How Click & Collect Option Plans to Dominate The Online Shopping Space
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The world of shopping is transforming at an exceptional pace with online sales gaining a lot of momentum. According to an ASSOCHAM-Resurgent joint study, online shopping is expected to touch an annualized growth of 115 per cent this year thanks to increasing data consumption, attractive discounts and offers and improvement in logistics offered by e-commerce platforms. In the previous year, the same study reported that as many as 108 million consumers shopped online, with mobile phones becoming their preferred choice of device for e-commerce transactions.
Might of E-Commerce
The e-commerce sector has thrown open tremendous opportunities for retailers, wholesalers and consumers alike. Apart from offering convenience and flexibility to consumers, this sector has brought down the high volume of returns and exchanges, by adopting the Click & Collect model. Click and collect is a new delivery method that combines online shopping with real-life transactions. Lately, this model has been gaining ground in the e-commerce sector, thanks to the high levels of convenience it offers.
Most of the times, retailers are under pressure to fulfill the ever-changing customer needs and demands. As far as e-commerce transactions go, there are times when the customer is forced to wait for long periods to get his/her product delivered. Also, due to a consumer’s absence at the given address for delivery, the product is often sent back to the warehouse. A few housing societies and offices practice stringent security rules and have maintained fixed timings for online deliveries. Not only deliveries, for returning a particular order too, the buyer has to send a request to the e-commerce player, wait for a person to come and collect the order, which can be a time-consuming and cumbersome process altogether. This further increases the waiting period or leads to loss of sales for the e-commerce player in question. When it comes to fulfilment of orders, then, there are several challenges that e-retailers face each day.
In fact, fulfilment is turning out to be 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 & 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.
Benefits it offers to both customers and retailers
The Click & Collect option offers customers full control over the delivery of their products with e-commerce players providing different options for collection fulfillment. This option eliminates unprofessional delivery services and comes with zero or minimal added delivery costs. Here, the customer is also able to check the quality of the product and return it to the store in case of any problem or if the product does not meet the required standards. For retailers, having customers come into their store would mean better management of customer experience, sale of additional products and efficient handling of returns.
In a report from packaging company UPS, it was found that 82 per cent of shoppers are more inclined to purchase online if they can return the product to the store. The Click & Collect option also works best in scenarios where a customer needs certain products urgently and does not have the time to scout through markets in search of the same.
The Latest Trends
As per FMI and Nielson, it is the metro cities that have shown the highest demand for Click & Collect. A growing number of online shoppers are clicking this option so that they do not have to worry about missing out on a delivery. Overall, the popularity of Click & Collect can be attributed to the easy-return policy, swift services, and convenience and minimal delivery charge.
Not only customers but also the retailers are benefitting from the Click & 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 & Collect system. Apart from cutting down on delivery charges, this method has led to an increase in footfall, where customers are at times tempted to conduct additional purchases. Besides cutting down on operational costs, retailers are quickly discovering that in-store collection is an opportunity to connect with existing customers and enhance their customer experience further. The International Council of Shopping Centres found that 61% of shoppers who bought items online and picked them up in-store, made an additional purchase on visiting the store. This number was higher amongst young shoppers, where three out of four millennials made impulsive purchases when visiting the store to collect their pre-ordered items.
While several small and medium e-commerce businesses are yet to adopt omni-channel strategies, they are collaborating with local stores and enabling customers to collect their online orders from these stores. In the coming years, Click & Collect is sure to evolve and provide a significant edge in a hypercompetitive e-commerce market such as India. As new technologies emerge and e-commerce players continue to innovate themselves, the purchasing behaviour of consumers will undergo further changes. The Click & Collect option is sure to bridge the gap between the customer and the e-commerce retail player and offer security, flexibility and confidence to customers during their shopping journey.