Retailers should be taking advantage of the benefits of click and collect, says Retail Week Live's Launchpad winner HubBox.

Research by Bell and Howell confirms that 59% of shoppers picking up a click-and-collect order will make an additional purchase in store.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers should remember this figure while surrounded by recent gloomy headlines about the demise of the high street.

Considering the current climate, it is not implausible to question whether store closures might be the answer to many issues retailers are facing. After all, if consumers want to shop online, why not follow them there?

However, to do so would negate that brick-and-mortar stores still hold an important place for the modern consumer’s shopping journey, with over 74% of millennials saying they prefer the experience to online shopping, according to research by I-Am.

Right place, right time

Though the manner and frequency with which we visit physical stores might have changed, for a retailer those stores are still relevant to converting sales – something that a growing number of once online-only retailers now competing to set up physical stores demonstrates.

Brick-and-mortar stores still hold an important place for the modern consumer’s shopping journey

Being able to offer a physical shopping experience can even help to secure sales online, as in-store click and collect remains the most popular fulfilment option after home delivery.

So, how can retailers maximise the impact of an in-store click-and-collect service on both online and in-store sales?

1. Use in-store visits as a chance to offer personalisation

When a customer comes to pick up a click-and-collect order, retailers will have information to hand based on their online shopping habits and history.

With a customer’s permission, this can enable brands to trigger timely and relevant offers tailored to an individual’s preference and their in-store collection. So for example, offering a shopper a 2-for-1 deal on shirts if they are purchasing formalwear.

2. Focus on function, not novelty

While utilising super-futuristic innovations and integrating shiny artificial intelligence might make headlines, it is important to consider whether the technology significantly improves a customer's experience and if it is something they are likely to use more than once.

If the collection process is not smooth and well-managed, customers are unlikely to use the service again

For a customer already in the store, an augmented reality mirror to try on clothes is perhaps a poor option compared with actually trying on clothes and seeing their fit.

I-Am research suggests that 56% of customers would like to see a click-and-collect station with integrated changing rooms that allow customers to order different sizes, as it would be more practical.

3. Keep pick-up simple

Part of the reason customers choose click-and-collect is to avoid frustrating issues around their delivery or pick up.

If the collection process is not smooth and well-managed, customers are unlikely to use the service again, even if in-store click and collect yields additional benefits.

Having intuitive software that can be easily used by all staff is key to avoiding issues as, according to research by Centiro, over 45% of shoppers say they have encountered a problem when picking up their orders, with long waiting times and staff unable to locate items being cited as the biggest areas of dissatisfaction.


Sam Jarvis, founder and chief executive of HubBox

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