A relaxation of the Covid lockdown does not seem to be possible for the time being, but the governments are somewhat accommodating shopkeepers by allowing click & collect service. That is, the non-essential stores may offer customers the option to place orders by appointment to pick up, provided the shopping streets are not too busy. Customers can place their orders over the phone or online. Because online is the most efficient method, retailers who run a webshop in addition to their physical store have an extra competitive advantage in this. For retailers who are not yet active online, the click & collect service is the ultimate signal to take quick steps.

Because consumers want to, despite the corona pandemic. Money that is not spent on holidays and catering visits is spent on purchasing pleasure. But as long as the non-essential physical stores remain closed, consumers often experience that pleasure online. And for the time being, the mandatory store closure will remain in force, now that the English virus variant also strikes in the Netherlands. In addition, the vaccination program is not running too efficiently. The question is whether allowing the click & collect service will make the difference. But it provides some relief.

Multi-channelers achieve record growth

Recent Dutch Statistics Netherlands statistics show that consumers spend good money despite corona. The retail trade had a boom in 2020 record growth of 5.9% compared to 2019. That is the second highest growth rate of this century! The biggest winner is the food sector with 6.9% more turnover. Not only the supermarkets benefited from the circumstances, but also the collection and delivery of meals saw impressive growth. The non-food sector also posted good figures in 2020. Only December saw a dip with sales declining 3.1%. This was a direct result of the hard lockdown.

In addition to the offline and online food sector, the E-commerce sector did good business with total revenue growth of more than 43.5%. This is an absolute record since 2014, the year in which Statistics Netherlands started recording online sales figures. The recent figures also show how smart retailers were to replenish their brick shops with online sales in a timely manner. These so-called multi-channelers in 2020, they recorded a revenue growth of 54.6% compared to 2019. They are the first retailers to now take advantage of the scope that the cabinet offers to the click & collect service. This shows once again that the realization of an online retail channel, if necessary in its simplest form, can no longer be postponed.

Click & collect service is gaining popularity

After all, partly as a result of covid-19, consumers are getting used to the combination of physical and online shopping. And the click & collect service is also gaining popularity among customers who have been embracing E-commerce for a long time. First of all, it is convenient: you do not have to stay at home to receive your package. Secondly, it is economical: as a customer you do not pay shipping costs. In addition, it is sustainable and good for the development of the inner cities. There are fewer vans and smaller retailers can compete well with the larger online chains and platforms thanks to the click & collect service.

Make click and collect service a perfect contact moment

Incidentally, an effective click & collect service does make demands on your online environment, especially on your back office processes. All process details must be correct, your stock management must be perfectly organized, and the customer must be able to rely on your click and pick up service for 100%. If customers have to wait unreasonably long at the shop door, they'll think twice before ordering another from you.

A well thought-out and stable automated system for ordering, preparing and paying on time determines success, as is the automated communication about collection times and locations. The complete supply chain must be of high quality, customization is required to distinguish yourself from the competition. Make your click & collect service a perfect contact moment in the customer journey. Do that now, for new perspective during the lockdown. But also do it for the future, if your customers have forgotten about corona and opt for convenience and reliability. How? That's where we come into the picture. With a knowledgeable webshop IT advice.