‘Click and Collect’ versus ‘Reserve and Collect’

In the super competitive world of retail, even seemingly minor nuances in your sales strategy can profoundly impact the shopping experience. Two terms frequently used, but often confused, are 'Click and Collect' and 'Reserve and Collect'. But what sets them apart, and why does one tend to get used far more often? Let’s find out.


Quick Definitions

Click and Collect – You pay for goods online, this is the point the sale happens, you then collect your goods in-store or from a distributor.


Reserve and Collect – You reserve an item, with the retailer taking it out of available stock, and when you go to collect your goods you then make payment.


The ‘Reserve and Collect’ Conundrum

At a popular upscale fashion boutique in downtown Paris, a new designer purse catches the eye of several customers. To cater to their customers’ needs, the boutique offers a 'Reserve and Collect' service. 


A customer spots the purse online and, unsure if it'll match their favorite outfit, reserves it without making an upfront payment, for collection when they have time to go in and see it in person. This gives them the luxury of time to decide – which is particularly appealing for high-value items.


However, after two days, they decide against the purchase. Meanwhile, the boutique has had to turn down other potential buyers, assuming the reserve customer would come in. This situation illustrates the biggest operational challenges retailers face with 'Reserve and Collect'. 


While undoubtedly friendly to consumers, such repercussions, like missed sales opportunities, can be a challenge for retailers. These no-show situations create the need for additional processes to handle the release and reclaim of stock efficiently.


Creating a 'Reserve' button for high-value items might sound straightforward, but for a retailer, it introduces an additional layer of complexity. If a customer doesn’t come in to collect and doesn't return, how long should they hold an item for? When should it be reintegrated into the available stock? This deviation from the typical sales process, while providing excellent customer service, requires a well-thought-out system to effectively manage it.


Alternatively, a retailer can choose to request payment upfront for all items taken from stock – Click and Collect. It’s a lot more straightforward for the retailer, but it also might be a barrier for some customers. That means understanding which to use comes down to your product and customer base.


Distinguishing To Compete: The Choice Between The Two

'Click and Collect' and 'Reserve and Collect' each have their merits. The former offers a straightforward transaction and pickup process, while the latter leans into building trust, especially for high-ticket items. For businesses dealing in luxury goods or where an intimate customer relationship is essential, the ‘Reserve and Collect’ option might be worth the operational hurdles.


However, it's crucial to have an agile omnichannel retail platform, like Wolfpack's ORP, which can efficiently manage the whole process. After all, in the competitive world of retail, every touchpoint matters, every process counts, and every strategy decision can make or break the customer experience.


Embrace your retail journey with Wolfpack and navigate the complexities of modern-day omni-channel commerce with the right tool for the job. Contact us today.

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