retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Colloquy is out with a story suggesting that it is "inevitable" that click-and-collect services will become "commonplace" in the US.

Part of the reason is shopper convenience, but the story suggests that there is another reason for retailers to embrace and promote this option - its ability to provide a greater amount of actionable shopper data that can be used to a competitive advantage.

Analysts, the story says, point out that "click-and-collect has the potential to allow grocers to delve more deeply into shopper data, gathering useful loyalty and behavioral information and creating the opportunity to encourage specific behaviors ... One of the clearest of those opportunities is the ability to capture online behavior differently than it can be done in-store. If a customer walks down the cracker aisle in a store but then changes her mind, the grocer likely will never know; with click-and-collect, grocers know what products a shopper viewed or considered but abandoned, can spot patterns for items that frequently get searched but not purchased, and have the opportunity to follow up with shoppers or watch their decisions over time to learn more.

"The data also allows grocers to broaden shoppers’ selections within categories – suggesting baby wipes to a click-and-collect customer who has selected diapers, for example – as well as steering them toward another product in a category when something has been abandoned. When the online shopper puts a jar of applesauce back on the shelf, virtually speaking, the click-and-collect system can suggest another brand, a better deal or an alternate package size."

To read the entire analysis, click here
KC's View:
Add to this the fact that click-and-collect is generally considered to be the fastest way to get to profitability if you are doing e-commerce ... it avoids all the costs associated with delivery, and provides a specific and useful service to those inclined to use it.

As for actionable data ... I think that's great. Though we always have to remember that there is an enormous gap between having actionable data and actually acting on it.