Reserve and Collect

How in-store tech improves customer service for Schuh

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.

45% of UK online consumers used click-and-collect for Christmas shopping: report

Click-and-collect has proven to be a popular service among shoppers, with UK retailer Argos revealing that its ‘check and reserve’ service accounted for 31% of total online sales in Q4 2012. 

Similarly, Halfords introduced click-and-collect three years ago and now 86% of all its sales are for in-store collection.

The main benefit is the added convenience of being able to choose when and where to collect your purchases, rather than wasting time searching different stores for items that may or may not be in stock.

A new Econsultancy survey into Christmas shopping habits found that 45% of online consumers used reserve and collect over the Christmas period, which underlines the fact that retailers need to cater to customer demand for convenient delivery services.

Online retailers offering more delivery options: stats

In 2013, 83% of retailers gave customers a choice of home delivery options, though less than half (47%) of retailers offered three or more services.

Micros has released its 2014 Multichannel Retail Delivery Report, in which 239 retail websites were tested for their delivery flexibility, customer service and delivery performance.

Here we’ll be taking a specific look at the range of delivery options available from retail websites and how they compare year-on-year.

Can StreetHub help local retailers get in on the click-and-collect boom?

New research shows that one-in-five (19%) multichannel sales now comes from click-and-collect, up from 13% in the same period in 2012.

The figures are taken from sales data in Q3 2013 and show the importance of offering a click-and-collect service in the run up to Christmas.

Halfords and Argos have already proven the impact that the service can have on online sales, so it’s no wonder that small retailers also want to get in on the act.

A new service called StreetHub aims to make this possible in north London by creating ‘click-and-collect network of local boutiques with the best of design and fashion’.

15 stats that show why click-and-collect is so important for retailers

Reserve-and-collect services are becoming ever more important for ecommerce retailers as consumers increasingly expect to be able to pick up their purchases when and where they choose.

In the past few weeks Asda has said it is looking to expand it click-and-collect service by installing collection points in new locations, which may include petrol forecourts, tube stations and university campuses.

Similarly Selfridges has opened a new drive-thru collection point on London’s Oxford Street, while a new service called StreetHub has launched with a view to helping small, independent retailers tap into the click-and-collect trend.

With this in mind, I thought it would be useful to round up some stats which show just why retailers are so keen to provide new delivery services to their customers.

eBay partners with Argos to launch new ‘Click and Collect’ service

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 ‘missing out on £1bn per month’. How the web can help

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…

79% of consumers have used reserve-and-collect in the past year

Almost two-thirds of consumers (63%) have bought products online before collecting them in-store at least once in the past 12 months, while 16% use reserve-and-collect at least once a month.

Overall around a fifth (22%) of consumers said they have never used the service, which is actually a very slight increase compared to 2012 when the figure stood at 20%.

Even so, the data highlights the continuing importance of reserve-and-collect services for multichannel retailers as a sales tool. The Multichannel Retail Survey, conducted using the Toluna survey tool, also found that 50% of respondents had abandoned a purchase online due to unsatisfactory delivery options. 

Do you know who I am? The importance of personalisation

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.

10 tips for improving the click and collect customer experience

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…