Click and Collect Management Solutions
Store Service Suffers as Click and Collect Booms
A recent article published by supplychainstandard.com raised some interesting and concerning points on the ever increasing pressure being placed on store staff by Click and Collect customers.
Click and Collect Volumes Cause Retailer Headaches
With the number of on-line shoppers selecting to collect an order from store growing rapidly (and expected to grow by 82% in the next 5 years) the volume of customers in store wanting to collect is getting bigger… too big for most retailers to handle effectively. Having chosen to collect in store to avoid delivery costs, inconvenience and because it works for them, retailers need to look at what service (or lack of) these customers actually receive in store when collecting.
In store time – Queues Vs Spend
Noting that many major UK high street retailers are already experiencing 500+ Click and Collect store visits per day per store, the article highlights the lack of staff, clarity, management and systems in place to handle these type of volumes. Having selected a convenient collection store, the last thing these customers expect or want is to be faced with collection chaos, queues and frustration when collecting.
Many surveys, studies and polls state that the amount of collecting customer that purchase additional items from a store during their collection visit is anything from 15-40% dependant on who you ask. But what retailers should be considering is this, when a customer wanting to collect an order arrives in their store, what is their “window” for this collection? Where are they going to/from? What else do they need to achieve during this allotted collection time? For most the “window” is at best uncertain, not knowing how long a collection in store may take means consumers find it hard to “schedule a collection” event into their busy days as the experience differs every time dependant on the number of other people wanting to do the same.
So when entering a store to find a queue of frustrated, sometimes angry collection customers all checking their watches and counting the minutes down until they need to be somewhere else, how many of these collection customers are even considering browsing the store to make additional purchases……. not many in our experience! What they need to do this is time, what they are faced with is time wasting queues.
These delays in store have a negative impact on other store customers too, those not collecting, as more often than not they are held up in long queues to pay as 50% of the queue are customers wanting to collect.
Adding staff is NOT the answer
The article discusses that it doesn’t take a mathematician to calculate how many members of staff are needed in store to handle these collection volumes, and that many IT vendors talk about integrating collection volumes to labour scheduling systems as being the answer. But is throwing staff at the problem going to make any impact on the customer service and stop customer choosing an alternative retailer after a poor in store collection experience? What’s needed is Click and Collect management solution.
More till staff or service desk staff only address’ a small part of the problem, appearance. Customers in a queue that see many staff running back and forth to store rooms, or calling back of house staff and passing names and order numbers only serves to show the customer that the retailer is trying. This additional labour may look like service and may result in a slight decrease in overall wait time but it doesn’t stop queues forming, or give the collection customer any reassurance as to how/when they will be served.
A Dedicated Service = Productivity
Collectec have a solution to solve all these issues, and without the additional cost of “throwing staff” at the problem. Its to combine a dedicated service that increases staff productivity. Sounds simple right? Well in essence it is, what Collectec do firstly is remove Click & Collect customers from queues. having them wait in line is not serving any useful purpose, it annoys customers, builds staff stress levels and is an instant “red flag” to anyone entering the store that they may be there for some time.
The need to queue is removed by connecting the customer to the store team digitally, no customer wants to wait in line and then verbally tell a staff member what they are there to collect, then watch them either disappear or call someone else to repeat what they have just been told. What they want is to quickly, simply and IN THE SAME FORMAT EVERY TIME tell the store staff who they are, what they are there for and finally their collection reference.
Once they have checked in with the store staff this information can then be confirmed and the customer reassured that the store has all they need to go ahead and prepare their collection order for them, and maybe how long it may take and what they should / could do next. This giving back of time is what enables browsing and buying in store to take place as the customer feels like they have been given an efficient dedicated service and been rewarded by NOT having to queue. They are relaxed, informed and empowered so are then receptive to offers, goods in store to decide to browse and buy with this additional time.
Original SupplyChainStandard.com article can be found here
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