Retailers Struggling to Deliver on Click and Collect

By Julian Thumm | 11 Nov 2015

A study has found 50 percent of click and collect shoppers encounter problems with collecting their purchase. With Christmas looming, are Aussie retailers up to scratch?

Click and collect options are becoming increasingly popular with both consumers and retailers, with a number of major Australian retailers getting on board over the past few years. Click and collect allows consumers to finalise a purchase without having to deal with crowded shops while avoiding often costly shipping costs and long delivery times. The option has also become popular with retailers as it allows them to reduce shipping costs.

However, a recent study by JDA Software Group Inc. has found that click and collect is not working as well as retailers might have hoped. A survey of over 1,000 online US-based shoppers has shown that 50 percent of shoppers who opted for click and collect options encountered problems with getting their purchase.

This rate seems surprisingly high for a strategy aimed at simplifying the logistics process and reducing costs for both customers and retailers. However, the reality of the situation is that retailers have perhaps underestimated the amount of work involved in the click and collect model.

These findings come on the back of a study released earlier this year, which questioned the timesaving value of click and collect options.

Wayne Usie, senior vice president of retail at JDA, told the Wall Street Journal, “Retailers may be experiencing service failures because picking products from storage and packing them into unique combinations for customers is significantly easier in a streamlined warehouse than in a chaotic store, where other customers need to be helped and orders can be misplaced.

“They’re struggling with managing the task and additional work that’s required without making a difference in their labor expense, and that’s affecting customer service,” Mr. Usie said. “It’s indicative of a lot of the challenges these retailers are facing.”

Click and collect is perhaps not as simple as some retailers expected. With customer service becoming increasingly important, shoppers will have little patience with click and collect options that fail to deliver.

As click and collect becomes more popular with shoppers, especially over the stressful Christmas shopping period, storefront fulfilment capabilities are sure to be tested.

 

 

 

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