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The Growing Demand for Click-and-Collect

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Running a retail store in this age of technologically advanced shopping options requires more than having full shelves. You have to adapt to new retail offerings — one of which is the click and collect retail trend.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t introduce click and collect, also known as buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS). But its adoption by both consumers and retailers across the United States was accelerated by the pandemic and lockdown measures.

According to Business Insider, U.S. consumers spent $72.46 billion on click and collect orders in 2020. That was a 106.9% increase from 2019.

Discover why there’s a growing demand for click and collect at retail centers and how a single tweak to your store premises can improve your customers’ click and collect experience.

Read the full article or jump to a specific section:

What Is Click and Collect Retail?

Click and collect is an omnichannel retail product delivery model where a consumer places an order for an item online and comes to a physical location to pick it up.

During the pandemic, retailers who wanted to keep their stores’ doors open and remain competitive adopted different fulfillment models to meet their customers’ emerging needs. For retail customers, these needs included ensuring safety and social distancing while retaining the outdoor customer shopping experience. Click and collect as an omnichannel delivery model satisfied those needs.

Customers can pay online when they place their orders or offline when they collect their items. Shoppers can collect the order by walking into the store or warehouse to pick it up or retrieving it curbside after a store employee delivers it to the customer’s vehicle.

How Does Click and Collect Work?

The customer places an order online and is presented with a BOPIS option and is asked to choose a pickup store or location and the preferred pickup time. The store receives the order and the pickup details so they can prepare the item before the customer comes.

The store staff gets the item ready before the customer comes, possibly storing it in a BOPIS area or at a customer service desk. The customer picks up the item — either by walking into the store or through curbside pickup — and the delivery is confirmed. The customer either makes the payment online or at the point of delivery.

Retailers may have different methods to confirm the customer’s identity, such as:

-The customer’s ID

-The customer’s credit card

-An order form or order number

-A notification email or text

Some stores use BOPIS lockers to streamline the order pickup process. Customers can scan a QR code or barcode off their smartphone at the lockers or enter an order number to unlock a locker and retrieve their orders.

Click and Collect Is Growing in Demand

Though the adoption of click and collect retail was accelerated by the pandemic, customers still demand the option to buy online and pick up in-store even after lockdown orders have been lifted.

According to Statista, click and collect saw a more than 100% increase in adoption during the pandemic and is expected to grow around a 15% average rate by 2024. Sixty percent of U.S. retailers have successfully implemented the click and collect omnichannel model.

Thirty-one percent of grocery retailers have implemented the click and collect model, and 59% of retail experts are rolling out in-store pickup options — including buy online and pick up in-store — in the next two to three years.

All of these stats show that click and collect retail is growing in demand. Retailers like you are setting their stores up to key into the trend, and consumers’ preference for click and collect retail will keep increasing.

Why Is There a Demand for Click and Collect?

According to Business Insider, U.S. click and collect sales will reach $140.96 billion by 2024. The number of customers opting for BOPIS will grow from 143.8 million consumers in 2020 to 160 million consumers in 2024.

There are a lot of reasons for both the customer and for retailers to opt for click and collect services.

Why Customers Appreciate Click and Collect

There’s a growing demand for click and collect on the customer side of things because:

1. They Care About Their Safety

With the pandemic and increasing focus on health and safety, customers prefer shopping options that reduce human contact or presence in crowded areas. Buying online and driving to a store or a dedicated location to pick it up meets this requirement. According to Statista, 47% of U.S. shoppers opt for click and collect to avoid entering a physical store.

Even after lockdown restrictions were lifted, customers were used to the safety and convenience of picking up their orders. Many customers can also appreciate the limited contact during cold and flu season.

2. They Enjoy the In-Store Shopping Experience

Buyers still crave the in-store experience of driving out of their homes to go shopping and feel their products in their hands before purchasing. Click and collect offers this in-store shopping experience without the health risks.

Statista explains that the main reason U.S. shoppers prefer the BOPIS option over is that they want to see their groceries before bringing them home. With delivery services, customers would have to trust that whoever fulfills their orders chooses quality products. If they pick up their own orders, shoppers can check out what they got and make substitutions if they need to.

3. They Still Appreciate the Conveniences of Online Ordering

While many consumers do enjoy in-store shopping, online shopping has its conveniences. Shoppers can easily find what they’re looking for without scanning the aisles and going back and forth throughout the store. Customers can also more easily compare prices online, whether within a retailer’s options or between different stores. Depending on the retailer, customers may also be able to see reviews online, which can help influence their purchase decisions.

4. They Want to Get Their Items at Their Convenience

Compared to home delivery or lining up in a store, click and collect offers shoppers an easy and flexible option to order online and pick up whenever they want, at their own time. This means your consumers don’t have to be anxious about missing a delivery date or spending long hours in a line waiting to check out.

5. They Want to Get Their Items Now

The demand for same-day delivery is increasing. Consumers want their products delivered fast and free. Click and collect is faster than home delivery or doing all the shopping physically. Because consumers can place orders online and walk into the store to pick up their items, they can get their items the same day.

6. They Consider the Cost of Shipping When Shopping

Consumers hate to pay for shipping more than anything else in their product purchase journey. With click and collect, shoppers save on shipping costs and still get their items when they want them, conveniently. This is the reason 47.4% of U.S. shoppers opt for BOPIS delivery.

Why Retailers Are Offering Click and Collect

Here are five reasons retailers, like your business, are jumping on the click and collect trend:

1. It’s Cheaper Than Delivery

Compared to doorstep delivery, click and collect does not require additional cost in delivery on your company’s part. Your store won’t need to cover shipping costs. Or, if your business handles its own deliveries, it won’t need to pay as much in fleet management, from fuel supply to vehicle maintenance. This means cost savings without affecting your customers’ experience.

Click and collect also requires fewer logistics and inventory management and tracking resources than delivery. You’re often pulling from inventory on the shelves, reducing the cost of operation and the accompanying overhead costs.

2. It Offers Opportunities for Higher Returns

Because you can save costs by offering the click and collect option, you can expect high returns. Providing shoppers with the opportunity to buy online and pick up in-store helps you serve a wider range of consumers’ preferences.

In addition to that, when shoppers come to pick up, they can browse your goods and purchase more items. Or, your business can use its website or app where customers order to suggest other products — if a customer adds something to their cart, you might show a related good and encourage them to buy. All of these mean higher returns for your business.

3. It Can Make You More Efficient

Click and collect enables your business to serve more customers without the long lines or crowded aisles. Your business’s in-store customers will appreciate a less congested and more efficient shopping experience. As your store trains employees and has dedicated staff for handling BOPIS orders, it can increase efficiency even more.

4. It Doesn’t Require Additional Resources to Set Up

Setting up the BOPIS option likely won’t require additional resources or reliance on a third party. If you already have an inventory system and online order management system, then you may not need additional tools or human resources to implement the BOPIS delivery model for your retail outlet.

Click and collect also relies less on third-party resources or logistics than delivery. This makes it easy to set up and manage.

5. It Provides Customers With the Experience They Need

Your consumers want to shop safely, fast and at the least possible cost while enjoying the in-store experience. With click and collect, your business can bring the two worlds of online and offline shopping together into a seamlessly integrated experience, opening you up for growth.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Click and Collect?

Click and collect offers your business and your customers a hybrid shopping experience that brings online and physical shopping together. The pandemic made consumers aware of the convenience of purchasing online and picking up at a store. This has since increased the adoption of click and collect. But it also comes with considerations to keep in mind.

The Pros of Click and Collect

Here are the advantages of click and collect for retailers and for consumers:

Consumer safety: Click and collect enables consumers to buy products with minimal physical contact. This means they get what they want and enjoy the experience without much risk to their health. It also meant fewer shoppers in stores, helping limit exposure for staff, as well. This became handy at the start of the pandemic following the lockdown measures.

Convenience and flexibility: Consumers can make purchases at their homes and pick them up when they want. This means no need to wait in a long line among a crowd. Shoppers also don’t need to adjust their schedules to align with expected delivery. Your store appears more flexible and accessible as a result.

Speed of delivery: Click and collect made same-day delivery possible without the need for waiting for a delivery at home. Consumers can get their product faster than if it was delivered to them.

In-store experience: The BOPIS omnichannel approach to product delivery enables customers to enjoy the world of digital and physical shopping in a convenient and non-compromised way.

Store cost-efficiency: Click and collect enables you as a retailer to cut costs in delivery while serving a large pool of customers online and at your store.

Ease of setup: Setting up a click and collect strategy does not usually require new or additional resources. This makes it easy and cost-effective to set up. It also does not depend heavily on external resources. You may not need new tools or team members to set up a BOPIS delivery workflow. Click and collect is also easy for customers to use if the system is similar to your existing site or app.

Operational efficiency: Since customers come to pick up orders in your store, you can use your existing physical resources and inventory models to serve your online consumers. This increases the efficiency of your operation.

The Cons of Click and Collect

Here are some considerations to make before implementing click and collect services:

Increased operational complexity: Though cost-effective, implementing a click and collect strategy can strain your store’s operation. To present your customers with their packages when they arrive at your shop, you need a more resilient and dynamic operation strategy that can easily respond to your customers’ preferred time of pickup. This external factor can stress your store’s operation. You might limit this by having specific pickup windows for customers to meet.

Increased training: Because your store’s operations have expanded, leaders might need to take the time to train staff on how to pick and pack BOPIS orders, as well as how to deliver them to customers. Plan in time and resources for training to prepare for this hurdle.

Increased customer expectations: Customer experience can be affected if your customers have to wait too long to pick up their purchase. Give your staff enough time to pick orders and have them ready for shoppers, and manage your customers’ expectations with realistic pickup windows.

Delays and location mistakes: Giving a customer the wrong location is a challenge with the BOPIS delivery model. Make it clear throughout the ordering process where the customer is ordering and picking up from. Implement location services on your site or app to help the customer easily pick what store they want to order from.

Gas fees for consumers: On your customers’ end, though they save cost in delivery, they incur another cost in fueling their vehicles to pick up their orders, especially if the pickup store is far from their location. Help them manage fuel costs by directing them to the closest store when they order.

Jams in busy hours: During busy hours, customers may have to wait in line to collect their orders just like customers who came to shop in store. Have a separate pickup area or create a large curbside pickup area to accommodate busy times. Use pickup windows and limit how many customers can use a timeslot to make things manageable for your store’s staff.

What Is the Future of Click and Collect Retail?

As you might’ve concluded, more customers will adopt BOPIS to reduce wait time and cost while enjoying the in-store physical experience. Businesses who innovate their click and collect strategy will position their stores to provide their customers with the best hybrid shopping experience — and that will bring them back to buy more.

The future of click and collect retail is in the speed and correctness of delivery, as well as your customers’ physical experience while picking up their orders.

Click and Collect Automation

Retail businesses that can innovate their order picking and delivery processes to increase speed and correctness can have a larger share of the click and collect market. Automation is one of those innovations that will help in achieving this.

Automating order picking, communication, substitution and delivery processes can enable your retail store to improve your customers’ experience and make your store the preferred click and collect destination for consumers.

The hallmark of a positive click and collect experience is for the customer to not inform your employees about their order or wait long hours in the store. The moment your customers wait more than five minutes, it is no longer different from a physical store browsing, ordering and purchasing experience.

You can automate your order picking and fulfillment method, or use a hybrid approach of automation on the backend and manual on the sales or item delivery floor.

Enhancements to Your Store’s Physical Location

Since there is a physical part to click and collect retail, your customer’s physical experience in your store also affects their BOPIS experience. For example, you can install shade structures for your customers to comfortably drive through and park to collect their orders on a curb.

For customers who pick up orders inside, create a comfortable, designated pickup area. You might use lockers to keep their orders safe and organized. Your store can also appoint at least one staff member to monitor this area and be available to answer questions or help customers with any order issues.

Get Curbside Pickup Shade Structures

Beyond providing your customers with a comfortable place to park their cars while they pick their orders from your store or have their orders delivered curbside, curbside pickup shade structures also provide aesthetic values to your premises.

On sunny days, a curbside pickup shade structure can provide your customers and employees with a cool and comfortable environment to deliver and pick up purchased items. Further extending the convenience of your store’s click and collect omnichannel retail model will appeal to even more customers.

Because of the convenience and aesthetic value your curbside pickup shade structure can provide your store, consumers may prefer to buy from you and visit your store instead of your competitors.

Beyond just getting a shade structure or shade sails to improve your BOPIS service delivery strategy, getting the best and most reliable shade structure can offer longevity, value and continuous service.

Request a Quote for Curbside Pickup Shade Structures

Depending on your store premises, the customer traffic you receive and your aesthetic values, there are lots of shade structures you can choose from. At USA SHADE, we can also design customized shade structures to meet your unique business needs.

Visit our click and collect curbside pickup shade structure page to browse our list of shade structures, shade sails and cantilevers that you can choose from. When you’re ready, contact our team to discuss your shade structure needs and get a quote.