3 things to consider when choosing click & collect technology

22-11-2017 |

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The UK is a global click & collect pioneer, with many international retailers looking to learn from the successful model British businesses such as Debenhams and John Lewis have established in recent years. But there is always room for improvement.

 

Although the service was borne out of improving customer experience and convenience, there is still friction, particularly when it comes to collection. According to a recent JDA and Centiro survey, over a third of consumers experienced click & collect issues at Christmas 2016, with long waiting times and unlocated items among the key problems.

 

Many of these challenges are caused by the technology platforms retailers use to manage their click & collect operation in the store. The exponential growth of this fulfilment method can often mean that legacy systems are no longer fit for purpose, and with the number of shoppers using click & collect increasing further still, it’s reaching a point where retailers need to prepare for click & collect 2.0.

 

To do this successfully, retailers must take the learnings from the last few years and put the infrastructure in place to make sure click & collect drives ROI for their business. Key to this is the choice of technology to manage the experience in-store, so we’ve put together our top considerations for retail IT teams when analysing their click & collect tech.

 

Consideration 1: Can current systems cope with the growing demand for click & collect?

 

Click & collect has experienced rapid organic growth in the last few years, however it is often under-resourced in terms of the technology and training needed to run it efficiently within stores.

 

To ensure shoppers remain satisfied, a clear strategy for who manages click & collect in-store needs to be established. Dealing with this burgeoning service needs some board-level direction, and as click & collect grows in popularity there may even be a need for new job titles to manage it in the future.

 

The core person/people overseeing click & collect also needs to work with IT teams to ensure the supporting technology enables front-line staff to offer a quick, slick and accurate service.

 

It is worth investing in a robust, scalable management system: click & collect shoppers have an 11% higher basket value than home delivery customers on average, so it’s important to look after the biggest spenders.

 

Consideration 2: is click & collect increasing store profitability?

 

Omnichannel retailing, of which click & collect is a central cog, has fundamentally influenced traditional brick-and-mortar’s profitability. However, until recently, serving shoppers in multiple ways on various platforms was an expensive exercise.

 

Today, click & collect – if done correctly – can be far more cost-effective for a retailer than home delivery, and the upsell opportunity once shoppers arrive in store is huge. But achieving profitability rests on having the right technology platform to run in-store collection as a well-oiled machine, and being able to measure performance store by store.

 

Developing some clear metrics around the service and its continuing impact on overall operations, including how it matches up against other organisations, is becoming an essential requirement for retailers.

 

Consideration 3: could a better choice of partner improve results?

 

One effective way to ensure rapid ROI on click & collect technology investment is to work with a partner that can bring industry-wide best practice to their solutions.

 

Software as a service investment is increasingly the norm in retail IT departments, and click & collect needs to be part of that chain of thought. The right partner will be able to audit existing operations, before advising on the right technology and processes to make tangible improvements.

 

Working with experts who know the intricacies of this new fulfilment method can help retailers implement the most suitable KPIs and metrics, enabling them to track profitability of click & collect per store and optimise the service whenever necessary.

 

Powered by Doddle is a new in-store click & collect solution that utilises cutting-edge technology to help retailers improve customer experience, optimise operational efficiency and drive incremental sales. Find out more about how it can help your retail business today

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