Company says, “Many organizations are realizing the influence of digital and social. There’s no such thing as a customer only buying from a physical store.” It’s important for retailers to integrate a more seamless omnichannel experience, and that’s part of what a CDO can do. Brands today need to operate among many channels, but be seen to customers as one single company. Programs such as click-and-collect have the power to considerably increase business. Read more on what Pappas and other major retailers say here.

Numbers and percentages for click-and-collect programs are expected to continue to increase this year. Retailers have the opportunity to create more business for themselves. With the right people in more digital positions, similar programs will be created and consumers will continue to shop this way. Click-and-collect is a trend that’s here to stay.