What should the click & collect experience of the future look like?

22-11-2017 |

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Annual click & collect transactions are expected to double to 203 million by 2021, according to Apex Insight, marking huge demand for the service in the future.

 

With so many retailers competing for customer share, they will need to innovate to ensure the click & collect experience of tomorrow keeps up with customer requirements. It is an amazing opportunity for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to take a greater share of the market, through optimisation of their store estates for the digital era.

Getting the basics right

As a foundation, the click & collect experience of the future should be operationally smoother and better managed by retailers, supported by sophisticated technology.

 

Customers are already demanding frictionless shopping – and click & collect will need to work even harder to provide greater speed and convenience.

 

This is being influenced by pioneering in-store projects like the Amazon Go pilot in Seattle, which utilises various mobile and recognition technologies to facilitate cashier-less transactions. More recently, Amazon announced it is launching a Prime Wardrobe service that allows shoppers to try on clothing purchases at home before they pay for it, sending back the items they do not need.

 

Technology and service initiatives such as these will raise customer expectations. It means any delays with the in-store collection process or complications in the service offering will simply not be tolerated; click & collect of the future needs to operate seamlessly and be optimised to achieve its goal of making shoppers’ lives easier.

Making collection more personal

When the experience is right, click & collect is a powerful platform for nurturing shopper relationships and over the next five years, retailers will be competing to make collection encounters more personal.

 

Some retailers have already experimented with initiatives to make click & collect feel like a more premium, concierge-style service. In 2016, Nordstrom launched a ‘click and try on’ service, encouraging customers to select multiple items online before visiting a store to check if they are suitable ahead of making a purchase. This provided an opportunity for upselling and cross-selling, at the same time as making the in-store experience more customer focused.

 

There are other, relatively untapped opportunities to make in-store collection more personal. For example, providing store associates with details on the contents of customers’ click & collect parcels would give them a reason to start conversations, and to advise on additional, complementary items. Equally, if retailers can display details on a customer’s previous purchase, front-line staff can check if they were happy with their purchase – noting down the response to build up a fuller data profile of the shopper in question.

 

Other innovations that could help improve the click & collect experience include instant refunds on returns, gamification and rewards to encourage timely collections, and more accessible communication platforms so customers can tell retailers they’re on their way.

 

There is no reason why modern click & collect can’t link up to camera queue apps to allow shoppers to see how busy stores are, or operate with embedded rating systems to ensure store management can measure performance. Why not add collection codes to smartphone photo reels for ease of access?

Time to innovate

There is significant room for innovation in click & collect, but the reality is that many retailers do not have the sufficient technology to cope with the demands it places on their business now.

 

Powered by Doddle, which was launched earlier this year, gives retailers a platform to take their click & collect to another level, driving real value to their businesses. A dedicated team of Doddlers are continually working on innovative features and plug-ins to enhance the service further.

 

It is a scalable and efficient solution that helps make the click & collect process smoother and create more capacity for retailers to focus on making the customer experience even better. By laying down Doddle’s tech, retailers can leapfrog their competitors and reshape the future of click & collect.

 

Powered by Doddle helps retailers improve the in-store collection experience, optimise operational efficiency and drive incremental sales. Find out why Powered by Doddle is the right technology to power your business forward.

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Annual click & collect transactions are expected to double to 203 million by 2021, according to Apex Insight, marking huge demand for the service in the future.

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