In the age of evolving consumer preferences enabled by digital technologies, retail customers continue demanding convenience and ease of use while shopping online. Additionally, they want instant gratification of purchasing items in the store, and increasingly, a combination of the two. To this effect, the click and collect experience has become a key component of customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenue growth.
Click and Collect or Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPUS)
When users shop online and choose to pick up their purchases in a local store rather than having them shipped to their homes or businesses, it is referred to as “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPUS) or simply “click and collect.” This makes sense from the customer’s point of view since it takes the convenience of online browsing and ties it to the advantages of brick-and-mortar stores – the ability to get a product quickly and to see and touch it.
From the retailers’ perspective, click and collect has become a key component of their overall digital commerce strategy. This allows them to leverage their brick-and-mortar stores to provide a more convenient and personal buying experience while helping them save money. Once the online customer is physically in the store to pick up their items, businesses have a unique opportunity to entice them to make additional purchases. In fact, 69 percent of consumers who used BOPUS this past holiday season purchased additional items while picking up in store. Additionally, 36 percent of shoppers using those types of services made another purchase in an adjacent store at the time of pick up.
As a company that offers innovative solutions for automated package storage & retrieval for retailers and others, we at Bell and Howell wanted to understand precisely what consumers expect while they pick up their purchases in store. We conducted a survey based study to analyze what users believe to be most important about their click and collect experience. Based on responses from 530 shoppers selected randomly from across the U.S., we gathered some key insights.
More than 70 percent of respondents of this study are experienced click and collect users that have used the option in the last year.
Speed is a consistent theme, meaning that most respondents wanted their items quickly. Of the choices presented, a quick-in-and-out experience was the clear winner with 88 percent. Minimal wait time, ease of locating pickup location, dedicated pick up counter and designated parking spots were other attributes rated. However, they are all means to accomplish the key objective of a quick in-and-out experience.
Reasons for Selecting Click and Collect
Financial motives (that is, saving on shipping charges) was the key driver (76 percent) when selecting BOPUS. Speed and convenience (the urgency of picking up an item on the same day) was equally important.
Waiting to be Notified
Speed was once again the consistent theme as 83 percent expected to hear back within 24 hours or less after placing an order online that their item is ready for pick up. Nearly 60 percent expected to hear within the first four hours.
Pick Up Location Preference
Convenience was the key driver as 77 percent preferred to pick up their items either at the front of the store or curbside with only 8 percent willing to pick up their items at the back of the store.
Time Spent Picking Up
Eighty percent expected to be able to pick up their item in under 10 minutes from the time they enter the store till they collect their items, with 27 percent expecting it to be less than four minutes.
Purchasing Additional Items
A majority (59 percent) said they were likely to purchase an additional item some of the time when picking up their online order.
Key Attributes of an Excellent Click and Collect User Experience
Consumers rated filling orders accurately and in time as the most important aspect of an excellent experience. Option to pay in store, try and buy option, and dedicated parking spots are less important.
It is clear from the study that consumers want speed, convenience, and timely communication for a better BOPUS experience. Currently, a small portion of total purchases are completed through click and collect, but it is growing in use, with 49 percent of Americans trying it for the first time in 2016.
Retailers can benefit from creating a winning in-store experience – 59 percent of buyers expect to purchase additional items at least some of the time. Retailers should explore if they can provide incentives to convert the 41 percent of customers who are not likely to purchase additional items. It is interesting to note that 77 percent of shoppers did not want to be dragged all the way back to the store to pick up their items. Businesses should balance their financial motives to upsell patrons entering their stores to pick up their items with the speed and convenience that they expect.
Download the complete 2017 Retail Click and Collect Consumer Preference Study.