The societal and economic effects of the pandemic have touched everyone’s lives and transformed how consumers shop and retailers sell. Many of these behaviours are expected to stick in the long term, shaping consumer behaviour in the new normal.
According to an analysis from GlobalData, 9 out of the top 10 global e-commerce companies achieved double-digit growth in 2020 as new consumer habits swayed in their favour. The reason for that is that the Covid-19 crisis prompted new behavioural patterns, many of which may become a permanent part of consumers’ daily lives from now on.
Moreover, as customers increasingly move their shopping online, what fulfilment looks like has also been transforming. Delivery methods like click and collect were widely adopted as a matter of safety and necessity (at the onset of the pandemic, click and collect increased from 15 per cent of the total orders to 25 per cent in the US) and are likely to continue well beyond the pandemic: 33% of consumers globally claim that they have enjoyed click and collect and hope to continue to use this service moving forward.
What is click and collect?
Also known as kerbside pickup or buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), click and collect is a delivery method where buyers make purchases online and pick up their order in a physical location, rather than having it delivered. The pickup location is usually the seller’s brick-and-mortar store or warehouse. However, it can also be a post office, a purpose-built locker (like the ones of Amazon or InPost), a carrier’s parcel hub, or even an affiliate store.
Click and collect is not a new delivery service; it is well established in the UK and EU. Nevertheless, it became an essential channel offering for retailers during the pandemic as it helped to lessen the impact of declining non-essential retail sales caused by financial uncertainty and safety concerns.
Why do consumers choose click and collect?
More and more people are getting vaccinated worldwide, and the majority of consumers globally say they feel safe shopping in-store. Nevertheless, safety concerns remain - and are likely to remain for the foreseeable future. Safety and wellbeing concerns, although not as strong an incentive as they were during the first year of the pandemic, still remain one of the reasons why consumers choose click and collect as a delivery method.
At first, click and collect’s adoption was accelerated due to safety concerns. Now it has evolved into a convenience and speed factor for many buyers. With the advantages of being faster and cheaper than delivery service, post-pandemic shoppers say they plan to use click and collect more than pre-pandemic levels. Also, with click and collect, you don’t have to put up with potential carrier delays or worry about missing a delivery because you are not at home.
Furthermore, it is true that people much prefer the ability to see, feel, and try out products in real life over browsing through a menu on an online store. Click and collect offers customers the ability to inspect the product in person and provides them with a sense of in-store experience while helping them to avoid crowded stores.
Last but not least, picking up your online order from your local store or locker after a short walk or a bike ride is undeniably better from an environmental point of view than getting it delivered by a carrier. And let’s not forget the environmental impact of missed deliveries.
Nowadays, consumers began to realise that next-day deliveries and single-use plastic packaging are conveniences with a significant environmental impact. It is a fact that sustainability and environmental impact are growing concerns for consumers nowadays and influence heavily which brands they will choose to buy from.
The benefits of click and collect for retailers
The most obvious benefit of providing click and collect as a delivery option is reduced shipping costs. Taking last-mile delivery out of the equation, click and collect can save your company a significant amount of money in transportation costs allowing you to offer reduced prices and gain a competitive advantage.
On a similar note, by allowing customers to inspect your products when collecting them and making sure that customers are happy with their order before leaving the store, you can significantly reduce the returns rate.
Fewer deliveries and returns equal fewer emissions. Studies have shown that consumers are willing to pay 10-15% more for products or services from companies that use sustainable practices. By offering a ‘greener’ delivery option like click and collect, you can turn one-time buyers into loyal, returning customers.
Finally, if implemented correctly, click and collect will allow your company to make its online and brick-and-mortar shopping experience more integrated and create a more unified, seamless omnichannel experience for your customers. But it doesn’t stop there. Click and collect can easily convert online traffic to in-store football as buyers might want to browse and purchase additional items when picking up their online shopping order from your brick-and-mortar store.
After a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, the majority of people around the world are eager to return to shopping in-store. However, many consumers plan to stay closer to home for a variety of reasons (like financial uncertainty and safety concerns) or stick to their current shopping habits.
Click and collect as part of a well-designed omnichannel strategy enables an integrated shopping experience through all available touchpoints, leading to increased profitability and customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Likewise, click and collect can also be a means for your brand to maintain its market share in today’s highly competitive retail landscape and expand to new markets, especially those not yet covered by pure players like direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands.
If you want to add secure and automated lockers to your click and collect strategy and at the same time automate your fulfilment process entirely, we have the solution!
If you have any queries regarding how Shiptheory can help you with your click and collect strategy, please do not hesitate to reach out to support. We are more than happy to answer your questions and give you a hand to get things up and running.
Otherwise, create a free Shiptheory account and start shipping smarter and faster today!