Commerce Trends

by Manhattan Associates

Click & Collect: are you a novice or best in class?

Click & Collect is something that a large number of retailers are now offering and that most consumers have come to expect. The trick is making the experience great for the consumer whilst ensuring that it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. And so often making a success of Click & Collect is really down to getting the processes right and your supply chain in order. A novice is probably not ringing either bell disappointing the customer through a poor experience and wasting money in the process. At the other end of the spectrum a best in class Click & Collect operation will be delighting customers and seeing some significant rewards in return.


The poor customer experience occurs through poor communication, poor signage and unnecessary delays when collecting. As consumers we’ve all experienced the inconsistent email chain confirming the order and collection details, the endless march through the store to ‘find’ where one collects one’s purchases and the toe tapping wait whilst the store associates heads off to the back office to find the goods. Sound familiar?

At the business end, the expensive offering is mainly caused by fulfilling the order from an eCommerce DC in the middle of nowhere and trekking it across country to the store all of which leads to unnecessary time lags for the consumer, additional transportation costs for you and potentially a duplication of fulfilment resources within the network. Sit down and work out the cost of this and then you’ll wonder if it’s worth it.

For many retailers this is a reality. You’ve answered the call of the consumer and delivered it any which way, customer satisfaction gets a big tick, but do you then cringe when headed into that cost review? This is where we need to look very carefully at our people, our processes and the underlying infrastructure needed to support delivering this fantastic service.

‘Best in class’ Click & Collect combines customer service with practical business processes not only to facilitate collection of the purchased item but to then take the relationship with the consumer further, enhance their experience and potentially upsell with a greater share of wallet.

Key indicators of personal and profitable Click & Collect:

  • Only offered on a selection of pre-determined items – based on price margin, type of customer, shipping costs and in-store availability.
  • Carefully considered shipping options – picked from store stock, shipped as part of store replenishment, shipped from a DC as a last resort.
  • Real-time adaptation of what is available where as circumstances change – stock movement, staff availability, adequate resource.
  • Communication strategy that enhances the experience – clear instructions, time to browse in-store, text updates.
  • Empowered staff ready to ‘sell’ – knowledgeable, professional, ready to help.

The opportunity to excel is clearly apparent but care must be taken to ensure that the service works for your business. So many factors to consider, so many factors to get right. When you nail it the impact is significant with increased revenue through improved loyalty, greater per consumer spend and efficiencies in your business.

What do you think are the most important parts of a retailer’s Click & Collect strategy? Tweet us at @ManhAssocUK.