When it comes to high street retail, offering click-and-collect can have a monumental effect on a business’ overall customer experience.
And that can be monumental ‘good’ or monumental ‘bad’, by the way.
If a customer has a negative click-and-collect experience, chances are that it’s not just going to deter them from placing a click-and-collect order again, they may just write off the brand entirely.
Here are four of the most common mistakes that retailers make with click-and-collect (and how to easily rectify them).
Mistake #1: Not having a designated in-store collection area
Unless floor space is extremely limited, you should have an area in-store that’s solely dedicated to click-and-collect orders. That way, customers can feel like they’re ‘skipping the queue’, rather than having to queue up with other shoppers to collect an order that they’ve already purchased. This area should be clearly signposted in the store, and ideally in an area that gets significant footfall so that retail staff can take full advantage of upsell opportunities.
Mistake #2: In-store staff aren’t up to speed
Customers should never be left waiting for longer than it would take for them to pick something off a shelf in your physical store and checkout the old-fashioned way. Your sales team should be your biggest click-and-collect advocates. Therefore, they know exactly what to do from the moment a click-and-collect order is placed, to when it arrives to the store, to the moment that a customer comes in to pick it up.
Mistake #3: Customers don’t receive enough notifications
Not only does a customer need to be notified when their order is ready for collection by email or text (or ideally, both), but those notifications need to also clearly list the order reference number, the store opening hours, what they need to bring when collecting the order, and information on how long the order will be held in-store. On the delivery section of your website, you should also inform users about the notification process, including when and how customers will be notified.
Mistake #4: There’s no contingency plan in place
Chances are that at some point in time, a customer is going to come into your store to collect their order, and for one reason or another it’s not going to be there, or it’s going to take longer than expected to locate, or some sort of force majeure is going to mean that the customer experience is not going to be up to scratch.
And we all know the adage of “have a good experience, tell one person, have a bad experience, tell 10.” So put a plan in place to counteract this – maybe in these cases, a small voucher or discount to use against their next purchase is offered to the customer.
Click-and-collect and customer experience ultimately go hand in hand. So if you’re going to make click-and-collect part of your ecommerce offering (and we certainly recommend you do, considering that UK click-and-collect sales are predicted to account for 13.9% of total online spend in 2022), you should make sure that it is going to amplify your customer’s experience rather than take away from it.
By Michelle McSweeney, content marketing manager, Kooomo. a digital commerce platform which works with clients to maximise all digital sales channels