By Steve Ingram, Director – KIT.

There is nothing new about Click & Collect. In fact, the service has been in use for some time, particularly in the UK. However, when the COVID pandemic hit, the retail sector needed to react in a way that would enable businesses to continue. Click & Collect was one of the most obvious ways to keep stores open, keep selling, and adhere to stringent social distancing measures.

It is essential to recognise that the adoption or reliance on any channel to market is forever dependent on the consumer and the experience on offer. The way consumers behave and adapt, especially when forced to accommodate different purchasing methods, drives new ways of shopping. The uptake also sends a clear message of what works and what does not. In the case of Click & Collect, it has proven so successful that once we go back to the new normal – it is here to stay.

One Step Beyond

As we ease out of lockdown, it is natural for consumers to be slightly nervous about the one-to-one interaction that comes with being back in-store and, therefore, will be slow in returning to the high street. But this will not impact Click & Collect, as “shopping online for pick-up” is set to increase by 26%, according to the Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker 2020-2021.

The sheer convenience of purchasing online and popping out to the local supermarket or store to collect items creates a seamless experience, perfectly blending the online and in-store experience that suits most consumers in the uncertain times we find ourselves. However, once we return to the office, businesses that continue to support Click & Collect are likely to benefit from shoppers who may only have the time to collect an item and not enough time to browse in-store.

The real challenge is how do we make this process manageable at the store and not create queues at designated Click & Collect service points? How can we enable Store Associates to support this as they move about the shop floor?

Mobile technology solutions are the answer! Solutions such as KIT have customer, product, and task-based information at the fingertips of the Store Associate, which means that they can be anywhere and assist a customer arriving to collect their order. They can also notify the back of the store (using the ‘Runner’ capability) to have it brought to them, meaning they do not need to leave the customer.

KIT has already enabled customers worldwide to pivot to managing Click & Collect from their mobile devices, preventing those unwanted queues and enabling the service with convenience and a great experience that all retailers seek to deliver.