Essential channel

Click and Collect in a COVID world

It is said that every cloud has a silver lining. For retail, click and collect has become a silver lining in an otherwise tumultuous year. Across Europe, click and collect turnover is forecast to reach 45.1 billion euros by 2023, almost double the previous year's estimate of 26.7 billion euros.

But click and collect doesn’t come without its challenges. Traditionally, it has been used to boost footfall to stores and reduce delivery costs for retailers - and with good reason. 97% of retailers using click and collect have experienced an increase in revenue because of it.

But many retailers’ physical stores aren’t currently open; delivery is the first choice for many when restrictions on movement and opening are in place. What does this mean for the future of click and collect in a COVID world when stores are open? Are we doing enough to extend value through click and collect services so that they are indispensable to consumers?

Be creative with Click and Collect

UK customers have a common gripe. They don’t know where to go and collect their items from in-store. While click and collect has proved profitable for retailers, it is often not thought through. Customers are frequently expected to collect their items from Customer Service or a similar place inside the store. But they likely opted for click and collect because it was more convenient than waiting for a delivery. Why then make them wait when they are in-store?

Creating a dedicated click and collect desk in-store, or outside, with assigned staff eliminates long queue times for customers, confusion over where to collect items from and delays due to lack of staff knowledge or experience.

Modernise Click and Collect

Nielsen Research estimates that click and collect orders in France during March 2020 rose 29 per cent. With such acceleration in orders during the pandemic, pressure then falls on to staff in-store to fulfil and manage influxes in orders.

Out-dated systems make it harder for store staff to deliver a good customer experience and many click and collect services still operate on antiquated methods at collection points. This can include click and collect shoppers queuing alongside customers who have complaints or returns to make, which is not ideal. Often, orders are hard to locate because staff are doing other jobs as well as manning the click and collect desk and there is little to no integration behind the scenes to databases with collections recorded on paper.

Many retail experts point to click and collect as the pinnacle of the omnichannel experience. Full integration can maximise your customer’s experience and your business potential, so ensure your omnichannel systems are linked and updating simultaneously.

Seamless Click and Collect

Market intelligence firm Numerator stated in a July report: “..that  Click & Collect sales surged 63% once ‘stay at home’ protocols were announced…with a 12% increase in purchase frequency and 10% boost in basket size. Overall, Click & Collect has experienced a 33% increase in the number of households using it as a service.”

While a lot of consumers have adjusted to click and collect routines, what about customers who are shielding or might be too afraid to leave the house? What considerations are you making for those who are self-isolating or who are nervous about returning to opening stores?

To ease collection, have you considered creating a system that allows for relatives and friends to collect items on someone else’s behalf? What systems could you put in place to make the collection even safer and to enable customers who have made the trip feel like they are out of harm’s way?

Dedicating an isolated, well signposted, area that minimises contact with anyone else (either in-store or outside) and allocating time slots for collection can minimise issues for customers collecting orders during the pandemic.

Giving customers a seamless experience is essential to making click and collect worthwhile for them. By taking a look at some of your most vulnerable consumers’ needs, it will help you to establish a customer experience that works now and well into the future – and for everybody, even the more risk-averse.

Click and collect is no longer a nice-to-have. Beyond 2020, it is an essential channel for retail survival and growth, so invest the time to get it right.


For advice on getting your retail environment in top shape for consumers, speak to our team on +31 (0) 88 494 20 80 or email us at


David Mines
Business Development Director

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