Click-and-Collect model for online stores
Click-and-Collect model (a.k.a. Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store” (BOPIS)) provides a significant opportunity for online merchants to increase their profits and offer more benefits and flexibility to their customers due to the diverse sales options. Moreover, Click-and-Collect is a trending online shopping method which will grow even more in the near future due to its potential to combine the convenience of online shopping and the in-store experience. In this regard, we will discuss the Click-and-Collect model, its benefits for customers and merchants, and what are the challenges related to it.
What is Click-and-Collect?
The idea of Click-and-Collect lies in providing customers with the option to browse the products online, reserve them, and eventually pick them up from the nearest store. This option assures two essential elements:
- A customer can conveniently browse products from the browser or app and pick up the order when and where they want.
- A merchant has more opportunities to deliver products to the customers and cross-sell other products while a customer visits a store.
In the cases when customers choose the Click-and-Collect option, they expect that they can have a better look at the products they order, check their condition (if it is electronic), and try them on (if it is clothing). In addition, the Click-and-Collect method is convenient for both merchants and customers because the process of delivery and logistics becomes more simplified.
Meanwhile, from the objective perspective, Click-and-Collect has the significant potential to be one of the most popular options for customers. The report from eMarketer indicates the substantial growth of Click-and-Collect sales in the United States from 2019 and projects that in 2024, Click-and-Collect sales in retail eCommerce will reach $140.96 billion (compared to $35.02 billion in 2019).
US Click-and-Collect Sales 2019-2024, eMarketer
Considering the importance of the Click-and-Collect option in the contemporary eCommerce market, it is vital to discuss its benefits in more detail.
Benefits of Click-and-Collect
The most appealing advantages of offering click-and-collect options involve the flexibility in the ways how customers interact with an online store, how they collect the products, and how merchants use this opportunity to upsell products when customers come to pick up the order. To be more precise, the advantages of the Click-and-Collect method for customers and merchants are:
- No need to pay for the shipping;
- Convenient shopping experience (no need to search for the desired products, size, variations and wait in line);
- An order can be collected faster than shipped;
- Cash payment option;
- Can check and try out a product before paying;
- Flexibility to choose the time and location where they pick an order;
- Less shipping and logistic expenses;
- Higher average cart value because customers save money on shipping and more products to cart;
- Cross-selling and up-selling opportunities while customers in a store;
- Higher customer satisfaction from the availability of multiple options of getting a product;
- More effective inventory management because stock can be stored in the stores;
Thus, by optimizing business operations to meet the demand for the click-and-collect trend, online stores benefit not only from the increase in sales but also from the improvements in internal management and cost saving. Nevertheless, there are also certain challenges associated with the implementation of the Click-and-Collect method.
Photo by Henrik Dønnestad on Unsplash
Challenges of the Click-and-Collect model
The effectiveness of the Click-and-Collect option in an online store is associated with the availability of resources and inventory management. After all, not all online shops have physical locations where customers can collect their orders. To implement the Click-and-Collect model in a store, a merchant has to consider the following challenges:
- It is important to have the financial resources to maintain the physical stores, pay employees, and assure that the inventory is effectively managed. Nevertheless, this challenge can be partially addressed by opening “dark stores”, which are used as pick-up locations/warehouses with a limited number of employees.
- Always up-to-date information about the stock. To avoid customer frustration or cases when the purchased items were not available or were not delivered to the location, a merchant has to invest in inventory management. This can be performed with both appropriate technologies and employees who manage the stock.
- Well-optimized logistics. Even though Click-and-Collect reduces the operations with the shipping partners, there is still a need to ensure that the logistics between the stores, warehouses, and other pick-up locations works great.
Subsequently, one can admit that the majority of the Click-and-Collect challenges are related to the financial resources, management system, and the number of employees who can ensure the services to the customers on locations and effective back-office operations.
The concept of Click-and-Collect is a very appealing model for eCommerce businesses that can provide many benefits and influence sales positively. Mainly because there are many advantages for the customers to choose this option of collecting orders. The main factor in the implementation of this model remains to be the consideration of the needed resources and effective inventory and employee management.