Smart Lockers for Click and Collect – New Consumer Behaviors in 2021 and 2022.

. Reading time: 9 min.

Bruno Galaio
Bruno Galaio
Parcel smart lockers allow people to retrieve packages in less then 10 seconds

So, how should we use Smart Lockers for Click and Collect?

Covid-19 changed the world’s consumption patterns. Overall, Click and Collect systems have been implemented to serve this new demand efficiently.

Having a big interest in the Retail Industry overall with a soft spot for operations management, come with me, over the next paragraphs where we will take a deep dive into the Retail Click and Collect trends and different solutions for it.

A powered by Locker for Click & Collect for C&C.

Why is having Click and Collect in 2021 is a necessity?

Over the last two years, retailers have been faced with a challenge that we’ve never felt before. Without being able to interact directly with people due to Covid, retailers looked for a new way to deliver goods and keep sales going.

Many contactless ways of delivering orders were tested by many business verticals. Delivery at the door grew immensely. Glovo, Uber, and Bolt were lifesavers during confinement delivering food, goods like groceries, and even Covid-19 tests. But, this wasn’t really a contactless thing, neither a Click and Collect, the risk of infection was still there, even with all the safety procedures taken.

This contactless interaction needed to be automatized, there was a general need to remove people from the Click and Collect equation. One of the systems tested to do so was Smart Lockers, effectively grew a lot with this reality.

How generaly C&C works.

But, with the pandemic almost over, why is Click and Collect in 2021 still preferable?

We all have busy lives in general. Being a good manager of your time or not, we all complain about the time we lose in traffic, drinking coffee, wandering at the mall, and scrolling pointlessly on Instagram. And we absolutely hate to wait in lines to buy something.

Think about it, it’s hilarious that you need to wait, have a dreadful time to pay for something, but we do it all the time, with groceries, take away restaurants, commodities stores, pharmacies…everywhere we go, especially if you are in a big city.

The point of having a Click and Collect in 2021 is to give your customers a more efficient way of shopping, where there’s no need to wait in lines or to have contact with things they don’t want at all.

Smart Locker has a pick-up point.

Do clients like Click and Collect in 2021?

The answer is YES. We’ve conducted studies with a client of ours who did an excellent job implementing Smart Lockers for Click and Collect automatizing the desk system that they had.

A whopping 80% of the clients treasure a fast pick-up system where they can retrieve a parcel in less than 10 seconds. 51% of this universe states that the solution is easy and convenient to use. 30% treasure that it’s a free-to-use solution.

The adoption rate is so high that the average fill rate of the lockers is over 85%.

A consumer picking up their purchase in a powered by Smart Locker at El Corte Inglés
A consumer picking up their purchase in a powered by Smart Locker at El Corte Inglés

Why does my company need Click and Collect in 2021?

The answer lies within the numbers. To run a Click and Collect in 2021 you need 2-3 people to handle it properly, One to be at the counter, the other to feed the other to the counter, and depending on the size of this operation, you might need a third one to help at the counter or bringing the parcels.

Now let’s talk time. The person at the counter is not producing all the time, in order, there aren’t always people at the Click and Collect counter. The second job is one of the less time-efficient positions in the world, bringing parcels to the counter, you always have to be moving around multiple times and it represents a huge waste of time.

Smart Lockers for Click and Collect in 2021 represent time and resource efficiency. With a Smart Locker, you don’t need 2 or 3 people. Matter of fact you can have only one person managing the whole operation. There’s no need to be at the counter, the counter is automatic and it’s the Smart Locker for Click and Collect. Therefore, it just needed someone to feed the parcels into the locker. 

With OS that’s a very easy job to make, with a tablet or any screen the employee can control the present and upcoming parcels and load them in an efficient manner into the Smart Locker for Click and Collect.

Overall, if you count the time saved it translates into less workforce required, which means fewer salaries and fewer taxes, adopting a Smart Locker for Click and Collect in 2021 can translate up to 90% cost saving in the overall operation.

How to implement Click and Collect strategy in 2021?

As we are trying to cover all aspects briefly in this article, let me share some opinions on what I think should be the strategy.

My experience from working directly with many big retailers on improving their Click and Collect activities is that you should force your client to use the service. But, do not deceive them, tell them why you are forcing them to do so.

This is an effective proven strategy to educate your customer that this service exists. By making them experience the new feature you’ll bypass their buying habits and show them one option that can be more efficient for them and cheaper for you.

With this sorted, let’s talk strategy.

Developing a strategy and a vision.

Click and Collect in 2021 is the reality of the present, but this trend is predicted to keep growing and gaining importance over the next 15 years. If you are going to plan and strategize, you better have a vision for the future.

  • In Store

In-store Click and Collect is the most common example that we see in retail, especially if we are talking about groceries. Unfortunately, to the present day, it is extensively done still with a counter system far from efficient.

Nevertheless, you can implement it. The strategy will boost your cross-selling effect and it’s particularly good for electronics retail.

  • Out of Store

Right now, in Portugal, we are seeing some experiments on this front. Having C&C Systems out of the store. Auchan is pioneering this with Click and Collect points, which is a small counter with one person that hands you over what you buy.

The same company is also trying deliveries to highly condensed office jobs areas. They do it with Smart Lockers. In these specific cases, Smart Lockers are used as a stretch of the physical presence of the company, facilitating the delivery to the client at their work doorstep.

I think one strategy doesn’t invalidate the other. Your company just needs to clarify the intent and eventually combine both of them.

Let’s talk about methods.

Smart Lockers for Click and Collect in 2021 –  the method.

From everything that we’ve talked about previously having a counter, Click and Collect is just expensive. Plus, it takes more time for the company and for the client in a process that the purpose is being convenient and fast for both parties.

Smart Lockers for Click and Collect are the most effective way to run the operation of delivery or product picking. Let’s go over where you can put it and how?

First and foremost, don’t just buy a locker on the internet, please. Make sure the software is flexible and it’s integrative with the tech structure that you already have.

In my opinion, if you are a retailer the first phase is to implement Smart Lockers in-house. This way the client still enters the store and you can get live feedback from the usage. If something goes wrong you have staff to help. This is particularly helpful when customers are still getting along with the technology.

Secondly, if you have an interest in stretching your influence outside doors, you can think of using Smart Lockers for Click and Collect in city areas where office jobs are very concentrated. That’s a proven method and you’ll secure new clients.

Why Smart Lockers for Click and Collect in 2021?

What you don’t want to do is buy some random lockers on the internet like you were Amazon shopping. You’ll end up buying lockers without software flexibility that takes away the possibility to integrate them into your app. These also are not Smart at all since generally, they don’t collect any KPIs of their usage. software solutions are the perfect fit for retailers who want to adopt innovate. Our software allows you to have a manual and a digital flow, which means that your clients don’t need to install any APP, plus:

  • You’ll have a dashboard that collects KPI’s of the whole operation, let’s control the locker remotely, and grants an easy way to track what’s happening with it;
  • We grant 24/7 support in case you need it, plus, we onboard you in our software for free;
  • You can personalize the flow and the software according to your and customer liking;
  • They are modular so you don’t need to buy everything at once;
  • We have diverse solutions, including refrigerated.

To Sum it Up!

Click and Collect need was impulsed by the pandemic times that we had, and, with the busy lifestyle that we have, it’s a more convenient reality for everyone. They allow your customer to pick stuff up without having to choose them at the store or having to wait in line for 10 minutes.

You can implement a traditional Click and Collect counter, but that’s a half solution. It will not secure convenience nor the efficiency of your staff operation.

By using Smart Lockers you’ll end up with an autonomous solution that will require fewer people to run it, and, a very appreciated solution by the customers:

  • Reduced avg. user journey from 8 minutes on average to under 10 seconds;
  • Reduce the cost of the delivery operation, per item, up to 90%;
  • 97% of customers prefer this solution.

Hey I’m Bruno, from If you want to discuss this smart lockers use cases or propose another one, I’m delighted to hear. Click here and let’s schedule a quick chat!

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