Click and collect systems have many benefits for all Retail sectors, for consumers to store backrooms.
- The enhanced experience and cost savings make them an ideal ally in the digital transformation of brands, retailers and even for cities, creating Smart Cities.
The Internet and logistics give consumers access to a wide variety of products anytime, anywhere. A phenomenon which has revolutionised all customer contact points to focus on the final step: last-mile logistics.
But the storage and delivery of parcels consume enormous resources and raise the obvious question of how to optimise this step.
In this article we explain:
- What click and collect systems are and current types.
- The benefits for brands, distribution, small businesses, consumers, cities and even rural populations.
What are click and collect systems?
They are any system through which customers can shop online and select a collection point where they can pick up the order. There are four types:
- In-store pickup: The simplest. A retailer brand enables ship-to-store service.
- Collaborator establishment network: What if our company does not have enough points of sale or none at all? In this case, the problem is solved by logistics companies by combining:
- Solution of a business need (delivery).
- Customer choice capacity.
- Local collaborative and digitalised economy.
- Cost savings.
- Smart Lockers: Unattended lockers for storing parcels, such as Amazon Lockers or Cleveron click and collect systems. They can be installed both indoors and outdoors and play an essential role in the benefits we will discuss later on.
- Automated click and collect systems: An evolution of Smart Lockers that dispenses with the locker system in favour of fully automated storage. It may seem excessive until we realise that all this technology increases storage capacity tenfold.
Benefits of Click and Collect systems
- Consumers: convenience, security and speed
Travelling, working or spending long periods in transit areas such as stations or airports often make it difficult to arrange a home delivery. Therefore, consumers prefer to have convenient collection points that do not require them to be at home.
Furthermore, thanks to click and collect systems, consumers are not forced to visit a store, but rather choose a collection point near their home or workplace, which is secure because they avoid crowded places and fast because they avoid queues.
2. In-home delivery: enormous reduction in costs
Going directly to the economic analysis of the click and collect system as an investment, the conclusion is always the same: it is substantially more profitable.
Home delivery entails enormous transport and staff costs, with exclusively dedicated vehicles. Centralising routes and deliveries in a decentralised click and collect systems significantly reduces said costs.
In this regard, one of the sectors that have benefited the most from the latest advances in automated click and collect systems is the food sector. In this regard, refrigerated models are the perfect solution for both large parcel logistics (and, therefore, more expensive) and fresh product storage.
3. Any customer-facing storage: hyper optimised time and space
This includes business centres, office buildings and backroom storage. They too can benefit from click and collect systems.
Personal parcels delivered to the workplace has become a widespread occurrence and, without a centralised collection system, administration and reception staff must devote their time and attention to handling them.
One of the main advantages of automated click and collect systems is the time required to collect the stored parcel: just 7 seconds.
4. Small businesses: extended opening hours and joint purchasing
Installing decentralised click and collect systems is even more profitable if we consider the possibility that various retailers or businesses can partner and share their collection points.
An advantage that allows small businesses to extend their opening hours through retail trade associations.
A collaborative economy model such as that already observed in cities like Zaragoza and which, within the context of European support for the digitalisation of SMEs, will speed up the transition towards Smart Cities and revitalise local trade.
We have reached a stage in the Retail sector where consumers and their experience are at the heart of brand and distributor strategies. An aspect that click and collect systems resolve perfectly as an additional, digitalised and fast option that saves travelling and time.
They are also a great ally at times of large influx of customers or in transit areas such as stations or airports (travel retail).
The digital transformation of Retail not only requires the creation of digital platforms. It also requires connecting analogue platforms over the Internet and addressing situations such as last-mile consumer and city logistics to achieve Smart Cities.
Complex processes that we will analyse in our guide: the keys to omnichannel Retail.