As the UK tried to limit the spread of COVID-19, many brick and mortar businesses were forced to close indefinitely. This not only led to uncertainty in the retail industry, but many casualties as high-street retailers such as Laura Ashley, Oasis, Cath Kidston and Aldo fell into administration. As online sales surged, physical stores suffered a loss of significant revenue; luxury and clothing stores, for example, saw a drop in sales.

Thankfully, as lockdown restrictions ease and businesses prepare to re-open, there is light at the end of the tunnel once again for brick and mortar businesses. Businesses will only be able to re-open, however, if they can follow the government's guidelines to keep their shoppers and staff safe.

In this blog post, we will consider how Click and Collect may be the lifeline brick and mortar businesses need to reopen whilst following social distancing rules.


What is Click and Collect?

You will most likely be familiar with the concept of Click and Collect, as in 2019 68% of digital buyers claimed they had used Click and Collect services. Click and Collect is a bridge between online and in-store channels, and allows customers to place an order online which they can pick up from a store.

Click and Collect has benefits for both retailers and customers. Retailers can benefit from the elimination of delivery costs, and customers can benefit from a faster, more convenient collection. 

62% of global shoppers claimed they would require social distancing measures to be in place before they return to a store. Click and Collect could help to encourage this demographic to return to stores, as it eases customers who are not yet comfortable with in-person shopping back into the store environment.

Stats taken from Salesforce Leading Through Change Dashboard



Why now is the time to open a Click and Collect channel

Below we have listed the reasons why now could be the right time to open a Click and Collect channel for your business. 


1. It creates a safe, online ordering system

With a Click and Collect system, you can create low or no-contact payment and pickup options, which appeal to customers who are anxious to be in a store or are shielding.


2. Unlocks the potential of your inventory

Offering in-store products exclusively online through your Click and Collect service will increase inventory turnover and minimise single-channel stock limitations.


3. Maximise the capabilities of your stores

Stores that have been closed can be quickly turned into distribution centres, maximising the resources you have available to you.  For those that are re-opening as regular stores, ensure contactless payment- ushered in by COVID at a faster rate - 78% of global shoppers say they’ve used contactless payments during the pandemic.


4. Lowers your fulfilment costs

Click and Collect eliminates the need for delivery and packaging costs. This is not only more cost-effective for your business but means you can keep your prices competitive for your customers. 


5. Personalise the in store experience

With detailed 360 customer information at their fingertips, your in store team can better provide their customer with recommendations that resonate, upsell and cross-sell opportunities or loyalty benefits, helping to generate higher transactions in store whilst nurturing a long lasting  relationship by really knowing your customer on every channel.


What's next?

It is undeniable that the world of retail and eCommerce as we know it has changed.  Grocery and food service companies have become front-line, essential workers, and fashion retail has had to pivot dramatically towards eCommerce.

For fashion businesses, failing to adapt to and accept this change are at risk of joining the other retail giants heading for administration. Click and Collect could be the answer businesses need to protect the safety of their employees and customers when re-opening. 

However, businesses should not view Click and Collect as a temporary solution to obeying COVID-19 guidelines; rather, they should see the investment into Click and Collect as a new, long-term feature of their business. The growth and consistency of Click and Collect over the last few years have proven that it is a retail trend that is here to stay. 

If you're hoping to get online and begin offering Click and Collect services quickly, Salesforce can help. Our new Quick Start Solution for Commerce can help you to get live with Click and Collect in just 3 weeks.