For the last five months, I have written about the emerging role of online sales for small businesses. The survey the Chamber has conducted shows local retail stores that had an online sales platform saw an 18% increase in sales. The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgency for small retail businesses to create another business model of online sales. So how does a business blend brick and mortar with online sales? Click and collect.
Click and collect is a strategy where shoppers order their items online and pick them up in the store. Retail businesses that have had several business models have found that sales due to click and collect has grown 155% in the last four years. Also, over 33% of shoppers this last holiday season were click and collect customers. The click and collect model allows for a more integrated shopping experience, plus creates a more seamless process. Here are four advantages to the click and collect business model:
- Enhances customer opportunities. Once online sales are fully developed, they will only account for 30% of the total retail business by 2025. Retail experts predict that 70% of shoppers still want to go to brick-and-mortar stores. Keep in mind that last holiday season, only 15% of all retail items purchased were purchased online. Click and collect allows local businesses to capture online purchases.
- Drives in-store traffic. This business model converts digital traffic into foot traffic, and one retail study showed 49% of customers were likely to purchase an additional item when picking up the item they bought online. The click and collect model gives a local store another sales opportunity with a customer.
- Lower return rates. A UPS study found that 82% of shoppers were more likely to purchase online if they could return the product in-store. Customers have a comfort level with knowing the store is local and there is a quick return process. Also, it allows the retail business an opportunity to make sure customers are happy with their orders.
- Reduced shipping costs. There is a considerable saving on shipping costs when the customer picks up the item in-store. Shipping experts have shown that the click and collect model can save 28% in the shipping costs because the “last mile” of delivery is eliminated.
- Customer benefits. Over 84% of customers expect their order to be ready to collect in 24 hours. Our culture expects instant gratification, and the click and collect business model provides that experience. Customers want the tactile experience; they want to touch and see what they are buying. Finally, a business that uses the click and collect model makes it easy and convenient for customers who are time-pressed and like to shop online; plus they receive the speed of same-day delivery.
The click and collect business model blends online shopping with same-day delivery at a reduced cost for local retail businesses. It helps local stores compete on a more level playing field. It is a sound strategy that can help local retail businesses.
Better, Stronger, Together