Our gut feeling has been telling us this for ages, now a test from Stella Service has proven it: click and collect doesn’t really save time when shopping. The channel hopping customer is just 96 seconds faster than the normal shopper. Although that is only an average; depending on the (more or less expert) implementation of the service, it can happened that a customer searching for the right counter may spend even longer a shop.
Typical channel conflicts, which should sound familiar to multichannel traders, can be illustrated well on the example of click and collect. For instance, customers sometimes have to wait longer than if they had ordered online, because not all products are available in that branch. In addition to this, some traders (e.g. Douglas) charge for the delivery from warehouse to shop. This makes the argument of free shipping moot – it was already wobbly because of the drive into the city at it was.
But none of this is important, as long as the customer likes it. As so often before, it is not the actual use which is the deciding factor, but the perceived use. As long as customers love click and collect, and trader don’t smother the trend through poor implementation, there is a chance for more customer satisfaction here. Whether or not this kind of service will have customers still shouting for joy in five years time is a story for another time.