Click & Reserve can be part of retailers’ Web-to-Store strategy, which enables marketing new services and increasingly improves omni-channel customers’ pathways, generating additional revenues.
After first attempts at developing online/offline cross-traffic through in-store pickup of a product purchased on the e-commerce website, retailers have started to implement Click & Reserve processes. The goal is to use the store’s own available stock, rather than delivering products from the central warehouse.
Click & Reserve (or Check & Reserve, Check & Collect, Reserve & Collect) faces a critical turning point as payment is not processed online during the reservation but in-store, granting more flexibility and advice to customers.
The added value of such a service for customers is easy to figure out, and it is also obvious that retailers must complete their digital and omni-channel transformation to remain competitive. However, recent Click & Reserve initiatives show that the organization needed to be put in place is complex and that the operational execution might encounter many pitfalls.
Therefore, it seems necessary for retailers to answer the following questions before getting into Click & Reserve projects:
- What is the most relevant business model for the brand?
- What is the best implementation method?
- What is the risk not to offer this service to the customer right now?
SOLUTIONS USED FOR CLICK & RESERVE PROCESS
SoCloz proposes a multi-brand service for consumers to choose any product available online to be picked up at a store of their choice, which shows that e-commerce reservation can offer new business to external companies.
- Jules, a ready-to-wear French retailer offers its Click & Reserve service based on SoCloz solution. After their online selection and the reception of their availability confirmation, customers can bene t from a two-hour delivery in the store of their choice. The service provided is free and payments of products take place in-store.
- Argos’ Check & Reserve service allows customers to do just that: simply click online, open the app, or use the phone or text to check the availability of a product, reserve it and then collect in-store that same day. The product is guaranteed to be there on collection. Over 15,000 products are available to reserve.
- Hunkemöller is the largest high-street lingerie brand in the Benelux region, with more than 600 stores in total. Hunkemöller offers three ways to order online without having to pay for shipping costs: Pay & Deliver, Pay & Pickup and Click & Reserve. With Click & Reserve, the product is reserved in the store of preference, then to make a ‘reservation request’. After confirmation the product will be available within 24 hours, and will be reserved for a maximum of four days. Payments occurs during pickup in-store.
- Praxis is the second largest DIY retailer in the Netherlands. In order to facilitate the purchasing process for customers’ DIY projects, they offer Click & Reserve in their 140 stores. When customers visit the Praxis website, they can check available stock from more than 30,000 online items in their preferred store. Subsequently they can reserve their chosen products for free and pick them up within 12 hours.
- 44% of consumers would be more likely to shop at a retailer if they could buy online and pick up in-store. Survey conducted by UPS in 2014.
- End 2014: between 60-75% of Click & Collect shoppers have indicated they go on purchasing products during item collection in-store.
- End 2014: 40% of customers have indicated to use Click & Reserve for non-food purposes, but this is anticipated to increase.
- 75% of shoppers in the UK are expected to utilize Click & Reserve by 2017.
Apparel & Footwear
Seeing, touching and trying on are crucial to trigger purchase, especially in the apparel sector.
So Click & Reserve services enable the customer to ensure the availability of the product, but mostly to combine this advantage with appropriate, tailored advice in-store.
Also, complementary purchases can be made when the customer comes to pick up his/her reservation.
In the same way as in the fashion industry, product testing is key in the beauty sector.
Cosmetics retailers pay detailed attention to new initiatives, such as perfume testing with the Sales Associate, creating wish lists, offering specific samples according to recorded purchases, and giving product recommendations, based on skin diagnosis.
Click & Reserve is at the heart of this mindset when it concerns consumer pleasure – such as new, exclusive or gifts – or products for expert use.
Delivering on time and within restricted lead times are two of the main challenges characterizing Click & Reserve in this sector.
Wholesalers understand that professional customers rely on this service to answer their last-minute requirements. This is the reason why it is so crucial to ensure the availability of a product on a specific day.
Customers also pay specific attention to in-store efficiency when picking up their reservation: it has to be a fast and easy process.
- In order to market a sustainable and credible Click & Reserve service, the brand must think about an efficient implementation from an IT perspective as much as from that of point-of-sale and supply-chain management.
- Besides operational stakes, the key success factors for such a program rely on two important axes:
- Click & Reserve must be integrated in a global omni-channel offer, promoted through enhanced communication, in order to share the benefits with the customers and to support the different web-to-store and store-to-web customer pathways.
- The brand must also consider transforming the service approach of the Click & Reserve to an ‘in-store experience offer’ and encourage customers to visit physical stores thanks to innovative initiatives. Several brands have already anticipated and developed the concept of ‘showrooming’.
- This kind of cross-channel services will definitely contribute to breaking silos between the online and offline worlds corroborating the complementarity of channels rather than considering them as direct competitors and sources of complexity.
- That’s how the Click & Reserve must t into long-term strategy, not just as a simple bolt-on web service. It must tackle the necessity to energize the brand by supporting the traffic rate in-store and, therefore, it needs to justify the return on investment too often seen within a short-term perspective.
Click and Reserve takes customer service and experience one step further than traditional click and collect. And if it still asks questions on feasibility and profitability, there is no doubt it is a huge competitive advantage for retailers.