BrainMustard Customer Experience Design Series
BrainMustard is collaborating with Metrolinx (partnering with Loblaw's) to start the first Click and Collect for groceries across most stations in Greater Toronto Area.
The Customer Experience Series by BrainMustard are based on the customer experience maps and engagement platforms built from scanning and analyzing millions of contents from the Internet chatter.
These models and maps offer revealing and unexpected consumer insights to formulate new initiatives to increase sales. Check out our success stories at http://www.BrainMustard.com
Why Click and Collect should have failed in France but it thrived?
If you were to offer a Click and Collect program in France, the odds were not in your favour. In France, food has a moral element to it. A huge part of the French culture is about food and the pleasure that comes with it. The French, in general, want to be sure of quality and wholesomeness of the eating experience. Naturally, shopping for groceries is integral to the food culture in France, and no matter how tedious, it’s considered a necessary part of the whole experience The popularity of Click & Collect in Europe was a natural evolution of the retail landscape in response to legislative and consumer behavior. In France, for example, for the longest time, the Click & Collect was exempt from the retail tax and licensing fees and hence it has become the choice discount outlet. In the UK, prior to genesis of C&C, many independent convenience stores, for a nominal fee, were collecting parcels on behalf of their neighboring homes.
In addition, the level of customer service in grocery stores in France generally lags behind other parts of Western Europe and North America. Hence, few people would trust that grocery stores would dedicate enough care when picking food for their customers.
As a result, if one were to guess whether offering Click and Collect service is a better fit for Germany, with the most time-starved people in Europe, or France with people so peculiar about their food and its quality, the natural answer would be Germany.
Nothing could have been further from the truth!
Auchan, a major supermarket chain in France, introduced Click and Collect in 2004. A decade later, there were more than 3,100 Click and Collect points in France alone, with nearly 90% of French having already tried Click and Collect at least once. France ranked second in Europe, after the UK, with consumers using Click and Collect as their primary mode of shopping.
Germany, on the other hand, started Click and Collect much later in 2010. Despite the fact that the Germans are known to value efficiency above all and are hard pressed for time, Click and Collect in Germany is trailing behind France at a quarter of the size with little successful tractions.
Why did French consumers embrace Click and Collect?
For a long time, grocery stores offering Click and Collect in France were operating exclusively from dark stores and warehouses and as such were exempt from steep sales tax rates and expensive retail license fees. This, for the French, meant cheaper products without compromise in quality.
The French already had a strong foundation for adopting Click and Collect. Many French consumers happily embraced drive-through grocery shopping, which also offered the tax saving benefits mentioned before and this happened well before the popularity of e-commerce. Click and Collect was the result of the natural evolution of the retail landscape in France.
The design of customer experience for the on-boarding phase of any Click and Collect program is the most crucial aspect of it.
In Germany, many stores offered a pilot Click and Collect program that failed to offer the minimum viable service that consumers expected. For example, in one case the retailer would only fulfil the online order after the customer had arrived at the store. The customer was then asked to stand in a normal in-store line to pay, essentially taking up as much time as the consumer simply has gone to the store in the first place. These pilots failed miserably because the retailer failed to offer the minimum promises that Click and Collect offers. Or ask someone with a disability how difficult it can be to load heavier items to their shopping carts and unload them into their cars.
Image: The global Psychographic map of Click and Collect by BrainMustard.
The volume of consumer generated contents: 42 million(2018)
Most French retailers, on the other hand, paid close attention to the philosophy behind Click and Collect and focused on the usability aspects of their service. For instance, the shopping lists of new customers that were members of a loyalty program with the retailer already, were pre-populated with their past purchased items. In the absence of the past purchase data, the shopping lists were pre-populated with most frequently purchased items relevant to the lifestyle of the consumers. These consumers would only have to go through the lists and modify them accordingly. This makes the on-boarding phase much easier than if the consumers were to create the lists from the scratch – a major hurdle in customer acquisition for Click and Collect.
On top of this, French were first to realize the value of the notion of “hybrid shopping” behavior, in which stores allow their consumers to order dry goods ahead of time through Click and Collect and then being able to select their own produce and meat in-store while their Click and Collect order is being fulfilled and loaded to their vehicles. Click and Collect allows consumers to have the best of the worlds of online and instore shopping.
The success of Click and Collect in France, while unexpected, was no coincidence. The French retailers paid very close attention to the details in their customer’s experience at every step and designed the service to be compatible with their consumer’s lifestyles.
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