Are retailers sleepwalking into a Christmas click and collect crisis?

by ShopperTrak on 12-02-14

Forget next day delivery – this festive season, more shoppers than ever will turn to click and collect for a convenient Christmas. But are retailers prepared for this onslaught of cross-channel activity?

According to Verdict, click and collect will represent 12% of this year’s online spending in the UK alone. With the average ‘click and collector’ spending an additional £27 on impulse purchases when they reach the store, this presents a lucrative revenue stream – if retailers are prepared to deal with additional traffic.

The problem for many businesses is that their online and offline data is analysed separately, so store managers aren’t aware of the extra footfall set to hit their shop floor.

This could mean that during peak shopping periods, sales personnel are put under the additional strain of processing customer collections, which they simply aren’t prepared for – which may jeopardise the conversion of genuine in-store shoppers.

However, the beauty of cross-channel collection is that retailers issue a despatch note giving customers a set time frame to pick up their products. At the very least, this means store managers can forecast anticipated footfall from click and collect customers over the next 7 days, if this data is shared with the store concerned.

Linking despatch information to other retail store analytics such as order tracking and point of sale transactions gives retailers the capacity to build an even more comprehensive picture.

For example, by processing when click and collect orders are fulfilled, it’s possible to calculate average pick up times or identify peaks in cross-channel activity. Adding in store sales transactions can also establish correlations between collections and consumer spending, to unlock the true value of click and collect services.

Retailers will be busy enough in the build-up to Christmas, but the rise of click and collect could make the shop floor more packed than ever – with sales associates jumping between those who haven’t yet made a purchase to those who’ve already converted.

Being able to combine analytics for all channels enables retailers to make informed business decisions such as optimising the staff to customer ratio. This creates a better store experience for all customers, and encourages click and collect shoppers to spend more in the store.

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