Report: Retail Click-and-Collect Experience – A Consumer’s Perspective

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.

Report: Retail Click-and-Collect Experience – A Consumer’s Perspective

When users shop online and pick up their purchases locally rather than shipping the items, it is called “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS). Or, “click-and-collect.” This makes sense for customers since it ties the convenience of online browsing to the advantages of brick-and-mortar stores. They grasp 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. They can leverage their brick-and-mortar stores for a convenient, personal experience while saving money. Once the online customer is physically in store for pick up, businesses can entice additional purchases. In fact, 69 percent of consumers who used BOPIS 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.

Report: Retail Click-and-Collect Experience – A Consumer’s Perspective

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.

Key findings:

More than 70 percent of respondents of this study are experienced click-and-collect users that have used the option in the last year.

Ranking Attributes

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 Retail Click-and-Collect

Financial motives (that is, saving on shipping charges) was the key driver (76 percent) when selecting BOPIS. 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. 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 for 77 percent of respondents. They prefer to pick up their items either at the front of the store or curbside. Only 8 percent show willingness to pick up their items at the back of the store.

Time Spent Picking Up 

Eighty percent expected to pick up their item in under 10 minutes from the time they enter the store till they collect their items. A smaller 27 percent expect it to take 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 Retail 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 BOPIS 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 incentives to convert the 41 percent of customers not likely to purchase additional items. Interestingly, 77 percent of shoppers did not want to go all the way back to the store to pick up their items. Businesses should balance their financial motives to upsell patrons with the speed and convenience that they expect.

Download the complete 2017 Retail Click-and-Collect Consumer Preference Study.