Go Big with Click and Collect for Your Small Business Image taken from Canva

People love products they could buy at their fingertips. But they will love it even more when they can easily pick up their orders. If you're a brick-and-mortar store going online, chances are you’ve already heard of the click & collect model. But what exactly is it, and what can it do for your business?

Don’t lag behind the competition. Know how you could go big with the click and collect concept, and make your business ecommerce-ready for online shoppers.

What is click and collect?

Market competition is tough. Establishing an online presence is one thing, applying ecommerce trends is another. For most retailers today, click and collect is a must-have feature to improve customer experience.

Even before quarantine restrictions, millions of customers have already moved online for their shopping needs. But the high risk of missed deliveries and damaged orders can be a concern to others. This is where click & collect comes in handy.

Also known as ‘buy online, pickup in store ' (BOPIS), click and collect is a buying channel where users can make orders online, and pick up their purchases in a physical location. These locations can be the physical store of the shop or, distribution centers, post offices, and other affiliated stores. Now that you know the click and collect definition, here are some benefits of click and collect that could earn you an advantage over competitors.

  1. Match products and services with customer expectations

Adding new products Image taken from Strikingly product

Once you make your products available for online purchase, driving up sales may be your next objective. You don’t want to make a customer buy just once, you want them to make repeat purchases. Meeting their expectations is a sure way to capture their loyalty and make them consider what else you have to offer.

  1. Gives your customer a choice

Buyers want to stay in control of their purchases. Click and collect features allow them to update their pick-up preferences anytime, anywhere. But they may also want to change orders or even cancel them. Reward your customers with the autonomy to change their minds. No questions asked.

  1. Drive in-store sales

Establishing great customer experience can be achieved on your online shop, but you also want to get revenue in your physical setup. Imagine a customer browsing through your online catalog. They check-out and choose their preferred pick-up location. If they choose to pick up their order at your physical outlet, they’ll get to see more tangible reasons to continue buying from you. Not only can this increase foot traffic, but your customers might consider buying more items displayed in your physical store.

  1. Compete with ecommerce giants

Your physical presence is your edge. Ecommerce giants like Amazon and ebay might draw in thousands of customers each day, but don’t offer face-to-face interactions like you do.

Sample website template Image taken from Strikingly product

Attract potential buyers by creating a striking website, but make them stay with a touch of offline interactions.

  1. On-the-spot exchanges, replacements, and refunds

Your customer spots a defect, a payment issue, or sees an information error upon order pick up. No need to worry about long hours of sending products back for exchange or asking for refunds. With click & collect, you can resolve their issues at your store in their presence.

Why customers might prefer buying at a collect shop

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you have hard-earned money in your hand, you’ll want to spend every cent wisely. Whether you’re upgrading to a newer gadget or looking to spice up your wardrobe, you want to make sure your online purchases meet your needs.

You can set up your website with delivery services in your local area, or use the click and collect channel to give your buyers more options. Here are some reasons why your customers might prefer buying this way:

  • Saving on shipping costs - Standard delivery fees can be costly especially when making bulk orders. A lot of people consider shipping costs before checking out an item. If they choose to pick up the order themselves, they won’t have to spend on shipping fees. They’ll even have a chance to check out other items at your brick-and-mortar store.
  • Faster and more convenient - Having products delivered straight to people’s doorstep is a long process. First, the store needs to find a courier. Then the courier service picks up the item and ships them to their warehouse. Afterward, items will be segregated and assigned for delivery based on location. Sometimes, each item still has to go to different distribution centers before getting an aside delivery personnel. This process takes about 3 days to a week.

With click and collect, you can remove the stress of long waiting for your customers. People can expect collection within 24 hours with you. A same-day pick-up can also be more convenient for customers who can stop by your shop on the way to work.

  • A pick-up location of their choice - Show your customer that you value their preferences. Their chosen pick-up location is based on what is the most convenient for them and is a vital decision to recognize.

The click & collect concept is a great online ordering system for small businesses. Consider this especially if you established your website during the pandemic. Some areas may still be under social restrictions so provide options where your customers can come in and out safely.

  • Face-to-face feedback - Customers appreciate it when their concerns are heard. If they post their feedback or suggestions online, there’s a large chance it won’t be addressed quickly. With a collect shop, the customer can personally say what they think about your service. Sometimes you might even hear them giving short comments about your store and items. Make sure to record these for future reference. Nothing beats great customer service improvements.

Set up the click and collect ordering system for your small business

Think you’re ready to use click and collect? Here are things to considering before and during the set up of your shop:

  1. Communicate with your customers

Make sure that your current customers are aware of the upgrades you're making. If you have an email list of past and potential customers, sending them a message is always a wise choice. Outline some of the benefits of using your new service and provide links to your online shop. This can also serve as your initial promotion.

  1. Create an easy to navigate online catalog

User experience in your website could influence customers’ decisions to purchase. Make sure to provide high-quality photos of your product with an accurate description. Highlight specific features and mention certain benefits if there are any. Apply responsive design to make sure your website works on all devices including mobile.

Also, make sure that you can easily navigate through customer orders as well. Easily search orders in your website and get information such as customer name and order number when you need them.

  1. Make online payments possible

Make sure that the only thing left for the customer to do is to pick up their order. Add online payment channels to your website to streamline payment transactions.

Adding a payment channel Image taken from Strikingly product

One of the best ways to achieve this is to add a PayPal button to your website. It is one of the most popular payment channels today and offers benefits for both you and your customers. Some people may not feel secure with having to connect their bank accounts to complete their transactions, so adding a PayPal is option a perfect choice.

  1. Use trigger emails

Stay in touch with customers post-checkout. Send them emails confirming that their order was completed. Depending on their preferred pick-up locations, make sure to send them shipping updates. This would allow your customer to prepare ahead of time for the pick-up, in case they have other matters to attend to on the following days.

Viewing audience list Image taken from Strikingly product

You can also send reminders through their email. Your customers might be busy so it’s a great way to remind them of what they ordered and when they can get it. Once the order is ready for pick up, make sure to immediately alert the customers. You may want to also send appreciation messages post-pick up to increase loyalty.

  1. Connect with trusted affiliated stores

Aside from your physical store, post offices, and distribution centers, customers may also choose to pick up an order at a store affiliated with you. It’s extremely vital to research stores that are now only near you, but also have similar core values and objectives with you.

You can also become an affiliated store for them and open your shop for pick up of orders made in their store. It’s a great way to expand relationships and maintain healthy competition in ecommerce.

As people continue to move online to purchase basic needs and other items, knowing what is click and collect and understanding its benefits is important. Click and collect is here to stay so make the most out of it.

Do any of these benefits align with your business goals? Then this online ordering system for small businesses is perfect for your collect shop. Set up your collect shop website today and make online shopping better for you and your customers.