Out of town shoppers want more speed and convenience from click and collect
A new study of online shoppers and how they use click and collect services has revealed that around 44% of those who buy online from DIY and out of town retail brands would rather collect their goods themselves from a store than have them delivered to their homes.
The research commissioned by retail communications specialist Quail Digital found that 47% of those surveyed said that convenience as the main reason for choosing collection while 17% cited cost saving and 13% did not want to be tied to a delivery time. Among the least important factors was the ability to buy additional items.
In addition, the traditional male stereotype of disliking shopping was borne out in the survey with men rating having goods ready and a quick transaction with store staff as key priorities, although they also valued the ability to ask questions and get advice.
When arriving at the collection point, having the goods ready for collection was by far the most important criteria with 67% of respondents rating this as the number one priority.
"Click and collect, or click-pay-and-collect, is very popular," said Quail Digital CEO Tom Downes. "But execution needs to be thought through. Our research shows that customers want to pick up their orders quickly and without queuing, and ideally, have their goods loaded into their cars."
According to the gender breakdown in the research, some female shoppers also rated cost saving and not being tied to a specific delivery time as key reasons for choosing to collect their goods.
By region, Scottish shoppers were the most likely to collect their orders, with people in Northern Ireland least likely. For shoppers in the East Midlands speed of transaction was key, although they were also most likely to buy more items. People in East Anglia rated not being tied to a time slot as most important and they also appreciated designated parking. Convenience and having their cars loaded was most important to shoppers in the South East.
"Prompt collection of click and collect is likely to make or break the success of the service, and that needs efficient staff communication in store,” said Downes. "On-line ordering is about efficient fulfilment, so getting the order from storage area to customer is all-important.
"If DIY and other out of town retailers want to encourage more take up of click and collect they could consider the drive thru model where operators have fine-tuned fulfilment of car-bound order taking. With a combination of order points and headsets, store staff are pre-alerted to customer’s arrival, with wireless headset communication maximising the prep time to expedite orders from storage areas and getting them into the hands of the customer efficiently."
In the drive thru sector, where retailers assess their performance based on speed of transaction and order accuracy, Downes suggests a similar approach would be useful to monitor and benchmark click and collect services. He said: "Target times for the complete fulfilment part of the service would be a good measure of success. Keeping customers engaged is simply a matter of creating a good experience and in this case that means a quick and efficient service based on good communications."
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