How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Value Proposition
By Tom Wintaugh
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While many consumers have taken their shopping online, many shoppers still crave the in-store experience. Online merchants are meeting this demand by offering click and collect, a service that combines the convenience of online shopping with the experience and immediacy of retrieving goods from a physical location. Recent data suggests that sixty-two percent of shoppers plan to increase their use of click and collect services. Sales using click and collect are predicted to reach $74 million by 2022.
Despite its growing popularity, click and collect presents some challenges for online sellers. In this article, we’ll discuss what offering click and collect involves and what sellers need to know about making it work.
Click and collect—also known as buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS or BOPUS)—is a hybrid ecommerce service that enables shoppers to buy items online and pick them up in person. The service makes the post-purchase experience more convenient by merging online and offline channels into one seamless service.
With click and collect’s hybrid shopping experience, shoppers can avoid shipping costs and delivery issues, get their orders on their own time, and see products in person before finalizing their purchase. In-store pickup benefits last-minute shoppers and those who want the instant gratification of an in-store experience with the freedom of online shopping.
Click and collect doesn’t just benefit the shopper. With the average abandoned cart rate at nearly 70 percent, merchants can adopt BOPIS to lower purchasing friction and drive sales. In-store pickup also provides opportunities for sellers to improve the user experience with things like upselling, product recommendations, payment flexibility, and transparent customer service. At a time when sellers are looking for ways to adapt to evolving shoppers needs and remain relevant, click and collect enables merchants to deliver value and convenience.
While BOPIS/BOPUS offers many potential rewards, sellers have to manage a few moving parts to create a strong purchasing experience. The major challenge is in how to profitably accommodate a click and collect model while maintaining customer satisfaction—both online and offline. Here are ways your business can successfully offer click and collect:
Effective inventory monitoring is absolutely essential to BOPIS/BOPUS. Nothing will frustrate shoppers more than buying a product online only to discover that it’s not available in the store they intended to pick it up from. Merchants need effective inventory tools and an assortment of in-store products to provide customers with the most up-to-date product availability and flexibility. In the event that a product runs of stock, sellers need to implement a system that can ship from nearby retail locations or warehouses.
Click and collect places great responsibility on merchants. Coordinate product availability with your pickup locations and provide transparency to shoppers. Failure to do this can damage a customer’s impression of your brand.
To maintain customer satisfaction, you need to clearly communicate the steps in your click and collect process. Sending emails like purchase confirmation, pickup ready, shipping updates, and pickup reminders provides your customers with clarity and keeps them in the loop.
Your communication also needs to carry into the offline experience. Fifty-six percent of consumers expect a quick “in and out experience” when using BOPIS/BOPUS. Make pickup areas in your fulfillment locations easy to find and be sure staff are adequately trained on the process. Staying ahead of average fulfillment times and providing a smooth experience will help you provide an appealing in-store pickup service.
Because shoppers won’t be able to see your products as they would in a store, your digital merchandising needs to be top-notch to get their attention. Attractive imagery, detailed copy, and professional videos help showcase benefits to customers and make click and collect options more attractive. Innovative merchandising tools like product visualizers and configurators can take your merchandising even further.
Once you build out your digital storefront, you’ll want to make sure it carries into the in-store pickup experience. Make sure your online content matches your in-store products and that your retailers can offer the same level of customer support that you have online.
After merchandising your products, the next step is to highlight your click and collect service so that shoppers will actually take advantage of it. Bring attention to the program by highlighting the new feature on your home page, adding callouts to product pages, implementing a store locator, creating marketing materials, and running a coupon for first-time BOPUS users.
Studies show that customers spend more in-store than they do on a website. Getting customers to add more items to their cart helps to maximize your online revenue. Explore ways you can help drive product discovery and increase interest in other items online, like bundling products, recommending similar offerings, and including clear purchase prompts during the checkout process.
Want to take it a step further? Leverage purchase data and past trends to offer personalized recommendations for each customer. By aligning with consumer preferences, you’ll be able to improve the customer experience and drive more sales.
Click and collect is here to stay. Changes in ecommerce and new technological innovations are making the hybrid shopping service easier than ever before. Buying habits will continue to shift toward convenience and value. Merchants who rise to that challenge will be able to thrive in the industry.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.