In this opinion piece, Veronika Birnkammer (pictured below), marketing director at Fluent Commerce, explains the value of marketers using click and collect to ensure their brand can out-convenience their competitors.
With increasing pressure from international retailers, enabling Australians to shop faster, easier and avoid delivery charges is crucial in the battle for customer spend in 2018. For many retail marketers, harnessing the power of click and collect can help boost brand awareness, customer loyalty and increase sales.
According to the JDA/Centiro Customer Pulse 2017 Report conducted by YouGov, Australian shoppers have a high usage of click-and-collect services. The main reasons are so they can avoid home delivery charges (45 per cent), and that in some cases picking a product up themselves is just more convenient than home delivery (37 per cent).
An opportunity to up-sell
For marketers, the ability to connect with your customers through click-and-collect and return in-store is an important method to entice customers into your stores and a chance to up-sell, cross-sell and provide personalised brand experiences.
Click and collect can also provide a chance to reduce returns by letting customers feel and try items on before they take them home. And if an item doesn’t fit or please the customer, a better solution can be found for them on the spot, rather than hoping they might return and purchase another item.
Using physical stores to gain brand advantage over pure plays
For many consumers, being able to buy online and collect in store is considered the cheapest and most convenient option. Australians increasingly don’t want to pay or wait for their goods to arrive in the post, are out when the delivery arrives or have to queue up at the post office (which is never open at a convenient time anyway).
Home deliveries can be unpredictable and at times can frustrate the customer, leading to the increasing popularity of more convenient and flexible ways to collect purchases. Using click and collect means customers don’t risk a trip to the store and the goods they want are out of stock. For many customers being able to choose where and when they go to collect their item(s) puts them in control. This is an important psychological element not to be underestimated in your marketing plans. Whilst collecting something might not always be the most convenient option compared to home delivery, having the option of doing so feels convenient. If your aim is to become more customer-centric, easier to deal with and to offer more convenience, then you need to provide this service.
Promote it to your customers
if you’ve invested in a click and collect and return in-store solution, make sure you’re promoting it at every available opportunity to your customers. This means on your homepages, product pages, basket pages, throughout the check-out process both on your mobile site and website, but also in store, across social media, marketing, and advertising. And don’t forget to explain how it works and if you’re offering the service for free. Don’t hide the click-and-collect option on one of the last pages of your check out process.
A collection email for a click-and-collect order also has a 100 per cent customer open rate, so it’s another fantastic opportunity to cross sell, offer coupons, discounts, or complimentary products and services.
Making sure that your brand offers a frictionless and fast click-and-collect experience is important to ensure you remain competitive and can out-convenience your competitors.