Magento Click & Collect - a pick-up for your business?
As part of a 20+ year journey supporting brands through ecommerce, Salmon has seen the world of ecommerce change from being IT systems and IT department-led to brand, marketing and customer-led. It wasn't so long ago the concept of omnichannel was bandied about. And it wasn't so long ago that it was simply absorbed as part of the fundamental shift in ecommerce approach.
Brands no longer rely on web channel vs store channel vs mobile channel models. In fact, the concept of a channel no longer exists for the majority of retailers. Instead, brands increasingly focus on a holistic digital strategy that can reach customers whenever and wherever they are, and whatever they're doing. They need a strategy that can fulfil deliveries for their orders, whether ordered for home delivery or to be collected by the customer at a time convenience for them.
With that in mind, we tested the Magento platform to assess how well it stacks up as a platform to enable Click & Collect capability in a myriad of ways - spoiler alert: very well! - and what considerations you should make before embarking on this journey.
remind me, what is click & collect?
To put it very simple, Click & Collect allows an online customer to order an item via a website or mobile site and collect it in person from a location at the convenience.
do you need click & collect?
On behalf of our clients, we asked ourselves a very simple question: "Should a Click & Collect feature be a standard offering for any and every brand, regardless of their bricks-and-mortar store set up?". We explored this by examining bespoke Click & Collect Magento solutions for two of our premier customers.
A bespoke click & collect solution courtesy of magento & salmon
Here's the solution summary:
- Built on Magento 2 Enterprise edition, designed, delivered and supported by Salmon
- Made use of an existing bricks-and-mortar set up, but rather than stores, the solution used car dealerships
- Integrated to two fulfillment centres - both primarily used for delivery, while only one catered for Click & Collect orders
- Orders sent to a car dealership of the customers' choosing, and then fulfilled from the Click & Collect fulfillment centre
- Dealerships were a great opportunity to use an existing network to increase revenue - and we leveraged this uniqueness
- We allowed customers to place mixed orders (Click & Collect or Delivery) with payments sent to two different accounts, due to the nature of the physical distribution network
- Testing the integration with the fulfillment centre surfaced some key issues
- Home delivery had order status tracking, but Click & Collect did not have any tracking. While this could be supported by Magento, there were no underlying business processes in place to support it on the client side
- To integrate your Click & Collect module as early as possible and eke out these problems quickly
- To reduce the complexity of existing business rules rather than try to match them all
We have also recently delivered a separate solution for one of our clients, Habitat, with an existing store network. Read more about the Habitat Click & Collect solution.
considerations and Salmon's take
Nowadays, customers look for flexibility above all else - can their current shopping experience adapt to fit their lifestyle? If it can't, somewhere else will. We call it 'the Prime effect'. Like it or not, Amazon is influencing just how customers want to shop. You can explore this furthur in our 2017 research paper "Buying Tomorrow".
for brands with existing bricks-and-mortar locations
Whether these are the more conventional stores or unconventional locations, such as car dealerships or cafes, a Click & Collect function is an absolute must-have. Your customers will expect you to make use of these locations to provide them with a seamless brand experience.
for brands without a bricks-and-mortar network
Various locations can be used, but putting the infrastructure and distribution channels in place for these can be tricky and time consuming - unless, of course, you're Amazon! (We explore the motives behind its purchase of Whole Foods here).
Ultimately, it is worth your time and effort to plot out the level of investment and ROI for your individual business. However, it is also important that immediate financial investment is not the only driver behind the decision. It is worth considering just some of the key benefits of investment into building our your Click & Collect fulfillment using DPD or a similar courier.
- Flexible delivery options for your customer increase your opportunity for conversion
- Minimal investment - leveraging a pre-existing bricks-and-mortar network that is only too keen to become a distribution channel for you
- In the age of social, the digital maturity and perception of your brand matters - don't fall behind to play catch up
- If you are a large business, your customers will come to expect this level of service
- For small businesses, it offers a change to play into the "local" brand experience that many of your customers look for
- Allows individual brands to compete against the Amazon effect
Still not sure? Speak to your customers, find out just how they want to shop - and let that be your guide.