Are retailers getting comfy with click & collect?
Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of an article from Retail Paradox, RSR Research’s weekly analysis on emerging issues facing retailers, presented here for discussion.
During a panel at the CONNECT Mobile CX Summit in Philadelphia, panelists from Jersey Mike’s, Kohl’s and Brookstone (formerly Advance Auto Parts) all talked about unintended consequences from their early efforts at click & collect.
Issues include dealing with customers showing up at the wrong store because they didn’t realize where they’d actually placed the order. Another challenge, according to the panelists, is making sure a promotion to get people used to ordering online for in-store pickup actually has the scale in stores to support possible over-sized success.
Not surprisingly, the importance of mobile was also talked up at the conference. Once a click & collect order is in flight, most consumers rely on mobile for further communications and updates from the retailer. At the store, employee-facing mobile is becoming more important as retailers are finding manual processes breaking down in the face of all that volume.
All three panelists emphasized the importance of getting on the learning curve — of throwing something out there, learning a lot and rapidly iterating on the process and the technology to support click & collect. All agreed that retailers will never think of everything they need to consider out of the box and also that the worst thing they can do is promise a great experience and then take too long to iterate on that experience until it truly is great.
The one thing retailers can count on is that, no matter how much up-front effort they put into it, they won’t get it right the first time.
There were a lot of other lessons to be learned from click & collect related to being able to capitalize on the in-store opportunity and also the need to evolve the process as volume moves from single digits to double digits. Regardless of the lessons still to be learned, the panel’s conclusion was fairly simple: click & collect has become a baseline expectation among consumers. Stores need to be prepared.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think are the most and least obvious challenges for retailers in embracing click & collect? What complexities are added by efforts to capitalize on in-store add-on purchases?