• christianbrooks1

Are we missing opportunities to personalise the Click & Collect experience?

Click & Collect is one of retail’s biggest recent successes, and its rapid adoption rate has been driven by convenience. Customers have firmly latched onto the fact that they can select ultra-quick fulfilment options – sometimes picking up their order within half an hour – for a fraction of the cost of express delivery, if not free of charge.

So now that the convenience factor is largely optimised, what comes next? Rather than signing off on Click & Collect, retailers need to look at how to extend the value of this service – and the biggest untapped opportunity is Personalisation.

A prevalent appetite for personal encounters

Before we talk about personalisation in the context of Click & Collect, it’s important to understand the opportunity in general.

Given the ever-growing number of physical and digital touchpoints through which shoppers can interact, the challenge to create a unified experience for each customer is a well-trodden path for most retailers.

And customers themselves actively want retailers to view their activity holistically, engaging them in a way that reflects their complete value to the brand. A study by Epsilon found that 90% of consumers find the concept of personalisation appealing, while 80% will do business with a company if it is able to offer them personalised experiences.

Many retailers are already tailoring the customer experience online to reflect individual shoppers’ behaviours and preferences, and they may even be using assisted sale technologies and techniques to bring this customisation in-store. However, the same approach is yet to be extended to Click & Collect strategies in most retail businesses.

Making Click & Collect more personal

The opportunity to personalise Click & Collect fundamentally lies in the technology that retailers are using to manage this service. In order to optimise its convenience, many brands have invested in solutions that streamline the pick-up process. Whether operated by a store associate or a self-service kiosk, customers can share their details and redeem their order swiftly and seamlessly.

Now, retailers need to question whether their Click & Collect technology can offer more sophisticated functions – adding even more value to the customer experience? This is something we touched on in our recent blog post on Click & Collect 2.0, and the major game changers here are RFID and AI functionality.

Let’s imagine a scenario in which a retailer is using Click & Collect technology with these capabilities – such as an RFID-enabled digital experience table. When a customer arrives in store and enters their collection details, the system registers not just the order, but who the collecting customer is.

With a smart solution, recognising the customer unlocks a mass of data that can tailor interactions while a member of staff is locating their Click & Collect purchase. For example, they may have an online ‘Wishlist’ of products they’re hoping to purchase. Data insight tools can access this list and use RFID technology to tell the customer which of their saved items are available to purchase there and then in-store.

Even if the items on that customer’s ‘Wishlist’ aren’t available, or they don’t have a ‘Wishlist’ in the first place, retailers can identify complementary items to the products that the customer is collecting, and display personalised recommendations.

These techniques create lucrative opportunities to increase order value and encourage impulse purchasing, in a way that feels contextualised and relevant to the customer. And if recommendations are presented through an intuitive platform like an experience table, shoppers can explore products in an enticing way – rather than feeling like they’re being ‘spammed’ with poorly targeted, badly presented marketing messages.

Move forward and innovate

As retailers continually assess the store’s role in an omni-channel model, many are investing in sophisticated ways to engage consumers digitally at the shelf edge. The next link in the chain is to incorporate additional Click & Collect services, to influence customers when picking up an order in-store.

In order to achieve this level of personalisation, retailers need to look at whether their current Click & Collect systems have added functionality that is not yet being fully utilised – or can integrate with other in-store systems to deliver contextualised marketing. This might prove the right time to upgrade to a more advanced solution like a digital experience table, in order to synchronise product recommendations with real-time availability.

When it comes to Click & Collect, the temptation is to ‘make do’ with what’s in-store already, so long as it’s ticking the convenience box. But innovating beyond a smooth and simple collection experience will enable retailers to add more value to the customer journey, increasing their value in the process.

Discover One iota’s experience table, which is creating interactive customer experiences in the store environment for many leading retailers.