What is click and collect?
Click and collect, which literally means “order and collect” in French, is a purchasing method that is part of an omnichannel commerce approach. The principle is simple: the consumer orders or reserves a product online and picks it up in the store of his choice, in just a few hours.
How does click and collect work?
Click and collect is a fairly simple omnichannel e-reservation process, both for the consumer and for the merchant.
First, the customer browses the brand’s e-commerce site and chooses the product they want. After selecting the product, he must press the button dedicated to click and collect. He then has access to the available stock, in real time, at the point of sale closest to him to collect his order. It should be noted that only the shops with the stock are offered to him.
Then the buyer receives a confirmation email for their order or reservation. This gives him all the useful information for collecting his product. These include the delivery time (a few hours or immediate), and practical information about the chosen store.
During this time, the trader receives an order via his dedicated software, sets aside the reserved item and prepares it.
Within the time limit indicated by the seller, the customer comes to the store to collect his purchase. He has the option of paying on site, if he has not done so online. In some cases, particularly in the fashion or electronics sector, stores may offer the customer the opportunity to try or test the reserved product.
The click and collect service has many advantages for the consumer: it is a flexible way of purchasing, it saves shipping costs, it ensures the availability of the product in stores.
For the merchant, this helps boost sales, increase store traffic, gain visibility on the internet and build customer loyalty. The close relationship with the consumer is also strongly developed.
On the other hand, be careful not to confuse click and collect with in-store withdrawal.
With click and collect, the product is taken directly from the stock of the physical point of sale, whereas with in-store collection it is deducted from the e-commerce stock and delivered to the store.
How to do click and collect?
Here are the different steps needed to set up a click and collect system.
Integrate software for order management
The creation of an e-commerce site is essential to offer click and collect. Once this is in place, a management solution dedicated to click and collect must be implemented.
Several e-commerce site providers, such as WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Magento or WiziShop, offer click and collect modules. These are often multi-store and optimized for both mobile and desktop use. They make it possible to check the availability of the product in the various points of sale, and offer consumers the possibility of choosing the desired time slot.
More specifically, these modules allow merchants to configure the entire click and collect process for proper management of orders in each store: create a detailed sheet of points of sale, enter the days and times of possible withdrawals and the time slots offered , specify the maximum number of order withdrawals by time slot, follow up on the withdrawal.
It can also be useful to link the cash register to the website using specific software, in particular for precise and efficient stock management. This makes it possible to centralize and facilitate day-to-day management. Stock synchronization is adjusted in real time, automatically, which avoids any risk of error. The preparation of orders is then simplified thanks to the notifications linked to click and collect which arrive directly at the checkout.
Different click and collect management software is available depending on the sector of the store. For example, the Cegid solution is renowned in the field of retail or Clickeat for restaurants.
Manage inventory in real time
Inventory management is an essential step in click and collect. This assures the customer of the availability of the product in store. The stock must then be able to be updated according to the orders placed, to avoid any unpleasant surprises for consumers.
The synchronization of the e-commerce site and the physical point of sale is done through the chosen click and collect modules or the management software integrated into the cash register. Thus, the stocks will be unified and centralized in one and the same place.
Inform the customer about the withdrawal conditions
When the customer has made his purchase or his reservation in click and collect, it is important to give him all the information that will be useful for the collection in store.
It is therefore essential to prepare and set up automatic confirmation e-mails to reassure him about the procedure to follow. These must include the following elements: the order reference with the details of the product and the quantity ordered, the address of the physical store he has chosen, the opening hours and the availability period.
In addition, collection in physical stores must be possible in the slots that suit customers the most.
Communicate on its click and collect offer
Once the previous steps are done, it is now necessary to promote the click and collect service.
To do this, there are several options. The first is to report it at points of sale. Posters can then announce it so that customers become aware of it. Secondly, it is also advisable to send a newsletter to the customer file, specifying the arrival of this new service. And of course, it is important to indicate it on the website (home page, service page, FAQ) and to communicate about it on the brand’s social networks.
In addition, it is also advisable to offer a mobile application to customers, which allows them to place their orders directly from their smartphone. It is a service that helps improve the customer experience, generate additional sales and increase the frequency of purchases.
Dedicate a space for order pick-up
In order to provide an optimal customer experience, it is recommended to set up a dedicated area for collecting purchases. For this, it is necessary to favor clear signage from the entrance to the point of sale.
This will facilitate the journey of the customer who will go directly to the dedicated counter and save time. Because what a consumer is looking for above all in click and collect is the speed of getting his order.
Offer a quality customer relationship
To ensure customer satisfaction, a good customer relationship must be at the heart of the click and collect service. From the instructions sent to pick up the product, to the opening hours, to reception in the store and to the packaging, everything must be thought out to satisfy the consumer.
There must also be an option for a third party to pick up the order, if the customer has an impediment.
It may also be wise to offer a discount on future orders, to encourage click and collect.
Optimize the return policy
In click and collect, the customer is not immune to not being satisfied with the product he has ordered. He can then decide to return it.
To turn this inconvenience into an opportunity, the merchant must then plan an effective return policy. Offering a product that is more suitable, a discount or a longer return time, are all possible elements to put in place.
To go further, download this free guide and find out how Set up SMS communication with your customers.