Home delivery and click and collect have both been in the spotlight recently, with retailers offering consumers these services, often as supermarkets struggled to meet demand.

Our ‘Forging a New Future for Convenience’ report last month (request a free copy here) highlighted that 26% of UK consumers had ordered products from their convenience store during the lockdown. Put into context, 26% equals 13 million people. That’s about the same number of people in the UK who watch Netflix.

Our research shows that 55% of retailers plan to launch or retain home delivery or click-and-collect going forward.  For some, a basic rudimentary offer might still be perfectly fine.

It’ll do the job.  

Convenience retailers got their home delivery/click and collect services up and running virtually overnight. Some quicker than that. Many were quite rudimentary solutions, but that was perfectly OK, at the time, as any system which worked was acceptable on such short notice. But now we can start to reflect on the future. And decide how best to offer these services on an on-going basis

But other retailers might want to think on a slightly more grand scale. There are a number of companies who are offering retailers off-the-shelf apps for capturing click and collect/home delivery orders. These solutions might be perfectly fine for many retailers. But there are some retailers who might think this is a ‘once in a long-time’ opportunity to think broader/bolder.

The bigger picture

When it comes to digital, it’s better to think holistically than piecemeal. People can sometimes get overwhelmed and/or intimidated by the notion of having to build ‘a holistic integrated digital strategy’, an idea that can seem shrouded in mystique. That means, for many retailers, they need a solution that grows alongside their offering, not an off-the-shelf product.

What we do know is that in addition to the 55% of retailers who want to launch or retain home delivery/click and collect services, 73% of retailers now recognise data is going to be an important element of their future strategy. While increasing revenues by offering home delivery is very attractive, operators should also – in our opinion – see the opportunity to gather data as being more attractive.

Retailers don’t need to choose between the two. They can potentially have both.

59% of consumers recognise that their convenience store is important to their community, and retailers can benefit from this goodwill. Whether loyalty schemes actually make people more loyal is a much discussed issue….but we know that the data they provide is invaluable.

In essence, a customer orders products from their convenience store online.  We know that 84% of consumers want to order products online. 14% want to do so via telephone.

Retailers are then able to build up huge amounts of knowledge about each customer if the customer opens up an account. Each transaction is logged. Buying patterns and purchase histories are built up and are entirely transparent – we can see exactly what customer X has ordered over the last 12 weeks. This data helps us build up a profile of that customer.  It also allows retailers to cluster customers with similar buying patterns.

Someone working at the retailer’s business could be watching the data and spotting trends but also opportunities:

“This shopper used to buy product Y but they don’t seem to be doing so now – let’s send them a promotion voucher to incentivise them to buy this product again.”


“We can see that other shoppers who bought product Y also bought product Z – so let’s suggest that to this shopper.” 

It also helps identify whether shoppers are shopping more often with the retailer (retailers can reward this) or less often (retailers can pro-actively try to influence shoppers – attract them back).

Therefore, the major question in all of this is not just the digital roll-out….but the ownership of the data the digital roll-out generates.

Data is the new oil in the convenience and wholesale channel.

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Written by: 

Tom Fender, Development Director, TWC
07802 336333
Twitter: @Tomhfender. @TWCGroup
Web: www.TWCGroup.net

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