Retailers like Target, Kroger, and Walmart are fervently growing their click and collect, or “Buy Online, Pick Up In Store” (BOPIS), capabilities as a response to consumer demand for more convenient fulfillment options. And while customers love being able to dodge shipping costs and quickly retrieve items, retailers reap the benefits of click and collect, too.

In a report by Bell and Howell, a service provider to the retail industry, the author says: “…[traditional] stores are now being leveraged as distribution centers where consumers take over the cost of getting the purchased items from the store to their homes. Also, in most cases, customers tend to make impulse purchases when they come into a store to retrieve their items, driving sales higher.”

If implementing or strengthening your click and collect process is on your radar, consider these your five must-haves to achieve success.

5 ways to improve your click and collect system  

1. Solid e-commerce site

The click and collect process starts online. Although having an online store has been a must-have for several years now, the rise of BOPIS calls for an e-commerce refresh. It’s not enough to simply list your products and throw in a search bar. Modern online stores need to be highly functioning, offering an unmatched customer experience to drive sales. Online shoppers want personalized recommendations, the ability to quickly find what they’re looking for, and to be able to do it all on a phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Accurate inventory management system

Successful click and collect transactions depend on accurate inventory numbers. As such, it’s critical that both online customers and in-store associates have access to real-time inventory counts. No customer wants to think their order is being fulfilled only to find out later that the product isn’t actually in stock. And on the flipside, no associate wants to go on a wild goose chase through the store to track down a ghost item. With the myriad sophisticated, tech-driven inventory management systems available, make sure you have one in place that offers accurate, real-time numbers even when put to the test — like during the holiday season.

3. Advertisements for flexible fulfillment options

If shoppers aren’t aware that buying online and picking up in store is an option, you’ll never see your click and collect sales soar! You can get the word out about different fulfillment options through social media, ads, in-store signage, and, most importantly, right on your website. And when online shoppers navigate to checkout, ensure that every fulfillment option is laid out in front of them — don’t make them dig for the click and collect option.  

4. Clear customer updates

Once shoppers place an order, keep them posted. Email is a great way to let customers know you’ve received their order and to send receipts, but sending text messages will take your notifications to the next level. Today’s shoppers, especially Millennials, are glued to their phones, so the chance of them missing a notification from you is slim to none. On the other hand, emails have a tendency to get lost in the shuffle.

5. Package lockers

Package lockers are the cherry on top of any click and collect solution. Lockers are designed to be user-friendly for customers, as they just have to punch in a personalized code sent via text or email and retrieve their packages. That means no standing in line — ever!

Retailers benefit from package lockers, too:

  • No customer service staffing necessary
  • Workers can fill online orders as time allows
  • You can place them indoors or outdoors

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