Digging into the Mysteries of the Retail Click-and-Collect Experience

Digging into the Mysteries of the Retail Click-and-Collect Experience

When shoppers choose to pick up online purchases in a local retail store rather than having them shipped to their homes or businesses, it is referred to as “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS) or “click-and-collect.” 

Click-and-collect has become a key component of brick-and-mortar retailers’ competitive e-commerce strategy. This allows retailers to leverage their physical locations to save customers money while providing a more convenient and personal shopping experience. And it gives them the opportunity to entice the online shopper who physically enters their store to make additional purchases. This sounds like a win-win, right? Well, anecdotal evidence from the 2016 holiday shopping season indicates that only some retailers are meeting their customers’ expectations.

So, what is going wrong? 

Perhaps retailers are making it too difficult or inconvenient, or they do not have a handle on their customers’ needs. Or, maybe it’s because they are trying too hard to upsell consumers who enter their store. It may also have something to do with not communicating effectively or managing expectations, or that these anecdotes are outliers and retailers are doing just fine.

As a company that offers package pickup automation solutions for retailers and others, we at Bell and Howell wanted to understand precisely what consumers expect and how the retailers are doing at meeting these expectations. As such, we are working to quantify the customer experience during one of the critical phases of the click-and collect process: the in-store pickup. 

Haroon Abbu, PhD., is Bell and Howell’s senior director of sales operations and analytics. He has researched what consumers believe to be most important about their click-and-collect experience. 

Dr. Abbu has developed a methodology for quantifying the “Click-and-Collect Retail Experience” into a single index, and we are currently deploying a team of mystery shoppers to capture data on the top 15 U.S. retailers.

We will be sharing his work results over the next few weeks. Additionally, we will share the results of the consumer preference research as well as rank the retailers’ performance.


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