Taking service levels to the next level.
Almost all retailers are now offering Click & Collect services, but they are not all offering the same service.
The reason is that too many are still relying on warehouse stock, and shipment from the warehouse to store, for collection by the customer.
Someone who was in London for a couple of days and was travelling to the US, had lost their suitcase; she was pregnant and was looking for specific items quickly. Particularly underwear. So of course, I suggested Click & Collect. She needed a specific fuller bust bra size for pregnant women. Can you believe it, not a single retailer allowed same day collection on bras. Even Harrods, failed to find one in her size.
Even though all the retailers offered Click & Collect it was not the same day.
Nor was any retailer offering same-day despatch and arrival. You would have thought that if you order in the morning, you could be guaranteed a delivery by 8pm, without it costing an arm and a leg. Definitely not.
There are two reasons why retailers are still unable to offer the services that consumers want – that many of the Click & Collect promises are hollow:
Often the excuse is that, yes, we know the store has stock, but they cannot always find it, so it is safer to send it from the warehouse. Baloney!
At The Entertainer, we have taken Click & Collect to the next level, which is a 30-minute promise. Using hand-held tablets in store, store staff are notified immediately of Click & Collect orders, which are picked and set aside.
The moment they are, the customer is notified that they can collect. Stores subscribe to an agreement that when an order hits the store, they will look for the product within five minutes of it printing on the store printer.
Dealing with 30+ Click & Collect orders on a peak day is not easy. So the store processes have to be perfect.
That is the secret of taking such services to the next level. Is it valuable? Definitely if you have high volumes or peak seasons, or excellent sales. In those circumstances, satisfying customers when they want it is really important.
What about same-day dispatch and receipt? Who other than Amazon is really offering that? Well again, an itim client has achieved that. With links to local couriers, the client is now dispatching for home delivery from their stores if ‘same day’ is requested. If the order gets to them by midday, they guarantee same-day delivery. It turns out local couriers are no more expensive than national ones.
Delivery tracking with couriers tied to store information keeps everyone informed. Now that is excellence in service.
The Entertainer have seen a 40% increase in Click & Collect, which is good as it improves margins of sales, and Click & Collect is now 35% of all internet sales.
Now there is a result that pays for itself in margin. Such sales have lower returns, and the costs of servicing them are reduced.
What is more, getting more customers into the store is essential to enable ‘clienteling’ applications to take over and help store staff drive more sales.
Excellence in service, is self-fulfilling. So, if you are paying ‘lip service’ to Click & Collect or home despatch, you need not – you can learn from The Entertainer.