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How top retailers have transformed customer experience

Retail has certainly been at the front of the pandemic rollercoaster. Transformation overnight has become a vital survival skill, not just a nice to have. Combine this with a customer base whose expectations of what makes a great experience have continued to rise, and in some cases are heightened through periods of lockdown, and you have a sense of the challenge facing the retail sector. 

For brands that have already been focused on enhancing the customer journey, the last year has accelerated the path to digital transformation. Powering customer engagement on the day of service has required many virtual meetings to help strategise workflows that make sense for each client. 

Some need to manage the logistics of holding cold items for pickup and ensuring that store attendants fulfil all parts of the order. Others need to scale up contactless Click & Collect operations to account for multiple pick-up bays and timeframes.

Usage of click & collect has been accelerated over the last year with several Localz customers seeing 200-300-per cent growth year on year. It’s clear that this volume will remain and grow as consumers have adopted store pick-up as a habitual way to shop in post-lockdown.

Click and Collect no longer nice to have 

According to the Salesforce Q2 shopping index, sites advertising buy online and curb-side pick-up options saw digital revenues grow by 127 per cent year over year. Meanwhile, sites that operate physical stores but didn’t offer a pick-up option only increased by 54 per cent.

Click and Collect best practices

Shoppers will switch loyalties to retailers who offer a seamless click and collect experience. Here are some best practices that will help you create an excellent click and collect customer experience.

  1. Communicate updates: In advance of the collection window, communicate clear instructions via app, web portal, SMS, or email when items are ready for pick-up and how the handover process will work. You can automate this process using smart, real-time messaging, and location technology.

2. Have designated pick-up areas: Have a designated and clearly signposted pick-up location that customers can easily access at both the parking lot (curb side) and inside at the front of the store for customers who prefer to come in. 

3. Pick-up time: Schedule your resources to meet demand and create pick-up time windows to avoid having too many customers in one area at the same time by enabling shoppers to book collection times. 

4. Reduce wait times: Reduce pick-up time by informing customers in advance where to go for pick-up and enabling automated notifications to store attendants when a customer is on their way. Equip store associates with handheld mobile devices and scanners so that they can locate customer orders and expedite pick-up.

5. Train employees: Train store associates on how to associate process orders quickly. Also, consider training employees to digitally share knowledge and give expert advice about products and services with customers. This will help them to deliver a great click and collect experience.

6. Fraud protection: Due to the increase in online shopping, click and collect is being targeted by fraudsters. Buy online, pick-up in-store fraud rose by 55 per cent in the first half of 2020, according to the Forter Fraud Attack Index. Protect your business and customers by issuing a unique one-time PIN code to customers. To collect their order in-store, customers simply present their assigned pin code at the designated collection point.

7. Keep customers safe: Ensure social distancing at the store by keeping customers in their vehicles through the pick-up process. You can rezone parking bays exclusively for Pick Up or make drive-thru available for all collections. Leverage digital IDs to remote validate in your checkout system without a customer having to get close to show their government-issued ID.

For more information visit Localz.