Click & Collect Concept
The Coronavirus drastically changed customer attitudes towards shopping, it hastened the process of digitalization which in recent years was responsible for the evolution of the retail industry. Change touches everyone, from big retail markets to local convenience stores. The latter have a tough job to do today. Before the pandemic, going to a convenience store was more of a chore than a pleasure. Today, those customers worried about their wellbeing see even less sense in squeezing shopping baskets through tight alleys between the narrowly set shelf racks. Can technology help?
One thing is for sure: consumers still want to, they have to, buy their favourite coffee, dairy products, bread, and sweets.
At Autentika we believe, that although once a week we will shop at supermarkets, there is place in the market for spontaneous visits at the store. We want to invite the customer to place their order in the app and collect their already packed shopping bags at the local store.
Let’s see how clock and collect can work from the point of view of two different people: Mariusz, a store owner, and Sabina, his regular customer who lives nearby.
Mariusz: I am the owner of the local convenience store which belongs to a large network. The app allows me to serve those of my customers who don’t like to spend their time shopping and also to promote my goods in the neighbourhood. For example, today I have a large stock of orange juice. Before all I could do is stick a red sticker on top of it, post a poster on the door with the offer and wait Now I have new possibilities:
Within the app, I can set the price of the beverage on sale and duration of the offer. Two clicks later all customers in the area who’ve set my store as their preferred location get a notification:
It worked. The product detail card tells me there are already more people interested in the product than I have in stock. Looks like I should order even more:
Sabina (convenience store customer): I have a few things to get done today after work and just this morning I realized that we’ve run out of coffee. I also have to pick up my kid from the nursery and I don’t want to spend too much time at the store. Thanks to the app I can complete my order at any time of the day and collect it at the local store on my block.
Instead of browsing through the product catalogue, I can search for the things that I’m interested in different ways: by text, voice, or by scanning codes on the packaging of anything I already have at home and want to restock.
Unfortunately, I’ve run out of my favorite coffee. I activate the search bar and type in the main categories of the products I’m interested in: coffee, sugar, cookies, bubble gum to top it all up.
Search results are presented in separate tabs. Now I can select the particular coffee I’m looking for:
In any case, I can also type in the complete name of the product:
When I select coffee the app suggests I also buy some milk. I dring my coffee black, but I can also make some pancakes for the little one, I’ll take it.
On the product list I can also see, that if I buy two packs of gum I can get it cheaper:
Next I set the collection time. I should be able to pick up my bags right before picking up the kid at 4:30 p.m.. The app sets the date for today by default:
Mariusz: on the order list I see a new order. Someone needs coffee and cookies. Collection set for 4:30 p.m. It’s time to complete this order.
With a smartphone in my hand a basket on my shoulder I gather the ordered merchandise.
Sabina: Look! I got a notification that my order is being packed.
Mariusz: I scan barcodes and put them in the bag:
In the meantime, the customer sent me a message that they’d like the milk to have the furthest possible use-by date.
We have a small problem because the half-liter containers are near the date, I can only offer bigger milk cartons. I call the customer to confirm the details of the change in their order.
Sabina: I don’t need a whole liter of milk, it will run past its use-by date before we use it.
Mariusz: Since the customer changed her mind I have to modify the order and remove milk.
The order is complete: I put it in a special zone near the exit so the customer can conveniently collect it.
Sabina: I walk into the store and open the app. I make the payment with a single swipe.
Mariusz: The order is paid for, everything is ok. Another satisfied customer bought what they needed from my store.
The Market Background
In pandemic times we have realized how quickly we can modify our shopping habits. These days, consumers pay increased attention to their own safety and the safety of others around them. In recent months many of us used online and mobile shopping possibilities for the first time in our lives. It turns out that when conditions change we are more likely to buy online, therefore, more and more retail networks provide their customers with solutions that make their offer accessible online.
Growth predictions for the e-commerce industry before the pandemic leveled at about 3% p.a.
Consumer behaviors during the pandemic quickly verified those indications and it turned out that many of them immediately switched to shopping online. Most significant changes could be observed in the home equipment industry (101%), consumables (79%), and digital goods (61%).
Based on the chart above you can see a 122% increase in payments using Revolut cards for the services of Glovo, a food and grocery delivery company. Other retail networks also noted an increased number of these transactions.
Research shows that more and more customers use m-commerce applications. Their expectations regarding the speed of those platforms, usability, and ease of payment are also growing. A study by the Chamber of Electronic Commerce indicates that abandoned carts result mainly from an extensive ordering process. Simple and intuitive click&collect solutions can be the right response to the most common problems of internet users.
Promoting the mobile app to increase downloads
To effectively promote a mobile application we can use the universal Google Advertising Network. It allows us to grow the number of Android and iOS downloads. It provides access to all Google Ads online locations, including the Google Display Network, Google Search Network, YouTube, Google Discover, and Google Play (for Android apps).
The second channel in which we can create campaigns to promote mobile apps is Facebook. The channel is less effective, as the cost of obtaining a download is less favourable than in the case of Google Ads, but it allows us to reach a group of users potentially interested in online shopping.
You should attempt to reach this group from the very beginning, because of the wide range of remarketing possibilities and the ability to increase the number of fans of the brand on Facebook, if not for any other reason. Facebook campaigns are much more effective in further activating the gathered users.
Activation of users within the mobile app
The best tool we can use to activate the existing user base is Marketing Automation which allows us to send different notifications based on user preferences and behaviors. There’s also a whole range of messages we can employ for our purposes, such as a newsletter, web push, in-app notifications, and text messages.
Using this technology we can, for example, send a notification when a particular product becomes available at the store after it has been unavailable for a while. We can also set reminders for any given time. MA provides practically unlimited user activation possibilities.
ASO — promoting the mobile app in App Store and Google Play
As many as 48% of users find the new apps they download in their app marketplace. Therefore, ASO (application search optimization) is a very important element of your campaign — it includes activities that allow for gaining rank in Google Play and the App Store.
The elements below influence the positioning of your app in the marketplace:
- attractive title and subtitle of the application including important keywords,
- well-prepared description including crucial information for users and building trust towards the creator of the app and:
- for Google Play: it should include important keywords,
- for App Store: it requires filling out some fields which are not visible to the user but influence how the app is assigned to particular categories,
- attractive images and screenshots from the app promoting different features,
- elements which legitimize the app and its authors, i.e.:
- rating and feedback,
- number of downloads,
- SEO backlinks (in the case of Google Play).
Promoting the web application
The flexible marketing solutions used for mobile apps can also be applied to the web version of the store which, just like the mobile app, can guide the customer step-by-step through their purchase. A content platform combined with an online store is the perfect place for attracting new users who don’t yet know your brand and who aren’t looking for a particular product but rather for a solution to their problem, e.g. a user looking for a barbecue recipe doesn’t yet know what products to choose, so by placing suitable products naturally within an article on that subject or in the recipe you can help them decide to buy this particular product.
Optimization of the sales funnel is also important, as it stops the customer from abandoning their cart at each stage of placing the order. The user bought a product at our store. That’s great, but… what should we do to make them come back for more? Another step in building customer loyalty — aside to good service and great products — is proper marketing which won’t let them forget about the store, i.e. remarketing, e-mailing campaigns, and in-app notifications.
The loyalty of the user who found us through the most natural channel these days, wich is an online search, can also be maintained by a proper mobile app construction which responds to their needs.
SEO PR — efficient promotion of the app and the online store
We can also strengthen the new sales platform and the mobile app through building links from popular internet sites. Premium articles within those outlets which emphasize the advantages of the promoted solution bring two kinds of benefits:
- they build brand awareness of the internet store and help it gain new users,
- they increase the visibility of the site by passing traffic from sites with good SEO parameters.
This way the backlinks gained from valuable domains help to build brand awareness and support the visibility of both the web version of the e-commerce platform and the positioning of the mobile app.
Content to commerce
All digital activities have one purpose, to increase conversion on the site. In order to achieve that we have to combine two factors — building brand awareness and optimizing conversion on the site.
It is crucial to create a proper content strategy, so that it is optimized for proper hierarchy, hits right in the needs of the target group, and is based on an analysis of potential, competition, and seasonality of searches.
Well-prepared content attracts user interest and builds brand awareness. By using e.g. animated materials and infographics in the guidebook section and unique product descriptions adapted to the particular industry we can focus user attention in an interesting way, and also build trust and positive image of the store, to which the customers will want to return.
By creating and optimizing content based on a topic structure and enforcing blog subpages (e.g. through articles related to activities, for which particular products can be used) with phrases intended to guide users, as well as creating unique descriptions for products and category pages based on phrases which provide for good conversion and sales we increase valuable traffic through our site.
That’s why when optimizing content for SEO you should mind the intent of the phrases you use — generally speaking, we can build visibility based on both, generic and long-tail phrases, and by using proper keyword segmentation we can take care of our users at every stage of their purchase. From the moment we present the recommended ingredients to a person looking for a “gluten-free pizza recipe”, to allowing a direct and quick purchase to someone looking for “fresh mini carrots”.
Cross-selling and up-selling
In addition, by using cross-selling and up-selling strategies we can increase sales by offering customers other products which are somehow related to those they already picked or bought recently. For example, if someone buys spaghetti we can offer them bolognese sauce or minced meat, and a person who buys fresh vegetables could perhaps use some salad sauce or gluten-free tortillas.
Cross-selling (offering related products) and up-selling (suggesting other, often higher quality products) can be successfully used not only on sales pages but in articles as well. This way we create links between the guidebook section and the products, increasing sales potential. This an advantage not only for the users, who can easily find and buy the product they are interested in but also for bots, which receive information on what the pages are regarding. By linking products to properly selected anchor texts we strengthen sales pages based on valuable phrases and we support their visibility.
Autentika is a UX-driven Software House. For almost 15 years we have been creating web applications and websites, mobile applications and e-commerce.