In a world where online sales have gained considerable momentum in redefining the entire shopping experience, the ‘Click and Collect’ model may soon emerge as a clear winner and dominate the e-commerce space in the days to come, as it aims to optimise last-mile delivery costs. We explore the many benefits of this mode in details.
The e-commerce sector has presented tremendous opportunities for retailers, wholesalers and consumers alike. Amidst offering convenience and flexibility to its customers, one of the key issues that were a pressing concern for the sector was the high volume of returns and exchanges, which has now been brought down with the advent of the ‘Click and Collect’ model.
What is ‘Click and Collect’?
Click and Collect is a new delivery method that infuses online shopping with real-life transactions. Lately, this model has been making a mark in the e-commerce sector, thanks to the high levels of convenience it offers.
Generally, retailers reel under pressure to live up to the ever-changing customer needs and demands. This results in high volumes of returns and exchanges.
This can be caused due to a longer delivery time, causing the customer to wait or due to the customer’s absence at the time of delivery, whereby the product goes back to the warehouse.
This can lead to loss of sales for the e-commerce player. Thus these are some pressing challenges that plague the e-retailers in their quest to the fulfilment of orders, which is unarguably the most important part of an e-commerce journey, with several players taking significant strides to optimize this segment of the supply chain.
A lot of e-commerce and re-commerce retailers are now testing the Click and Collect model, where customers can make a purchase online and choose to collect their purchase at a pre-chosen location, rather than have it delivered to their home.
Logistics intelligence platform ClickPost in an Industry Report detailing on ‘How is technology disrupting the e-commerce supply chain’ states how marketplaces are even trying third-party Kirana stores for customers to go and collect their orders.
It also states the growth of availability of added provisions, especially in residential societies, of having locker systems and drop box, to make the whole experience easier.
Advantages of using Click and Collect
The Click and Collect option grants complete control to the consumers over the delivery of their products, with the provision of different options for collection fulfillment, thus eradicating unprofessional delivery services.
Cost-effectiveness is one of the primary goals and this option comes with zero or minimal added delivery costs. This has proven to be beneficial for retailers as well, who are benefitting from the Click and Collect option. Instead of spending on salaries for delivery boys or renting of vehicles, the retailers only have to pay a one-time cost to set up the Click and Collect system.
It is a boon both for the customers and retailers. While customers can check the quality of the product ,for retailers, having customers come into their store would mean better management of customer experience, sale of additional products and efficient handling of returns.
Refining the process of execution
To refine the entire process of execution, Retailers can keep certain pointers in mind in order to provide a seamless experience. Space should not be a problem and in order to trigger more sales, it would be uiseful to have additional inventory in place, within the store.
Usage of in-store inventory for speed and convenience can prove to be greatly useful too.
Further, the staff should be well trained to put up with the potential demand and may also be trained to upsell during the click and collect process, for augmenting sales.
With an increasing number of orders landing at the store, the store associates have to be fully prepared for the order pickups. Setting up a designated location for in-store pickup can greatly ease the entire process. For storage of the merchandise, proper components and storage spaces to accommodate products of different shapes and sizes should be checked.
Towards becoming the New Normal
In the coming days, Click and Collect will undoubtedly evolve even further and capture the hypercompetitive e-commerce market in India. Amidst evolution of newer technologies, innovations and changing consumer behaviour, it can surely serve as the nexus connecting the customer and the e-commerce retail player.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that it will become a permanent trend owing to its easy-return policy, customer convenience and minimal delivery charge and an overall commitment towards facilitating a satisfactory experience to customers during their shopping journey.