“Buy online, pick up in store!” These words sound like nothing more than an advertising catchphrase. Yet this trend is already a reality. Companies like Célio, Darty, Jennifer, and even Ikea are now convinced of the click & collect impact in their multi-channel strategies. As a true customer acquisition lever and store traffic generator, click & collect has proven the value of the digital landscape for bricks and mortar companies.

Today, retailers no longer challenge the benefits of click & collect in their marketing strategies.
Pilots carried out in selected stores have validated the technique and marketers no longer wait to implement it in their entire network. Retailers feature new signage or reinvent their point of sales reflecting this, even creating dedicated counters for this. Even then, they’re not complacent; they keep refining best practices with their sales consultants. That way they can enhance this service that’s already praised by consumers.

But even if it’s already on its way to a bright future, click & collect is expecting a revolution before it enters a new era. In a digital world where m-commerce is still ramping up +44% (1) per year, drive-to-store solution providers have no choice but to continue to innovate to boost online and offline business.

Now steeped in the over connected consumer’s habits, click & collect must appear, more than ever, on smartphones and tablets’ apps and build on the recent arrival of the Beacon technology in the market. Suppliers that will take advantage of this will obviously provide a more global service to brands, retailers and the customerIt is definitely an undeniable tool to give a digital and market value to all these ROPO processes in an omnichannel context.

Beacon enhances the interest for click & collect

In only a few months, beacon technology became marketers’ star and is already available in the most connected stores in the world. This sensor – using a Bluetooth connection – broadcasts messages directly on smartphones and tablets. Marketers have already enrolled it in their future projects, aware that it can geolocalize, send push messages and coupons, make transactions easier and allow consumers to subscribe to games and contests.

In some industries, like fashion, personal equipment or distribution, customers absolutely love web-to-store functions like click & pick-up, click & collect and store locators. They prepare their shopping session online before going to the closest store. We can already foresee several use cases, like decreasing the waiting time at a click & collect pick-up counter.

For example, the click & collect customer could be automatically identified by the sales person while walking into the store. The sales representative could receive a notification or push message on his/her iPad, giving information on his/her customer’s shopping list. Another possible use case could be in the online booking industry. The sales operator who already has access to the online customer’s product list will be able to suggest this same customer with more products they could want. Identified as soon as he arrives in the store, the customer could be able to try the products in the fitting room before buying. Looks like we could finally have a solution to avoid returns!

An important issue is also that beacons could allow tracking the Click & Collect customer shopping journey in store, in order to send them targeted push messages and coupons on their phone. All in all it could finally be possible to optimize cross-selling processes. Because the challenge is improving and personalizing the customer’s shopping journey. Doing this would meet a key requirement for retailers, that is, providing a seamless shopping experience on each and every channel.

Thanks to the digitalization of the point of sales and the e-commerce boom – especially the drive-to-store trend –beacon technology will highly contribute to customer knowledge. The value is there, and ROI metrics will reflect this. Besides knowing the order source and tracking the customer, combining the beacon technology and click & collect with mobile payment would drastically simplify data gathering. Added to existing services, this could allow solution providers to offer situation-appropriate marketing actions. And those who will succeed will bring a 360° view of the client and a consistent quality of service to brands and retailers, on every channel.

 

(1) Sales made from a mobile phone (excluding apps downloads) have reached a progression of 44% in a year. They represent 18% of the turnover of the websites that were part of the iCM panel. It represents 21% if we add sales made from a mobile phone, as well as sales made from an app and traditional websites (source: FEVAD)

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