Survey insights: How consumers feel about contactless click and collect services in retail stores

Raj Sangha
by Raj Sangha

As the UK and many other countries throughout the world go into a second lockdown, retailers are once again forced to close up shop.

However, many are relying on online shopping and click and collect services to continue driving sales during this crucial period in the retail calendar year.

As a direct result of the outbreak, consumers are noticeably more open, aware and eager for curbside click and collect services, as they enable consumers to collect online orders without waiting in physical queues or coming into physical contact with other consumers or store staff.

Find out more about click and collect software.

In April 2020 and October 2020 Qudini surveyed 2,000 UK consumers to understand their opinions around click and collect services before and during the pandemic. This report presents some of our key findings.

April 2020 survey of 2,000+ consumers

The demand for click and collect services before Covid-19

At the start of the April 2020 lockdown our first survey to 2,000 UK consumers showed that outside of the Coronavirus pandemic click and collect had not yet become widespread in the UK. Only 10% of survey respondents frequently used click and collect services, 30% did so occasionally and 26% did so rarely. A third (33%) of Britons never used click and collect.

Baby Boomers were the least likely to use click and collect outside of the pandemic, with only 4% doing so frequently. This made them 5 time less frequent users than GenZ customers where 19% would use these service frequently.

The demand for Click and collect services during Covid-19

However, despite the different generational uses of click and collect prior to the pandemic, when asked if they would be more likely to use click and collect services during the pandemic (even when stores are open in order to reduce time spent inside a store), an average of more than a third (36.5%) of every age generation group was more likely to want to use click and collect services.

As these questions were asked at the start of the pandemic, the responses suggested that Covid-19 would drive a significant growth of omni-channel behaviours amongst all age demographics.

October 2020 survey of 2,000+ consumers

This October 2020 we sent out a new survey to 2,000 UK consumers about how retailers (even when stores were open) could improve their store safety and experience during the pandemic and found that:

Overall, 71% of consumers said they would find contactless click and collect services that enable them to collect their orders from outside of store useful.

An overwhelming 86% of GenZ consumers said they would find curbside click and collect services useful, while almost 80% of Millennials said the same.

Even half (52%) of Baby Boomers said they would find contactless click and collect services useful during the pandemic.

Female consumers are more likely to find contactless click and collect services useful than male consumers.

Consumers with a household income of more than £50k per year are significantly more likely to say curbside click and collect would be useful.

Those from the £150k to £300k income bracket are the most likely to want the service, with 89% saying it was the case.

Learn more about click and collect check-in software.

Demand for click and collect across different store types

Younger consumers showed a strong interest in the concept of contactless click and collect order collections from outside of stores, particularly within grocery retail stores (34%), but also heavily within pharmacies (25%), fashion/clothing stores (22%), electronics stores (22%), department stores (21%), shoe stores (20%), shopping malls (20%), health food stores (19%), book stores (19%), sportswear stores and beyond.

Across all industries, GenZ and Millennial customers are more likely than Baby Boomers to want to receive contactless click and collect services from outside of the store.

However, Baby Boomers are more or equally interested in the concept of contactless click and collect services from grocery stores, pharmacies, garden centres and DIY stores.

 

The impact of contactless curbside click and collect on consumer behaviour

Overall, consumers responded positively to the idea of contactless click and collect services from outside of the store, with 81% of Millennial and GenZ consumers seeing some kind of benefit, including:

Compared with Baby Boomers, Millennial and GenZ customers are twice as likely to be influenced to shop with a retailer online, as a result of them offering a contactless click and collect service.

They are also twice as likely to advocate the service to their friends.

While they are also slightly more likely to be influenced to visit the retailers’ stores in general, to think better of the retailer and to visit the retailer in general.

Again, these insights show that as these younger generations continue to increase in spending power, retailers will grow their revenues and profit margins by improving their digital service offerings.

Higher household income brackets also report being more likely to buy something online and to visit the retailers stores in general if they were to offer a contactless click and collect service from outside of the store.

These insights demonstrate that higher household income groups have greater expectations and needs from modern retailers’ services and they are more likely to spend money with the brand in return for it.

How do consumers prefer to check-in to curbside click and collect?

When asked how they would most like to check-in to store for a contactless order pickup; texting an SMS code and using a link in the order confirmation email were the most popular methods, followed by using a self-service tablet and scanning a QR code. Checking in through the store team via a host or customer service desk was less preferred.

Millennial and GenZ customers showed greater interest in checking in via most check-in methods, with the biggest difference being that they are 2.4 to 3 times more likely to check-in using a QR code or via a self-service tablet kiosk.

Baby Boomers are twice as likely to choose to check-in via SMS codes or their order confirmation email than they are by QR codes or self-service tablets.

We later asked USA consumers the same question but added in the option for using a retailer’s app and found that this came up within the top three options.

Creating effective signage for your click and collect service

To create a clear and efficient click and collect customer journey, it’s vital that retailers create effective and easy to understand signage.

Examples of clear and useful click and collect signage.

To help our clients to create clear signage for their curbside click and collect offering, we’ve pulled together a guide.

How to create effective signage for click and collect services. 

How curbside click and collect works:

Find out more about click and collect here.

Overall, our survey insights found that while queuing is a challenge that costs retailers significant revenue opportunity, virtual queuing systems serve as a powerful antidote that can even enable retailers to turn a typically negative experience into something that increases sales both online and offline, while driving strong customer relationships in the process.

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