As the world continues to battle COVID-19, click and collect, also known as “buy online, pick-up in-store” (BOPIS), remains a preferred form of contactless shopping. Retailers and grocers who offer contactless collection or curbside pickup as a last mile delivery options are reaping the rewards.
With this increased demand, the handover process must be efficient and frictionless.
However, retailers and grocers have plenty of room for improvement. In 2020, US consumers rated the overall BOPIS experience 3.56 and curbside pickup experience 3.53 out of 5.
Here's how an inefficient handover process can be costly - and what to do about it.
Long queues due to staff having difficulty processing orders can create a chain of fulfillment delays resulting in shoppers abandoning their purchases. In 2019, British shoppers left roughly £228m worth of uncollected products at click-and-collect sites due to long queues.
A chaotic order management process may also leave staff unable to find parcels, or forgetting items. This results in customers leaving pickup points without their full order.
As customers choose contactless collection to minimize proximity to other people, they expect the click and collect handover process to be frictionless.
However, with retailers and grocers relying on manual processes to manage the handover process, staff may take too long to locate orders on internal systems and retrieve them from storage. This makes the handover process slow and leaves customers frustrated.
Not communicating with customers regarding pickup times and collection points also creates a negative customer experience. Customers may arrive at the store to find their orders aren’t ready for pickup because staff weren't informed of their arrival.
An inefficient handover process can lead to reputation damage and a reduction in customer loyalty. Just take a quick look at some comments from disgruntled click and collect customers on Twitter:
“Click and collect took me an hour last night… I won’t bother
doing that again.”
“Horrendous experience… I wasted more than 3.5 hours
waiting around and ended up with nothing.”
“Two hours wait in the click and collect bay… Out in the cold
“It’s not click and collect it’s click wait and collect ! #badcustomerservice”
Failure to notify store staff regarding when to expect customers, when specific customers have arrived, and where to find customers, creates a gap in order preparation and processing.
This leaves store staff overwhelmed, and unable to process orders in an accurate and timely manner.
There’s no doubt that a poor handover process can damage your omnichannel strategy and limit customer retention. Below are some tips to help you fix your handover process.
Pickup windows: Enable customers to select a convenient pickup time-window and notify them when their order is ready for pickup. This form of proactive communication improves customer engagement and reduces wait times at pickup points.
Give clear instructions: Leverage SMS to communicate to customers when items are ready for pickup and instructions on how the handover process will work. Localz clients who use SMS to communicate with customers see 80-90% engagement rates. Your SMS should inform customers in advance where to go for pickup, social distancing procedures, and ID requirements.
Allow digital check-in: Leverage solutions that allow customers to automatically register arrival at the collection point and be advised when their order has been retrieved. Localz Collect My Goods solution uses mobile technology to automate the check-in process for customers.
Pickup windows: Allow customers to book collection windows so staff can be prepared for pickup. This ensures customer orders are retrieved before they arrive and makes the pickup experience faster by eliminating bottlenecks.
Store staff alerts: Enable staff to receive real-time alerts on their mobile devices when customers are on their way to collect their orders and when they’ve arrived at the pickup point. This reduces wait times by ensuring that items and staff are ready for pickup.
Provide helpful reminders: Ensure order completion by using in-app messages to remind staff to hand over all items in the order, or to fetch items from a different location such as groceries in temperature-controlled storage.
Mobile applications: Send notifications and reminders to staff via mobile apps on their devices as they move around the store. This will let staff have the flexibility to move around the store and manage the collection of orders efficiently.
Digital check-in: Alert staff in real-time to customers’ location when they arrive at their curbside pickup point, so attendants don’t waste time searching for customers.
Australian supermarket Woolworths uses Localz within its customer and store attendant app to allow faster order collection and a hassle-free experience for click and collect customers.
Drive Thru Drive Up: With Localz, Woolworths helps time-poor customers to pick up their orders without leaving their car. Localz technology notifies the Woolies team member that the customer is arriving, and an attendant delivers the items that have been ordered to the customer in their vehicle.
Pickup notification: As customers approach a Woolworths collection store, a notification is sent to Woolies team members via the attendant app. This enables the Woolies team members to ensure all the items are at the collection desk, ready for pickup.
Real-time reminders: Localz app sends reminders to Woolies team members to retrieve freezer items or check customer ID for any age-restricted items in the order before handover.
Express collection: Localz intuitive app and collection window capabilities enable Woolworths' crowdsourced drivers to reduce friction and collect orders quickly.
With Localz, Woolworths has streamlined the collection process and reduced collection times by 50%.
With shoppers demanding a fast and convenient click and collect experience, the handover process has become critically important. To gain a competitive edge, leverage click and collect solutions to help you improve your handover process, deliver an outstanding last mile delivery experience and strengthen your omnichannel retail strategy.