Click & Collect Shopping – New Experience Somewhere in Between Digital and Real Worlds

Are you a shopaholic unable to strip yourself of occasional shopping jags serving a kind of relaxation or sublimation for your overdriven mind? Or you are a sober customer accomplishing only well-considered purchases… The third variant is a shopping hater, absolutely intolerant to regular stores and striving to avoid them when possible, or at least minimize the time spent there.

You know, it seems like we’ve got great news for all shoppers regardless of their habits. Have you ever heard about recent click and collect retailing trend? (JWT: 100 Things to Watch in 2013 – slide 21). Maybe you have even checked some of its pleasures? The best thing about the service is that it is beneficial both for merchants and their customers.

But let’s figure out why this revolutionary method balancing on the edge of digital and physical world is getting more popularity around the US and Europe.

First of all, click and collect offers the convenience of online shopping, but lets you get rid of its main drawback on the last stage on delivery. According to the report, 60% of online shoppers had issues with the delivery last year. Actually, the system allows choosing items online and then you are free to decide when to pick them up locally. All selected stuff is waiting for you, packed at the nearest collection point. All you need to do is to give the code, which was sent by email, to the service worker. No more ruined plans and endless hours of waiting for delivery, you can get the product in time and save on courier fee.

Another advantage of click & collect is that you can easily return the product you don’t like. The scheme becomes shorter and quicker: just click – collect – try on – and bring back if it doesn’t fit.

By the way, online-only stores like House of Fraser, Boden, Oasis, Asos, Amazon, eBay and many others turned to be really innovative for the sake of customers’ convenience. They involved third parties such as corner shops, newsagents and filling stations into Collect+ system, which means that you can pick up your order in any signed up location.

Of course, while the technology is young enough, certain imperfections still spoil general impression a bit. Among common clumsy moments are queues and next day product availability. However, Amazon is a step forward of its competitors due to the lockers being installed in shopping centers and supermarkets. They improve the situation somehow as the buyers simply input the code, sent to their email and take the package in minutes.

If you liked this idea of further e-Commerce perfection and want to join this futuristic trend, let’s generate some pieces of advice, which can help you escape small disappointing details.

  • 1. Click and collect option can become a powerful conversion rates trigger, so place noticeable messages promoting it throughout your website, including checkout page as well, cause you never know when the customer might decide to use the service.
  • 2. Highlight main steps and peculiarities of click and collect process in simple graphic manner.
  • 3. Include the possibility of product availability check directly on product page in order to relieve customer’s discontent from its absence in local stock on the stage of check out.
  • 4. Make use of ‘fast reserve’ option, which lets registered customers reserve the desired item at the local store with one quick click.
  • 5. The sooner your products are ready for collection – the better impression and more satisfaction your service brings to the customer.
  • 6. Consider portable device users convenience – add your website features allowing purchase on the move.
  • 7. It’s a brilliant idea to provide the customers with alternative collection methods like in-store collection, Collection+ network, Amazon lockers etc.
  • 8. Take care of positive in-store collection experience that is, reduced waiting time and understandable signage process.
  • 9. Free of charge click and collect service can become your trump in comparison with more stingy competitors.
  • * * *

    Dear readers! Speak Up!

    Do you think that merge of virtual and physical reality can bring its tangible benefits to e-Commerce in general and both involved parties in particular? Have you got positive or negative related experience to share with the community? Your thoughts are welcome in the comment section below!

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Allison Reed

Allison is a professional SEO specialist and an inspired author. Marketing manager by day and a writer by night, she is creating many articles on business, marketing, design, and web development. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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