Click & collect speed

Click and Collect has fast become an integral part of the shopping experience. According to research undertaken for Quail Digital, nearly a third of people prefer Click and Collect over home delivery. But while retailers are revelling in the chance to get customers back in store, how much do we enjoy it? Are consumers really buying in to the Click and Collect experience? When 47% of UK consumers waited more than five minutes for their last Click and Collect order, is it just the lesser of two evils?

Tom Downes, CEO of Quail Digital, calls on retailers to make a three minute Click and Collect pledge.

No Win

Standing in queues may be a national pastime, but the whole concept of Click and Collect is about speed, about convenience. We opt to pick a pre-ordered product up in store rather than endure the frustrating wait for the delivery driver or having to slowly trawl round around a store to locate a specific product – only to find it is out of stock.

To be then faced with a monumental queue servicing not only Click and Collect customers but every other customer – from the person returning ten items, to the individual more interested in sharing stories than paying – can be unbelievably frustrating.

If retailers want to meet customer expectations for Click and Collect speed and to maximise the value of getting these individuals back in store, then they need to rethink the process.

The number one priority has to be speed. Whilst 70% of customers consider it fast service if it takes them five minutes or less to collect their order, just 42% have their expectations met. Just consider how customers will respond if a retailer promises to fulfil every Click and Collect order within three minutes. The dasher can confidently be in and out without missing too much of the lunch hour. The browser can afford to spend five or ten minutes looking around before picking up the ordered items, with no fear of delay. And those customers who want to try on the Click and Collect items have more time to chat with the Store Associate, consider accessories, and swap one item for another. The retailer can fulfil both the initial order and the up-selling vision.

Speed and Consistency

The key to realising this vision is better in-store communication, a way to manage the peaks and troughs of Click and Collect demand efficiently and effectively.  Rather than expecting customers to join the standard sales queue, create a dedicated Click and Collect speed experience. When customers arrive in store they use a QR code or reference number at a kiosk or post by the door which creates a ‘customer arrived’ message for staff wearing a headset. This prompts staff and managers to coordinate an immediate response – with one individual sent to the storage location where a collection screen displays the customer’s name, order reference and time of arrival. The order is picked, the call screen closed and the package delivered to the waiting customer.

The process is fast and efficient for both the customer and the retailer. It is consistent, giving customers confidence for future Click & Collect orders; and it allows the retailer to effectively manage this new channel with the existing in-store resources.

Critically, it enables that three-minute pledge.  Meaning that retailers can ensure customers have more time to spend in store browsing and chatting with Store Associates – and far less time grumbling in a queue.