Skip the crowds, wait times and shipping costs by ordering your groceries or clothing online and picking up in-store. This convenient, simple method of purchasing items—also known as ‘click and collect,’ is a growing trend that’s here to stay.
While click and collect has been gaining traction for years, Forbes reported a 195% increase in this popular fulfilment method in May 2020 alone. The good news is, this trend is here to stay with 80% of consumers planning to continue their new shopping behaviours post pandemic.
For retailers, click and collect provides a less expensive alternative to traditional shipping methods and an opportunity to promote in-store cross-selling and impulse purchase sales.
During the height of the pandemic, when Australian retailers and restaurants shut their doors and eCommerce companies were faced with record delivery delays, click and collect offered these businesses and their customers a lifeline.
This led to new shopping behaviours from consumers, such as:
A client of Liveli, eStar, is powering some of Australasia's leading retail brands to deliver over $1.2B in online sales annually. They said that click and collect is the key to success for online businesses. “Even after consumers adapt to a post-Covid world, click and collect will stay and become a foundation for any business aspiring to be successful online”, said Kylie Williams, Client Services and Partner Manager at eStar.
In this blog, we reveal how you can use Google Maps to build and tailor your click and collect offering to meet your customers' evolving needs.
Help shoppers check product availability at nearby stores
Let’s face it, most customers won't be willing to drive to your store or wait on hold with the customer service team to hear if a product may, or may not be in stock.
Retailers can help shoppers find products by providing real-time inventory and stock availability prior to their visit. To help customers find an available product in the store closest to them within a certain radius, you can use the Google Maps Geocoding API and Geolocation API on each product page.
Once you have compared your customer's location to where your store locations are, you can use the Distance Matrix API to display the shoppers most convenient store location for pick up by driving time or road distance.
European retailer, Maxeda, said that adding these Google Maps APIs to its product pages saw a 50% increase in click and reserved orders across its 374 stores.
Display store locators in brand colours with your preferred Points of Interest
By embedding a dynamic map to your page—you can help shoppers zoom and pan on a map to find their nearest store for pick up. This means that they aren't leaving your application or website to look for this information directly on Google Maps.
Google has updated its Maps offering by allowing businesses to style dynamic maps, mostly used for store locators, in personalised colours and shades. This styling enables businesses to reinforce brand colours and reduce distractions on the map by controlling the points of interest that are visible to shoppers. Read our blog to find out more about this feature.
Simplify checkout process
Did you know on average 80% of shoppers abandon their online carts before making a purchase? Reducing the time it takes for a customer to check out is the first step to reducing friction in the checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, one of the top reasons for consumers abandoning a shopping cart is a “long and complicated checkout process.”
Customers opting to click and collect still need to pay for their goods and provide their billing address information. Using the Google Places Autocomplete API, customers can input the first few characters of their billing address before the “type-ahead” function is prompted to draw on details of approximately 100 million places and provide a drop-down selection of the predicted addresses.
This feature not only saves the customer time in the checkout process, but also validates the address, saving time on cleaning system data.
Our team can help get you started, we know Google Maps back-to-front because we are a Google Cloud Premier Partner for Location-based services (that’s kind of a big deal in the Google world).
Get in touch with us to speak with a member of the team who can help set up or improve your Google Maps click and collect offering.
About the author: Amy Boyes
Amy is the Marketing and Events Officer at NGIS Australia.