Over the last few years, click and collect has become increasingly popular, with the great majority of big omnichannel businesses now offering it. Indeed, according to a recent report, click and collect is now available at 68% of a sample of 187 stores. But have you ever wondered what makes a great click and collect service? This blog will give you the answer to this question.
A smooth-running eCommerce platform
Firstly, customers should be able to order items through a smooth-running eCommerce platform, such as the brand's website or app. It should integrate the online and offline experiences, as well as provide exact, real-time inventory visibility.
It's no surprise that, with smartphones increasingly playing a supporting role in practically every aspect of people's lives, they want their phones to assist them in making purchases, particularly when it comes to the click and collect service. Therefore, your eCommerce platform should also be mobile-friendly. For example, consumers should receive push notifications from shops informing them when their order has been received and processed, as well as when it is ready for pickup.
Effective communication tools
In a variety of ways, effective communication is needed. This might include everything from ensuring that product availability is adequately conveyed to the fact that collection locations are properly identified. If you have the resources to do so, our recommendation for improving communication is to make the most of technology.
You can, for example, utilize text messaging to tell customers when their orders are ready. You could also create a click-and-collect shopping app that allows users to keep track of stock levels and place orders quickly.
Proper 'hidden zone' management
Customers may want to pick up from a variety of locations. Therefore, the option to verify stock availability within a specific geographic range is a useful tool. However, to minimize errors and unnecessary travels, it requires real-time stock accuracy. In order to do so, you need proper ‘hidden zone’ management. This zone is where arriving products are received and controlled in the inventory.
Stock visibility must be carefully managed to provide the greatest levels of in-store stock accuracy. Between the time products leave the warehouse, their arrival in-store, and the time it stays in-store prior to a sale, retail staff should take proactive action to maintain a timely click and collect service for customers.
Real-time inventory visibility
As stated before, retailers should examine and implement the necessary technology components to give customers the most up-to-date inventory information. This requires connecting all components of the retailer's fulfillment system so that real-time statistics on order statuses, workflows, location management, and customer engagement can be generated.
If you have several locations, it's even more crucial to have a centralized system that allows you to keep track of them all. A point of sale (POS) system, such as ConnectPOS, is a strong tool for merchants to monitor real-time inventory levels on the market. If you're interested, ConnectPOS offers a 14-day free trial to any retailer interested in trying out the system.
Fast and easy pick up procedure
For a better click and collect service, you should provide a fast and easy pick-up procedure. Customers shouldn’t have to wait in order to pick up the package. If they choose the option to pick up, they expect there is less waiting time.
However, in reality, retailers will struggle to meet the efficiency and accuracy that customers demand when they order. This can be due to a reliance on several time-consuming and labor-intensive back-office operations. If a delay is unavoidable, it must be communicated to customers in order to manage expectations. In addition, staff training is also needed, so that they can support customers in a timely manner.
With the developments of eCommerce, customer expectations have never been higher. Retailers are under pressure to satisfy these requests in order to remain competitive. Implementing a robust click and collect service will be a vital part of any omnichannel approach. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about click and collect or ConnectPOS, our leading omnichannel point of sale system.