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Mobile-based Click & Collect the key to better in-store Christmas experience

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Click & Collect service – either through a self-service kiosk, or staff at the door armed with mobile applications – would make most shoppers in-store experience more positive.

So finds a recent survey of UK consumers by Qmatic. This was the second most popular option, ranked only behind seasonal discount events by consumers. Vanessa Walmsley, MD at Qmatic UK, suggests that retailers need to consider implementing Click & Collect solutions as part of a wider strategy to improve their service and encourage more shoppers into stores.

“We saw in our survey that during the Christmas period, the popularity of online shopping increases, with 32% saying they buy more of their Christmas shopping online than in-store, as opposed to 26% for the rest of the year. The consumers that we surveyed revealed some of the reasons for this: 50% reported that lines for the tills are too long and 30% said too often the items that they want are out of stock. Click & Collect services may be able to remedy some of these issues, giving customers the flexibility to order the products they want into stores for collection, and enabling them to skip the queues.

“Click & Collect gives retailers a huge opportunity not only to improve their service to their customers, but also to unite the online and physical retail environments like never before. By offering customers the facility to order their items and then pick them up at their convenience, retailers can bring a new generation of consumers in-store. Of course, once these consumers are on-site, this gives retailers an opportunity to boost sales, as they can station high margin products around the collection area and introduce concepts such as VIP shopping.”

To ensure that Click & Collect can play a critical role in reducing friction in the retail environment, and make the shopping experience more positive, retailers need to maximise the value that a Click & Collect solution can generate. For example, Click & Collect services can enable the consumer to check in at arrival, either by a self-serve kiosk or mobile-enabled staff member at the door who can “quick serve” their needs. This check-in notifies staff of customers in-store so that their order can be located and brought out ready for collection. The system can then inform the customer through text messages when their collection will be ready, and offer in-store discounts and directions to the collection area or equivalent.

This kind of intelligent Click & Collect solution ensures that both staff and consumers have better insight throughout their respective journeys. Importantly, it also enables retailers to design their shopping environments to promote browsing whilst customers wait, transforming what is generally a passive and frustrating waiting experience to an active and pleasurable waiting experience, which can lead to increased sales and overall customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Walmsley concludes: “With the so-called Golden Quarter covering the Christmas period so critical to retailer’s bottom lines, it is imperative that they use all the tools at their disposal to maximise sales. Click & Collect services may be crucial in improving the customer experience and bringing more shoppers into stores, who might otherwise avoid the high street during the festive season.”

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