In this blog post, we will go over out recent partnership with El Corte Inglés, where we created El Corte Inglés Smart Lockers.
We reached out to El Corte Inglés during 2020, after realizing that our Smart Lockers would perfectly fit their Click and Collect model, and would allow them to reduce costs, while creating a better experience.
Realizing the potential benefits of such a solution, we initiated a partnership to understand the viability of the concept.
The results were very positive. By implementing our Smart Locker solution, El Corte Inglés was able to reduce their costs associated with Click and Collect, and to obtain impressively positive feedback from their final customers.
The implementation process was smooth, and with our tools, they were able to deploy this service quickly.
El Corte Inglés: the Spanish retail giant
Founded in 1940, the Spanish company started as a tailor’s shop, and over the years evolved to become the largest department store group in Europe, and the #3 in the world.
In Spain, no matter where you are, there’s an El Corte Inglés store in less than 30km from you.
As of 2021, the company has multiple stores, brands and operates in multiple countries, employing more than 90 000 people, and with a revenue of over 15 billion €.
Like many other brick-and-mortar retailers, El Corte Inglés saw early the need to adapt to the growth of E-commerce, launching their own online web shop, which has become a bigger and bigger part of the business over time.
Click and Collect at El Corte Inglés – Before
Having its e-commerce business segment growing, and a vast network of physical stores, having a strong Click and Collect system was a must.
Therefore, El Corte Inglés set-up a Click and Collect desk, typically on the lower floors of the store, where people could pickup their previously purchased online goods.
The desk usually had a ticket system, where customers would take a ticket, and wait for their number in order to retrieve their goods, the desk would typically have 4 to 5 employees at most times to run this process.
After waiting for their number to arrive, the customer would go to the desk, show an invoice confirmation and ID in order to confirm his identity, after this, one of the staff members would go to the warehouse location and bring the goods.
This process could take multiple minutes for the customer during peak hours.
Automating Click and Collect – After
By using Bloq.it Smart Lockers, we were able to quickly deploy a Smart Locker system that allowed El Corte Inglés staff to place Click and Collect goods inside the Smart Lockers.
The staff member had access to a web platform, provided by Bloq.it, that could be accessed through a browser (computer, tablet or smart phone).
Once logged to this platform, they could quickly create new deliveries, by giving the system information about the buyer, such as an email or phone number.
Once verified, the staff member would choose an available locker door, place the item inside, and once the door was closed, the system would generate a PIN code that was sent to the final customer by email or SMS.
Then, the final customer goes to the Smart Locker, writes his CODE and collects their goods in less than 10 seconds.
A tailor-made solution
El Corte Inglés, being a large company with a vast operation, processes need to be highly optimized and well structured.
As a consequence, it’s much harder to implement and change workflows, which means, new solutions need to be able to adapt to the current workflows and operations.
At Bloq.it, we offer a tailor-made approach, that starts with the Smart Locker itself, and goes all the way to the internal usage software flows.
On average, during the first two weeks of deployment, our team was launching new updates, based on customer feedback, every two days.
The adaptable nature of our solution, makes it easier to implement changes based on real user feedback, which over time, allows us to have the most complete solution for that specific use-case.
The results – A success story
After implementing the service, El Corte Inglés, decided to conduct customer research to understand how their own users felt about this new service, over 500 customers were inquired.
The results were shockingly positive:
- Over 90% of their customers stated they preferred this system to the typical Click and Collect
- 80% stated being a quicker and simpler option was the biggest advantage
- The average satisfaction rate with the service was 9.35 out of 10
Besides the positive response from the customers, the service was also highly adopted, with an average fill rate of over 85%.
The usage of these units, also allowed the process to be much more efficient, reducing the staff headcount working on this service from 4 or 5 people, to only one! A significant reduction in costs, that could be up to 90%.
The Bloq.it approach
Our approach towards working with new partners has two focuses: the partner and the final customer.
Often we have to negotiate how to implement the best solution by balancing Customer and Partner needs.
The experience using a solution like this one, always needs to be designed having the final customer in mind. It must be simple, quick and easy to use, that’s key to ensure satisfaction and adoption.
Having that in mind, the solution must also be adapted and customized to our partner needs. It must fit their workflows, and must be easy and quick to operate, on average each order can be created under 20 seconds, and the system supports bulk manual orders.
The system can also be easily integrated inside partners existing channels, through our API, allowing for full system automation.
It’s important to collect feedback from the people who interact with the system on the ground: both customers and staff, and understand how their experience can be improved. Following this approach, we’re able to develop and progress to a solution that truly fits the use-case for all the parties involved.
We do this by having a close follow-up with our partners, checking service interaction data, meeting and discussing the implementation, and how to make it successful.
A Successful Smart Locker implementation
Deciding on placing Smart Lockers is just the first step.
A Smart Locker by itself is often not enough, retailers need to take into account crucial decisions such as:
- What provider to go for
- How do the Smart Lockers work
- What’s the User Experience using this new tool like
- How to effectively offer this service to the final customer, ensuring adoption
- How to implement successful workflows for the staff members
- Where to place these Smart Lockers in the facilities
And these are just some of the decisions that can differentiate a successful implementation of Smart Lockers from an unsuccessful one.
At Bloq.it, we provide a specialized solution of Smart Lockers for retailers, developed alongside industry experts, and created with the retailers and their customers in mind.
That’s why over 90% of the people who have used our Smart Lockers for Click & Collect, stated they preferred this method to typical Click and Collect systems, and it’s no wonder since on average, our users take less than 10 seconds to retrieve their items;
Our team of industry experts will also provide in-depth know-how and assistance on all the key parts of implementing this service.
To sum it up – Click and Collect Smart Lockers
As click and collect increasingly becomes the last mile delivery option of choice it only makes sense for Retailers follow suit!
Below are the key improvements that Smart Lockers offer over legacy Click and Collect solutions:
- Reduce in store collection time
- Reduces labour costs
- Increase safety with contactless pick-up
- Bigger time window to collect
If you would like to implement Click and Collect Smart Lockers or simply know more about this solution, feel free to reach out below.
If you want to find out more about our solutions and some of the problems our team of experts is solving for our clients on a daily basis drop me an email at email@example.com or connect with me on LinkedIn