The #1 Guide to Warehouse Management in the UK
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With the current situation, click-and-collect has the potential to become more relevant to more sectors than ever before. The Covid-19 crisis might have passed it’s peak, but there is still a long way to go. Shoppers and workers alike need better ways to speed up supply, while staying safe and secure as possible. As more and more businesses are able to re-open, click-and-collect represents an ideal way to gradually improve efficiency, while keeping customers and workers as safe as possible.
Click-and-collect minimises the number of people that customers interact with. Regular retail environments are shared spaces, with customers sharing air with each other and the entire customer facing workforce.
Click-and-collect offers an optimally safe environment for both your customers and your workers. The more your customers use this option, the fewer people both they, and your workers, will be exposed to. With more direct control of where the ‘collect’ part of click-and-collect happens, you can design the area to minimise unnecessary contact, and maximise safety for you and your customers.
Click-and-collect is also much faster. One of the things many people are looking forward to post-Covid lockdown is being able to do things faster, and get what they want quicker. When done properly, click-and-collect means a customer can possess the products they want in a matter of hours, not days. When more non-essential shopping is possible, speed of delivery coupled with safety is going to be a very attractive prospect.
When setting out to make click and collect work well for your customers, there’s lots of details and techniques you should be employing.
While this is true of large swathes of the online retail sector, it’s especially important for click-and-collect. The speed of click-and-collect coupled with the ease of a good mobile-optimised customer interface, will make your online store an attractive place to do business.
If you make sure your customers choose where they want to collect from first, it means you can immediately narrow down what products are available in what store. Little is more frustrating than getting to the end of a purchasing process, only to choose a collection location, and find out that it’s not in stock there. If a store has low stock, or a product a customer looks for isn’t available, make sure your system can tell the customer the nearest store that does have it.
The speed aspect of the click-and-collect makes it very attractive. A great way to make that aspect as prominent as possible, is to provide the customer with real time updates. Respond when their order has been received, let them know when the collection is being put together, and tell them exactly when its ready. Push notifications and text messages are ideal ways to do this.
One of click-and-collects most advantageous features is its convenience. A great deal of customer time is saved by just having all the desired items in one place, ready to go. To keep the convenience factor going strong, you should not only make your collection time slots clear, but also make them as big as possible. Exact situations will vary from business to business, as some goods may need to be stored in specific ways, but the goal should always be to optimise for customer convenience.
Click-and-collect is a great system to make your workers safer and their work more efficient. To ensure maximum possible safety and the best way forward for workers in warehouses or stores, take note of the following ideas.
Click-and-collect needs to be a specific sub-role that your teams are assigned to. It can’t be just an additional role that is added on top of regular duties. Give click-and-collect staff members identifying markers. Maybe a different coloured uniform. Maybe a sash or armband or other maker that clearly says who they are. This will mean that both customers in a retail environment, and workers in warehouses will understand their role is distinct and special, and will treat them accordingly.
To prevent congestion and workers criss-crossing each others paths as they gather up the necessary items, arrange a one way system for your click-and-collect teams to move through as they gather up the items they need. Coupled with the distinguishing identifiers, this will also make it easier for other workers and customers to give these workers a wide berth, avoiding unnecessary contact and making everyone safer.
Hand sanitiser and disinfectant are vital resources to deploy to keep all your staff safe. However, given the amount of direct contact that click-and-collect teams will have with products that customers will come into contact with, it is vital to focus cleanliness resources on employees in the click-and-collect role. Have them wash hands more regularly, and ensure they are equipped with some kind of face covering. The more usable your click and collect is, the more contact can be focused into this narrow bottleneck, where disinfection resources can be concentrated, and the virus’s spread more limited.
Click-and-collect creates an excellent option for rapid returns. In much the same way customers have a single place to receive goods, they can have another single place to take them back. The same one way system can be used to put items back where they can be re-sold, maximising efficiency and minimising extra contact.
As the situation with Covid-19 continues to evolve, businesses of all kinds will have to adapt and adjust their practices. Click-and-collect is a great way to maximise speed of delivery, while minimising the number of people your staff and your customers need to interact with. To find out more about how OrderWise can help you put the systems in place to make click-and-collect work for your business, talk to one of our business development team today.
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