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COVID-19 has transformed the retail landscape, with August 2020 being the biggest month in Australian online shopping history. More than 8 million households shopped online between March and August, and with lockdowns and concerns about social distancing changing the way we interact, click and collect and home delivery have enjoyed a boom in popularity.
Historically the domain of larger retailers, supermarkets and restaurants, curbside pickup has become the fulfilment approach of choice for many buyers as overwhelmed delivery providers struggle to meet the usual delivery timeframes. Consumers are turning to click and collect as a fast, convenient, reliable and contactless fulfilment option that saves them money and gives them greater control.
To respond to these seismic changes in how buyers are transacting, platforms like Square Online are enabling businesses to add click and collect, local delivery and third-party delivery options to their checkout and fulfilment process.
What is click and collect?
Click and collect – sometimes called local pickup or in-store pickup – allows customers to collect their order from a shopfront, rather than waiting for it to be delivered to their home. Once they’ve placed an order online or via phone, they’ll receive a notification when that order is ready for collection and can collect it themselves rather than waiting days or weeks for it to be delivered.
How does click and collect work?
The click and collect experience may be slightly different by retailer, but generally works as follows:
- Your customer places and pays for their order online or via phone, and chooses where and when they’d like to collect it
- You prepare the order
- Your customer receives notification that their order is ready to collect, and instructions about how to do so
- Your customer collects their order
How does curbside pickup benefit shoppers?
Shoppers are embracing click and collect as they realise:
- It’s fast. With click and collect, shoppers can buy online 24/7 and pick up their purchase at a time that’s convenient for them, without worrying about being home to receive the delivery. Efficient retailers provide a next-day or even same-day click and collect service.
- It’s reliable. Because your order leaves the store with you, click and collect eliminates the chance of your products being delayed, going missing or getting damaged during delivery.
- It’s less expensive. No delivery fee means shoppers save money, particularly for oversized items.
How does in-store pickup benefit retailers?
Click and collect also offers compelling retailer benefits:
- It reduces costs. Retailers save on delivery fees and can make the most of quieter periods by having staff fulfil click and collect orders.
- It allows them to maintain the customer relationship. For orders that are placed online and delivered by a third-party, there’s no customer interaction with your brand at the time of fulfilment. Click and collect allows the retailer to maintain a relationship with the customer throughout the purchase journey and provides an upsell opportunity at the collection point.
What local delivery options should my business offer?
- Click and collect: If you operate a business where customers can come to you, curbside pickup could be worth considering. Platforms like Square Online let you integrate curbside pickup into your online store – you can set pickup hours and customise your click and collect offering to suit your business. Customers placing orders will have the option to select in-store pickup and receive a text message with your instructions when their order is ready.
- Local delivery: Similarly, Square Online allows you to offer local delivery for customers within a specified geographic range. You can set an estimated delivery time, delivery fee and minimum order value.
- Fulfilment via delivery partners: If you don’t have the manpower to make deliveries with your own employees, Square Online gives you the ability to organise delivery using integrations with third-party delivery partners.
With retail experts predicting that COVID-19 will change the way people shop into the future – and click and collect offering compelling benefits to both shoppers and retailers – curbside pickup is likely to be a permanent feature of the online shopping experience.