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Everyone knows that click and collect is a hugely popular delivery option among shoppers, but it seems that some retailers have failed to adequately prepare for the Christmas rush.
Tesco has already suffered a fulfilment disaster after failing to deliver loads of Black Friday click and collect orders on time.
There are obvious benefits to endless aisle technology, click and collect and a single view of stock. However, there are other in-store considerations when trying to improve customer service.
How to increase speed of service in-store? How to increase customer and staff satisfaction? Online and offline considerations continue to blur, as ecommerce benefits from bricks and mortar, and vice versa.
Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh, is a regular commenter on the Econsultancy blog and kindly showed a few of the Econsultancy team around Schuh's Marble Arch store in London last week.
With in-store customer experience and flexible fulfillment increasingly on the agenda for retailers, here's a round-up of what I learned from Schuh.
Ebay has launched 'Click and Collect' for UK merchants, who will be able to use their own collection services or utilise the click and collect points at Argos stores.
This is to be followed in 2014 by eBay Now, a pilot one-hour delivery service beginning in London.
Amazon lockers and Amazon Collect+ stores are also springing up, as well as many supermarkets allowing timed locker collection of online orders, so it seems the click and collect invasion is gathering pace.
High street retailers are losing up to £1bn of sales per month due to poor stock management, as customers leave stores downcast and empty handed as their item or size isn't available.
While the high street is facing many difficult challenges, this is something that be solved relatively easily with the help of the internet.
According to a YouGov survey commissioned by Venda, 38% of 2,043 respondents have left stores without making an intended purchase as the item they wanted was unavailable.
So, let's look at how stores can address this problem, and save some of those lost sales...
The online retail market is a competitive place, but despite the challenging economic times shoppers aren’t spending less, they are just spending differently.
According to figures from IMRG, conversion rates from visitors to sales for online retailing in May 2013 rose by 20% when compared to the same month in 2012.
However, while overall sales and conversion rates may be on the up, the average basket size has actually fallen to £77 from £83 in 2012, indicating a change in consumer behaviours.
Click and collect (or reserve and collect, or whatever) is becoming ever more popular, to the extent that it is now a vital offering for any large multichannel retailer.
The reason? It fits perfectly with customer research behaviour, and allows retailers to drive footfall into their stores.
The experience must be right to maximise sales, and a new report from ExperienceLab looks in detail at the click and collect experience of major UK retailers.
It's a big report, but I've summarised some of the findings here and pulled out some key tips for retailers...
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we've seen this week.
Stats include mobile search spend in the US, Christmas search traffic, mobile email, Q4 retail paid search stats, reserve and collect, and record online sales in Australia.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
New ecommerce stats highlight the growing importance of reserve and collect services, with 40% of UK consumers using such services over Christmas.
It looks at attitudes to online delivery, use of mobiles and tablets for shopping, and the role of the web in the research and purchase process. It was conducted online, so we can assume that respondents are reasonably tech-savvy.
Some highlights from the survey after the jump...
TV presenter Mary Portas believes that Britain’s high streets have been subjected to decades of erosion, neglect and mismanagement, which has led them to the point of extinction, but she’s overlooking a very simple truth.
British consumers habits have changed. The UK has migrated online. To coax local shoppers out from behind their computer screens and back into high street stores British businesses need to reach customers online.
Online advertising should be the answer, but a lack of systems that work have constrained widespread online ad adoption amongst Britain’s smaller, local businesses.
Last year Mary Portas released 'The Portas Review', which set out her recommendations for reviving the high streets of Britain's towns and cities.
As we said at the time, she seemed to have a blind spot as far as the role of the internet and digital technology is concerned. In fact, the report said that the internet 'is one of the key threats to retail on our high streets'.
We see it differently: the internet is vital to the future of the high street.
In our new report, 'How the Internet can save the High Street', (free for Bronze members upwards) we explore how digital technology can be used to drive footfall to the high street, and to enhance the in-store experience for consumers.
Here are a few highlights from the report....
A recent survey found that fewer than half of the UK's top 50 retailers currently offer a click and collect service for customers. Of those that do, less than a quarter extend this service to mobile.
Given the success of these services, and the rapid growth of mobile commerce, this represents a real missed opportunity for retailers.
Even for those retailers that offer reserve and collect, there is an opportunity to optimise the experience for users and improve revenues.
Here are some arguments for offering this service, and ten tips for creating the best possible click and collect experience...
More than a third of Homebase customers research online before going to a bricks-and-mortar store, according to the retailer’s head of multichannel.
During a speech at the E-Commerce Futures Conference this morning, Andy McWilliams said it highlights the need for a joined up approach in-store and online.
Even if you think you’re a multichannel retailer, online and offline often act almost independently. You get different offers online vs. offline. They have to be the same, and communication has to be the same.