While 83% of French consumers intend to favour local and made in France1 purchases, their expectations in terms of services have changed during the crisis. According to the Fevad/Mediametrie barometer2, 75% of consumers want physical points of sale to offer distance selling. Consumers’ preference will therefore be shifting in the long term towards merchant brands offering services enabling distance purchases. Let’s take a tour of the customer journeys that retailers can rely on.
As everyone has seen, the lockdown period has led to the development of journeys with pre-order including payment and fast pick-up, such as “drive” or “click and collect“. While these mechanisms initially served as a countermeasure to boost business for closed shops and meet current customer needs, the fact is that they continue to appear today as a strong consumer expectation, a means of coping with delivery problems in some cases, a certain avoidance of concentrated population areas in others, and as an opportunity for merchants to revive local activity, attracting people in shops.
The “click and collect” journey, upgraded with the possibility to exchange products or get an omnichannel refund, creates a route which is particularly fluid for the consumer:
In a similar way, the “pay by link” journey also met a specific need due to the period, since the points of sale had to be creative in order to sell while limiting local contacts. Receiving a payment link by email or SMS that leads to a payment page was a perfect response to this situation. Since then, the equipped stores continue to take orders by phone and to facilitate payment in store for customers who prefer to use this journey to pay. Some shops even offer payment by link at the checkout with scanning of a QR code that gives access to the payment page on a mobile phone, instead of having to use the payment terminal. This is a way of dematerialising the transaction and being able to pay without contact at the point of sale, whatever the amount to be paid.
Another journey, more discreet but structuring, and which can also be combined with payment by link (after an order by phone call for example): “ship from store“. This shipping method was already used by some agile sales networks to improve their stock management. During lockdown, consumers benefited from it with products delivered directly from the shop they had contacted. This journey could continue backstage in order for merchants to decentralize the tasks of shipments induced by remote purchases, reduce the carbon footprint, and boost local activity during off-peak periods. It is also a good method for retailers to anticipate any new bottlenecks, limiting dependence on a single logistics point and thus reinventing the role of the point of sale. Combined with click and collect, the “ship from store” journey is then a powerful tool to boost and create synergies between points of sale.
To illustrate all these trends:
– The Marie Blachère brand has launched a 100% click and collect online sales service that works in synergy with its network of more than 500 bakeries, to offer pre-payment online and then easy order pick-up in store.
– Le Slip Français has completed its range of services with the launch of remote payment, making it possible to pay for purchases very simply before going to the shop or in store via a mobile payment form, which reduces contacts at the checkout.
The work initiated by retailers on these journeys is a long-term project, whether it is to industrialise new operating methods that were put in place very quickly during the crisis, or to explore the optimisation of pre-existing journeys in the face of an increase in demand.
Our teams work daily with retailers and our partners on these subjects. Let’s continue this conversation together, contact us to discuss about your projects: email@example.com
1 source: Kantar, « covid19- monitor » study influx 4, May 2020
2 e-commerce review Q1 2020, Fevad/Médiamétrie
3 +2,5M of internet buyers in the world, according to Kantar Worldpanel Q3 2020 (in comparison with Q3 2019)