The past few months have seen a rise of click and collect in the online strategies of many advertisers in the retail world. It is a phenomenon that has been growing for the past several months: the crisis of COVID 19 has had a significant impact on consumers and their online and in-store shopping behaviour in the store. This crisis will also significantly accelerate the trend of digital transformation and is thus beneficial for e-commerce. Click and collect, a concept that lies between e-commerce and physical in-store shopping, follows this wave and sees its popularity increasing. Although there are no statistics for the Belgian market yet, Statista in England reports that the supply of retail will increase by 32% in 2020 compared to 2019. According to the same study, 80% of retail sales are expected to offer a click and collect service in England by the end of 2020.
Click and collect in Belgium?
We have all noticed in Belgium that many retailers had to adapt their online strategy quickly in the past few months, even though many well-known shops already offer a click and collect service. Whether it is in a giant furniture store or at the local ‘frietkot’, this service is popping up everywhere right now!
It is easy to understand the reason behind this: consumers who are in an anxious health context need to be reassured of their safety while shopping. They want to be able to shop easily, without having to worry about long queues. The success of click and collect can also be explained by the fact that this service offers a more immediate solution than e-commerce, where a delivery always requires at least a few days. This contrasts with customers who use ‘click and collect’. Depending on the platform, they can usually pick up their orders a few hours later at a store near their house.
A successful online strategy for Tom&Co
Universem had the opportunity to support Tom&Co in launching their click and collect service. Maud Leschevin, Chief Customer Officer of Tom&Co, explains:
‘First, we developed an online booking and payment system, which allowed customers to quickly go to the store and get their items, without any unnecessary contact. We communicated extensively online with our customers, gave them advice, and reassured them. The crisis has spurred us to accelerate a previously planned process and to go even further than just selling online or home delivery. In fact, our whole organization is now digitalized, except for the logistics. The expansion of this service was a real success. Both owner and pet enjoyed it as soon as it was installed, as they could still safely spoil their pet with treats and toys in their bubble. We have seen an increase in non-food sales and para pharmaceuticals, with as a final result a 30% increase in turnover due to our online campaigns.’
Drive-to-Store as reinforcement
This trend is also used by Waze, the popular local navigation app, which combines ‘drive-to-store’ with click and collect. Starting from this summer, they are offering a new signaling system that will allow users to identify restaurants that offer a drive-in service or allow meals to be picked up in the form of click and collect. Another opportunity to consider as part of your online drive-to-store strategy.
5 tips to successfully start a click and collect service
If you are active in retail and your business is not using these services yet, you are missing out on an opportunity to reach and satisfy more customers. Customers are more likely to choose a competitor who has an available click and collect service, as they are currently looking for more safety and convenience in making purchases. Unfortunately, the value of your brand and the loyalty of your customers may not always be decisive in the customer’s decision to buy from you or not. The customer experience is currently the number one priority.
Does your store already offer a click and collect service? Good! Make sure your customers are aware of the its’ existence at the beginning of their purchasing process.
Here are our 5 tips for a successful online launch:
- Adapt your online advertising strategy to ensure that your campaigns are consistently displayed for keywords related to click and collect and make sure your campaigns clearly state the availability of this service.
- Pay attention to your organic search results and SEO. These can also benefit from a focus on your click and collect service.
- Make this service clearly visible on your website via the home page.
- Ensure transparency in the available stock and clearly show to customers on the website which products are still in stock, specifically at the various pick-up points, before the order confirmation. Like this, your customers have all the data to make an informed choice and be satisfied with their quick and secure purchase.
- Like any other platform, it is important to optimize your website for mobile use on smartphone. This is becoming increasingly important in the context of services where users more frequently place their orders ‘on the go’.
We at Universem are convinced that this trend needs to be taken seriously and will bring about change in the short and long term. After all, the present new buying habits of the customers are not going to suddenly disappear after the pandemic.