Click and collect was big news at the on-line conference 4 years ago it was the new buzz word and it still is. Numbers vary but a lot of people agree that a click and collect strategy will increase on-line sales by around 30%.

Courier Posts collect service is an adaptation of this theme, it provides more convenience to consumers to fit into their lifestyles.

Some mature businesses are leveraging their Brick and Mortar using this technology to compete with the likes of Amazon.

There are two types of click and collect:

  1. The consumer clicks on the store locator that identifies the SKU and the stores and orders it, this commits the item in store the consumer then drops in and picks it up.
    1. This is the ultimate, it requires excellent IT capability (integrated ERP/POS/WMS/WEB), inventory at store must be very accurate, ideally with a threshold of error built in (to mitigate a store customer buying the item seconds after you ordered it and stock imbalance issues) however its very hard to execute brilliantly because most retailers have poor stock management procedures and all sorts of dodgy things happens at the POS to throw the stock out e.g. the barcode fell off the garment which was a large black t-shirt so the shop assistant keyed it as a small red t-shirt because it was the same price and easier.
  2. Quickly dispatch the item from the DC to the store overnight ready for the client to pick up tomorrow.

Key considerations

  • Having a store to offer click and collect is an advantage and people talk about the Halo effect e.g. a customer drops in to pick up their item ordered on line and end up buying more of something else.
  • The strategy requires deep thought, you must execute brilliantly, do it well and you’ll be the toast of the town get it wrong and you’ll be hung out to dry.
  • Fulfilling from a DC has the advantage of “endless aisles” i.e. you can sell items that you don’t stock on line.
    • If you have a daily replen in play then it’s cost effective to simply add to the replen order.

The bottom line is more choice for customers is a winning formulae and this model is a proven winner.

If you want to talk more about a click and collect strategy for your business drop me a line and I’ll help you set one up (brad@supplycs.com)

I thought this article in the NZ Herald over the weekend was interesting too and worth sharing.