Click and collect as a service is one that can really differentiate you from your retail competitors, and if you’re a high street store, this can give you an advantage over the ecommerce pure-plays too. Trends in delivery, returns and click and collect are ever changing, with technology enabling faster, easier and more cost-effective options for both retailers and consumers.
This year, we released our latest 2019 Multichannel Retail Report, our flagship report ranking over 200 leading retailers across various tenets of multichannel retail. In our latest report, click and collect was a winning offering, with all of our top-ranked retailers offering fast click and collect to store. Here is a summary of the top trends for click and collect in 2019, using data and insight from our annually anticipated whitepaper.
#1 – More retailers can now offer fast in-store click and collect
Not only do customers expect click and collect, but they also expect fast click and collect. 33% of retailers can now offer click and collect next day or sooner, and 17% can even offer this service for the same day.
It is clear that these retailers are able to tap into their inventory management systems and others, in order to accurately manage stock and guarantee a speedy click and collect service from their retail stores.
#2 – The majority of retailers now offer free in-store click and collect
As free standard delivery becomes the norm, so does free click and collect. Retailers expect to be able to walk into your store and purchase an item without spending extra on your retail store’s delivery. As a result, it makes sense that click and collect to your store should use the same logic if it’s something a customer could walk in and buy without pre-ordering.
79% of retailers always free in-store click and collect without the need for a minimum spend, most likely reducing costs by using their existing delivery network. Whilst we may expect to spend more for a priority click and collect option, we do generally expect standard click and collect at no added cost.
#3 – The cost of click and collect amongst those who charge has increased
Whilst we see the majority of retailers offering free click and collect, for those who do charge, the cost has actually increased. The average cost for click and collect amongst those who charge is £2.78, a 17% increase since 2017.
Out of the retailers researched in our report, Hollister Co. charged the most for click and collect at £5, whilst Holland & Barrett charged the least at £0.95.
#4 – More retailers now offer click and collect to non-store locations
Click and collect to store has been a staple of multichannel retail for a long time but we are seeing more and more retailers now adopting solutions in order to offer click and collect to non-store locations too, such as lockers, convenience stores or petrol stations.
Huge brands such as Amazon have increased customer expectations with Amazon Lockers, and ecommerce pure-plays have always taken advantage of non-store click and collect to overcome challenges with delivery without a retail location.
As a result, more retailers are improving their click and collect service with 32% of retailers now using services provided by Collect+, myHermes, Doddle or HubBox to deliver products to other pick-up locations. This is a significant rise from 24% of retailers in 2017.
We spoke with Sam Jarvis, CEO of HubBox who commented: “offering customers pickup from local Collection Points has long been shown to lead to better conversion rates, fewer missed deliveries and happier customers. However, recent technological developments have made local click and collect much more accessible to a wider range of retailers. It’s really exciting to see more retailers adopting the solution and seeing the benefits in the form of higher basket values and increased customer loyalty.”
#5 – A quarter of retailers now offer click and collect to both store and non-store locations
In general, we are seeing more retailers able to offer a comprehensive click and collect service. Alongside seeing an increase in retailers delivering products for collect to store, and an increase in retailers delivering products for collect at other pick-up locations, we now see retailers offering both as an option.
25% of retailers researched offer click and collect to both store and non-store locations, meeting a range of customer expectations and offering choice and convenience.
Using click and collect to improve customer experience
Click and collect is a fantastic way for retailers to offer customers a great experience by offering choice and convenience, often at a reduced cost when compared to other delivery options.
The best performers in our report for click and collect were Apple, B&Q, Cotswold Outdoor, Mamas & Papas, Next, Schuh and Snow+Rock, amongst others. These retailers managed to balance cost, speed and location to offer a well-rounded click and collect service.
A strong click and collect offering can provide customers with convenience alongside a fantastic customer experience. However, retailers need an infrastructure in place that can handle operations and logistics, inventory management and store management, all with an ecommerce integration. For those without a flexible tech stack or well-built ecommerce site, this can be a challenge, but well worth the step-change.