Introduction

Curbside pickup and contactless delivery are revolutionising the way we shop, and are increasingly gaining their place as one of the more popular methods for businesses to get goods to customers. According to Statista, curbside pickup’s widespread reached a 58% growth worldwide in 2021.

From creating a smooth and secure checkout process to meeting customer expectations for fast delivery, there are various ways to ensure your customers get the best delivery experience possible with their online shopping.

Brands jumping on the trend include UNIQLO. They provide a convenient and efficient shopping experience by allowing customers to order online and pick up their items in-store. To make the process even easier, the store has created a special checkout area for online orders, staffed by a dedicated cashier to help customers complete their purchases.

In this article, we'll look at how this trend has shifted the e-commerce landscape, and how businesses can take advantage of these new methods to better serve their customers.

Which delivery methods are more valuable for consumers? As consumer priorities shift towards more convenient delivery options, their expectations for detailed information about shipping times have also risen! Click and collect is a retail trend that’s here to stay!

What is click-and-collect?

Click & collect, also known as curbside pickup, is a popular e-commerce service changing how we shop. With BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store), customers can place their orders online and then pick them up at a physical store location, eliminating the need for home delivery.

This service has been rapidly growing in popularity in recent years and many major retailers and it's becoming a trend among e-commerce brands. US click-and-collect sales doubled in 2020 and US consumers spent around 70 billion dollars via click-and-collect.

Click-and-collect is becoming a popular trend for e-commerce brands, as the convenience of online shopping and the ability to collect products from a local store prove advantageous. According to Shopify report 2022, 35% of consumers chose shipping options like curbside pickup or click and collect to receive their orders in time, while avoiding delivery delays and shipping fees.

Additionally, click-and-collect orders tend to be larger than regular orders, with an average value of 20% higher than other online purchases. This provides an opportunity for e-commerce brands to increase their sales and revenues and engage with their customers more meaningfully.

Click-and-collect in a nutshell: benefits and disadvantages

Click and collect presents a valuable revenue stream for e-commerce businesses while also enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. Let’s examine this delivery option's key benefits and drawbacks for your e-commerce brand.

As a benchmark, we will examine how popular clothing retailer ZARA uses the click-and-collect service. ZARA customers have the option to order items online and pick up their order in store. At the checkout, customers can select their preferred store for pickup and schedule the pickup time. ZARA also offers free delivery for orders of more than £30 and free returns for both online and in-store purchases.

Advantages

  1. 29% of consumers agree that click-and-collect is more convenient. This service allows customers to place their orders online and pick them up at a physical store location, eliminating the need for home delivery and providing a more convenient shopping experience.
  2. Increased Sales: Click-and-collect service can attract shoppers who may have been hesitant to shop online due to concerns about delivery times or shipping costs. Moreover, 75% of shoppers who have used BOPIS say they are likely to make an additional purchase while picking up their order.
  3. Reduced Costs for Shipping and Handling: By offering a click-and-collect service, retailers can reduce the costs associated with home delivery, such as shipping and handling fees, which can help to increase profit margins and make the business more sustainable.
  4. Increased foot traffic to physical stores: Click-and-collect service can help to increase foot traffic to physical stores, which can be beneficial for retailers looking to drive in-store sales.

Disadvantages:

  1. Limited Reach: Click-and-collect service is only available at select locations, limiting the reach of retailers.
  2. Additional Costs for Staffing and Inventory Management: Offering a click-and-collect service can require additional staffing and inventory management costs for retailers.
  3. Limited Control over Inventory Management: Retailers may need more control over inventory management when using a click-and-collect service.
  4. Limited Brand Control: Retailers may have limited control over the branding and messaging associated with click-and-collect services.

What is contactless delivery?

Contactless delivery is a service where the delivery person does not physically hand the package to the recipient. Instead, they leave it at a designated pickup point. This is often done by leaving the package at the recipient's doorstep, in a locked mailbox, or a designated safe location agreed upon by the delivery person and the recipient.

A study by MetaPack found that contactless delivery options can increase customer satisfaction by up to 25%.

Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce marketplace, has been a pioneer in implementing contactless delivery methods. They have scaled contactless delivery across their operations by integrating technology and process changes.

For example, they have enabled customers to track their deliveries in real-time and have allowed them to authorize delivery personnel to leave the package at a safe location, such as a porch or garage. They have been working on developing autonomous delivery options like drones and robots to further minimise human contact during the delivery process.

What are contactless delivery advantages?

Contactless delivery presents a valuable revenue stream for e-commerce businesses and enhances customer satisfaction. Now let’s examine this delivery option's key benefits and drawbacks for e-commerce brands.

Advantages:

  1. Increased customer satisfaction: 67% of customers say contactless home delivery is crucial for a positive CX. It also allows for greater flexibility in delivery options and reduces the risk of lost or stolen packages.
  2. Reduced costs: Contactless delivery options may reduce the need for additional staffing and inventory management costs, as the customer may pick up their package at a designated location.
  3. Increased brand loyalty: Customers who use contactless delivery options are more likely to recommend the brand to others and make repeat purchases, this can increase brand loyalty.
  4. Improved delivery tracking: Contactless delivery options can provide real-time tracking information and allow customers to authorize delivery personnel to leave the package at a safe location, providing a more efficient and transparent delivery process.

Disadvantages:

  1. Limited control over inventory management: Retailers may have less control over inventory management when using a contactless delivery service.
  2. Limited personal interaction with customers: With contactless delivery, retailers have less opportunity for personal interaction with customers, which can be detrimental for building customer loyalty and sales.
  3. Limited to certain products: Contactless delivery may not be suitable for certain products, such as perishable items or fragile goods
  4. Limited coverage area: Contactless delivery may not be available in certain areas, which can limit the reach of retailers.