How To Launch Click And Collect: A Guide for Retailers

Click and Collect has been on an upward growth trajectory since before the pandemic, although the lockdown did make curbside pick-up more popular. To give you some perspective, in the UK it is estimated that by 2022 click and collect sales will increase by 55% to £9.6 billion or 13.9% of all online spending. So if your business hasn’t already adopted Click and Collect, now’s the time to leverage this omnichannel model to expand your revenue streams.

What Is Click and Collect?
Click and Collect is a shopping method where buyers place their orders online but pick them up from physical locations. It’s similar to a takeaway order, except the orders are processed online and typically in advance.

Click and Collect is also known as Buy Online, Pick Up In-Stores (BOPIS), and Curbside Pickup. Here, buyers can pick their orders in-store or from a designated location like the curbside. Curbside pick-up became especially popular during the global pandemic, as businesses could more safely resume operations by minimising physical interactions with customers.

So how do you create a click and collect experience for your customers? Let’s take a look at 4 key steps in the next section.

How to launch a click and collect service

There are a few things you should do when you’re starting a new click and collect service so you can save yourself some time and headaches in the future. The following steps will help you get started.

Creating Click And Collect Policies

If you’re looking to implement this process successfully, it’s essential to outline viable policies for both employees and customers to follow.

Determine and communicate order fulfilment SLAs

Some necessary Click and Collect fulfilment SLAs (service level agreements) you need to iron out include:

Advanced Time Allowances. How many days in advance are customers allowed to place their order for curbside pick-up? It’s important to set reasonable time frames that your pick and pack teams can work with. Otherwise, you might suffer from inventory management issues and delayed orders.

Payment Options:
If you’re offering both cash on delivery and online payment options, defining clear SLAs for each method is crucial. In online payments, customers have more incentive to show up and collect their orders. Conversely, customers are more likely to abandon pay-on-site orders. So, it’s vital to outline liabilities in case orders are left unpicked. We suggest taking payment online when possible.

Return policy:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies revamped their return policies to accommodate customers better. However, unlike home delivery, Click and Collect lets customers physically view and check the orders, reducing the purchasing risk. Thus, it’s essential to update your return policy to accommodate BOPIS orders.

Consider scheduling pick-up time windows:

Scheduling pick-up time windows gives retailers more control over Click and Collect, making it easier to manage inventory, logistics, and human resource allocation. To better understand how scheduling windows help, let’s consider how your daily operations might look without specific pick-up times.

If you don’t allocate specific timeframes, customers can schedule any time during your operating hours. This inconsistency means pick-up will be different every day, and your staff will have to prepare orders in advance for pick-up accordingly. Think of the pick and pack challenges that might arise—your employees may become overwhelmed, especially if there are many customers in the store who need help.

So, to get the most out of Click and Collect, consider allocating specific timeframes during which customers can schedule their orders. Having an organised routine will help your staff manage orders and inventory accordingly.

Physical Space Considerations


For customers, the draws of Click and Collect include zero shipping fees, quicker order fulfilment, and convenience. You’ll need to meet these expectations and provide a high-quality shopping experience. That likely includes:

Designate space to store items
Your staff should clearly separate pick-up inventory from typical store inventory. Otherwise, you risk selling off the products to walk-in customers and running short on stock. Additionally, designating a storage space makes it easy for your in-store team to locate the items quickly when customers arrive for pick-up.

Create a counter or area for customer interaction
BOPIS customers value a good experience, so they won’t want to wait in long lines for their orders. To make it easy for them to pick their orders up, and check them if needed, create a designated area for Click and Collect customers to interact with staff members.

Another reason why customers prefer Buy Online, Pick Up In-Stores over home delivery is because they can physically view and check the items. This works out for retailers, too, because you can resolve any problems on-site, reducing costly return requests. Having an exclusive counter for these customers makes it easy to resolve these problems quickly.

To find out more click and collect for retailers, and for more expert tips, you can read the full guide here.

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