Click & collect: ins and outs

You might already know that OIL helps realise retailers’ omnichannel ambitions. But what does that entail? Whereas ten years ago, omnichannel mainly meant offering a unified customer journey throughout a webs hop and some physical stores, sales channels have become more and more diverse over the last decade. By making smart use of technology, this complexity can be simplified for retailers. In our blogs, we will take a look at omnichannel retail from different angles. Let’s start with a familiar one: click and collect.  

What is click and collect?

Click and collect, also known as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) or collect from store, originally meant the option to pick up an web shop order in a physical retail store. Nowadays, there are multiple variations on the click and collect process, such as placing an order in one store and picking it up in another or placing an order via mobile app or social media. ‘Click and collect’ might not cover all possible variations, but it is one of the best-known industry terms.  

 One thing has become clear during the last years of increased digitalisation: customers prefer convenience. The omnichannel customer is used to purchasing both on- and offline and being able to choose between multiple delivery options, such as home delivery, pick up in store, reserving in store and pick up from a service point. The customer wants to choose what is most convenient for them, and preferably fast and cheap while they’re at it.  

Why choose click and collect as a customer?

Why would a customer choose to pick up their order in store? The most common reason turns out to be: no shipping costs. The second and third biggest reasons to  choose click and collect are that it saves time versus shopping in store, and being able to pick up the order the same day. Other common reasons are the guarantee the order is ready by the time the customer stops by the store, being able to take your time while shopping online, and the ease of returns when they return in store, as they’re already there. 

Convenience is key here: if home delivery is faster or cheaper than pick up from store, very few customers will be swayed to choose click and collect. 

Why do retailers go for click and collect?

Offering click and collect can be a competitive advantage, as it often plays a role in choosing a specific online retailer. 50% of consumers has decided where to shop online based on this option.

In the United States, the share/quantity of click and collect orders tends to rise significantly on peak commercial days, such as Black Friday. And those are exactly the days you want to stand out. 

Another big win for retailers offering click and collect, is the added opportunity for direct contact and sales when their customers visit the store. 75% of shoppers indicate they’re likely to make an additional purchase when using click and collect. Of retailers, 38% think click and collect is essential to persuade the customer to go to the physical store. Other reasons for retailers to go opt for click and collect are to boost their position versus their competitors and Amazon, and to better service the millennial customer. Additionally, click and collect means fewer home deliveries, which tend not to be sustainable due to the amount ofs delivery vehicles. Besides, home delivery is often plagued by late or failed deliveries (that warrant a new attempt), increasing costs significantly. Delivery at a package point or store increases the chances of a successful delivery on the first attempt, and when delivering to the store a retailer can usually go through their existing logistics network, which is even less expensive.

What’s happening in the market?

This worldwide increased focus on click and collect is also noticeable in the Dutch market. In 2019, retailers such as Ici Paris XL and Blokker joined the ranks of Hema, Omoda and Hunkemöller,, who had been offering it for a while.  

Dutch running specialist All4running introduced a click and collect point that is open 24/7 in Alkmaar in April of 2019. Customers can pick up their orders through personalized lockers, no matter whether that order was placed online, offline or in another store.  

Looking abroad, we see strong developments in click and collect throughout Europe and the United States. Zara now has a package dispenser in Hamburg that can hold up to 700 packages. Supermarket chain Carrefour  expanded their click and collect service to France and even offer the service for selected products within two hours of placing the order. Additionally, in Brussels they opened their first urban pick up point with a walk in concept. US based Walmart  rolled out a similar concept, but took it a step further  with a store of  than 3700 m2 big. 

Department store chain Nordstrom not only sacrificed retail space to set up online order pickup areas, but placed special fitting rooms near the areas in selected stores. This allows customers to take their time trying on the items they just picked up. American Ecommerce giant Amazon isn’t sitting still either. They opened Europe’s first package points in partners’ physical stores in Italy and the UK in 2019. As Amazon’s expansion in Europe continues, pressure on Dutch retailers increases. Expanding on the omnichannel strategy can pay off here! 

The click and collect potential is not only noticed in the retail industry, as illustrated by Deliveroo. The online food delivery platform introduced a click and collect service in the UK. During the go live, they partnered with as many as 700 restaurants, but are expecting to roll out to over 10.000 restaurants.  

How popular is click and collect in Europe?

Research by Ecommerce delivery software vendor Paazl showed that click and collect’s popularity surpasses that of generic pick up points (such as those by PostNL and DHL) and standalone parcel lockers in Belgium, the UK and Italy. Almost a third of Belgian respondents indicated they’d rather pick up a parcel than have it delivered to their home. In France, this was true for almost half, and in Poland for more than half of the respondents. 

Want to get started with click and collect?

Do you want to implement click and collect in your organisation, but don’t know where to get started? Take a look around on our site, or contact us to hear more about OIL! 

Rosanne Barendrecht

January 23, 2020

Rosanne Barendrecht 

“My name is Rosanne and I’ve worked in the retail industry since I was seventeen. From sales to store management and from marketing to consultancy and program management, I’ve seen many processes firsthand. My advice when things get tough? A little bit of OIL makes everything go smoothly.” 

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