How Does Click and Collect Work? (& How to Set It Up Effectively)

on Jul 5, 2023

Click and Collect has gone from a life raft for many businesses during the pandemic to a core e-commerce fulfillment option

Brands looking to stay competitive should consider adding it to their last-mile strategy if they haven’t already. 

If you’re asking:

  • What can Click and Collect look like for your business?
  • How would it benefit your business and customers?
  • How can you set it up and implement it effectively?

Then this post can help you better understand and start implementing Click and Collect. 

Let’s dive in. 

What is Click and Collect?

Click and Collect refers to placing an order online, then picking it up at a physical location rather than opting for delivery or shipping.

How does Click and Collect work?

Click and Collect orders come in various forms. It results in either a visit to the brand’s store or stopping at a pickup site other than the store. The latter is called  Buy Online, Pickup Anywhere (BOPA). 

Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS)

The most widely-used Click and Collect option is buy online, pick up in store, or BOPIS. 

This usually applies to same-day pickup since the item is in stock and thus doesn’t take long to prepare for pickup.

However, customers can pick up their order on a different day than the order date. The store holds their items for a specified period before returning them to stock and canceling the order. 

Brands offering BOPIS include Macy’s, Office Depot, Foot Locker,              Abercrombie & Fitch, The Body Shop, Lowes, and World Market.

Display of order pickup options

To learn more about Buy Online, Pick Up In Store, check out our article, 'Why Businesses Are Encouraging Consumers to Buy Online and Pick Up in Store."

Reserve Online, Pick Up In Store (ROPIS)

With reserve online, pick up in store (ROPIS), customers can claim a product to guarantee its availability when they get to the store. They can then pay for it at the store rather than online at the time of reservation.

This way, customers can encounter the product in person before making a final purchase decision. They can try it, try it on, examine it, feel it, etc., before committing to it. They can also choose not to purchase the item upon examining it in-store. 

Stores that offer ROPIS include Barnes & Noble, Zegna, and                                         Lily Pulitzer

Buy Online, Ship to Store (BOSS)

When a customer chooses to buy online, ship to store (BOSS), they place their order and pay for the purchase online, then pick it up at the store once it arrives.

The item may be out of stock or unavailable at your store. Therefore, the store must order it from the warehouse or a different retail location. Stores that offer this fulfillment option include Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Stores that buy and sell used items, like books or entertainment mediums, may also offer BOSS if they have multiple locations. Their inventory often fluctuates since they deal in exchanges.

Some businesses that offer BOSS keep limited or no inventory in their stores, a strategy called just-in-time inventory.

Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup refers to ordering online and driving to the store, where an associate brings your purchase to your car. This form of Click and Collect orders doubled during the pandemic years but has since started to plateau.

Sign saying "Curbside Only"

Many stores, including Home Depot, Target, Ikea, and Petco, offer this fulfillment option. 

To learn more about curbside pickup, check out our article, “10 Ways to Reduce Curbside Pickup Post-Purchase Friction.”

Self-service Locker/Kiosk Pickup

For this fulfillment option, you order online, then receive an email when your purchase is at one of the store's pickup lockers or kiosks. These containers are situated within local businesses throughout the city. 

Amazon has pickup lockers in thousands of locations. They will give you three days after receiving your email notification to pick up your order from your specified locker. After three days, your order is returned for a full refund. 

You can access the lockers via Amazon’s phone app. 

Collection Points

Collection points are pickup locations that are outside of the brand store.

Urban Outfitters offers collection point pickup at thousands of secure locations across the US. Best Buy offers collection point pickup for some larger appliances at a local warehouse. Amazon Hub allows retailers to partner with Amazon and use their lockers as collection points. 

Chart listing in-person pickup options

Why is Click and Collect popular?

Click and Collect preference has increased among consumers and retail brands in recent years and shows no signs of leaving. Let’s look at the reasons for this increase.

COVID-19 pandemic

Click and Collect was already gaining ground before the coronavirus pandemic. However, it experienced a massive boost in the years of lockdowns, restrictions, and store closings.

Consumers needed to stay home to shop or remain in their cars to pick up purchases because it was safer. 

On the other end, businesses had to offer Click and Collect orders just to stay afloat. They could remain open and operational while keeping shoppers and themselves safe. 

Over time, consumers and retailers saw Click and Collect's benefits. 

By the end of 2021, over 60% of retailers were offering curbside pickup, up from 6.6% in early 2020. And 75% of consumers were using either curbside or BOPIS.

As the world slowly returned to normal, these hybrid shopping options left their mark on the overall shopping landscape. 

How Click and Collect benefits the consumer

What makes people want to pick up online purchases instead of having them shipped or delivered? Why would they shop online and pick up in person rather than just shopping in person altogether? 

Girls at order pickup counter

Any number of scenarios could motivate this. 

For instance, when you’re feeling sick and lousy and need medication, would you rather:

  • Comb the pharmacy aisles looking for the right Mucinex, then wait in the checkout line, feeling like death the whole time?
  • Buy your Mucinex online from bed, but then pay a whopping $9.99 delivery fee just for someone to deliver that one box of Mucinex to your house?
  • Buy your Mucinex online, go to the store once it’s ready, and you feel stable enough, go in just long enough to grab and go, and return home immediately to take your meds and go to bed?

Many people would choose option #3. 

There are various benefits to Click and Collect that trump in-store shopping and delivery.

Item availability

Click and Collect allows customers to guarantee an item is available before traveling to the store. This saves them time, effort, and transportation expenses. 

No shipping costs

Click and Collect saves the customer money on shipping and delivery fees, which can be high. 


Online shopping empowers customers to shop on any device, from any location, and at any time. 

They can receive a notification when their purchase is ready and pick it up at their convenience. They don't have to anchor themselves to their home on a specific date during a particular time block to wait for a delivery driver.

If they are short on time, they can retrieve their purchase quickly and efficiently at their most convenient location. They also don’t have to worry about shipping delays or lost or stolen packages. 

Employee loading bags into trunk


Customers can shop from the comfort of their own homes by shopping online. They can then opt for curbside delivery and receive their purchase from the comfort of their own car. 

These options are invaluable for customers with injuries, illnesses, babies, or other situations that make errands difficult.


Customers enjoy flexibility and control over when and how they shop and when and how to receive their purchases. 

How Click and Collect benefits retailers

Happy customers equal:

  • Returning customers
  • Paying customers
  • Referring customers

These all add up to happy brands. But how else does Click and Collect directly benefit businesses?

Cuts expenses

Click and Collect orders can save a business money on shipping fees and operating costs. 

Improves on-time order fulfillment

In-person pickup dramatically decreases the risk of shipping delays and lost or stolen packages, resulting in a higher rate of on-time order fulfillment. 

Increases operating efficiency

Click and Collect helps maintain accurate inventory levels and streamlines order fulfillment operations. 

Boosts staff efficiency

Your Click and Collect fulfillment method helps define where and how the staff is needed most. It also determines how many team members are required. 

Drives store visits

Store visits increase visibility and brand awareness. The physical store reflects the brand’s identity and mission to shoppers. It’s an opportunity to create an immersive, memorable customer experience by stimulating the sight, sound, scent, and touch senses. 

This is lost if the customer never has to visit the store to get their purchase. 


  • The edgy vibe of Hot Topic
  • The fun and nostalgia of The Disney Store
  • The “get it done” atmosphere of The Home Depot
  • The fragrance of Bath & Body Works

Creates cross-sell and upsell opportunities

Offering in-store pickup options presents extra cross-sell and upsell opportunities. The staff can use the pick-up experience to cross-sell or upsell based on the customer's purchase. Gucci leverages this opportunity in their Click and Collect experience.

Gucci upsell/cross-sell example from website

(Image Source)

Is Click and Collect right for your business?

There are considerations and challenges to weigh when determining whether to offer Click and Collect. 

To learn more about the following aspects of retail management, check out our article, “What Is the Role of Retail Management in 2023 and Beyond?”  

Store layout

  • Space to set up an indoor or outdoor pickup area
  • Straightforward navigation so customers know exactly where to pick up their purchase without confusion or frustration
  • Quick and efficient pickup process that helps avoid creating a traffic jam

Inventory management

  • Packing and maintaining orders in-store or in-warehouse
  • Updating inventory information in real-time on the ordering interface
  • Ensuring quality control


Maintaining visibility and communication between online shoppers and fulfillment staff regarding: 

  • Product availability
  • Pickup times
  • Pickup location
  • Any issues with the order

See how Delivery Solutions’ Omnichannel Experience Management (OXM) aids post-purchase communication.

Customer questions and concerns

Addressing questions and concerns while customers are ordering, ensuring no issues at pickup or after returning home

See how Delivery Solutions’ OXM provides support to your customer service team.

How do you set up Click and Collect?

The following steps will guide you in establishing an effective Click and Collect strategy. 

Choose your ordering method(s)

What is the ordering process, and what technology integrations are involved? 

Will customers shop and checkout via your website? Do you have an online store separate from your website? Can they shop via your brand’s mobile app or social media pages? 

Web and mobile ordering images

Do they receive order confirmations, status updates, and pickup directions via text, email, or push notifications? Will you require an app, webpage, text, QR code, etc., for the customer to confirm and retrieve the order?

Create your pick-up procedure

Which Click and Collect method or methods will you offer? Spell out your pickup procedures for each one. Provide clear instructions, both for the staff involved and for your customers. 

Manage customer expectations by providing an estimated pickup window after purchase and informing them once the order is ready for pickup.

Determine how long you will hold items for pickup before canceling the order, returning the stock, and refunding the purchase. Make this clear to the customer.

Set pricing

Determine whether your online pricing will be the same as in-store or if pricing will need to differ based on your business needs. 

Will you set any service fees? Will you have sales carry over from in-store to online? Coupon codes redeemable online only? Deals exclusive to in-store shopping? 

Train staff

Train staff on order review and preparation, pickup procedures, and any new technology involved with your Click and Collect processes.

Delivery Solutions enhances your existing processes and complements your current tech stack with features that optimize in-store pickup and other fulfillment options. 

Delivery Solutions In-store pickup screenshot

(Image Source)

Manage inventory

Determine how you will maintain and manage accurate inventory levels based on your business model and Click and Collect offerings. Tighten supply chain visibility and quality control standards so customers can pick up their purchase on time, as expected, and without issue. 

Create your collection area

Set up your pickup area based on the Click and Collect options you're offering and the layout of your store.

For BOPIS, ROPIS, and BOSS, you’ll need a clearly-defined pick-up area, visible signs leading customers to that area, and space for a queue. 

For curbside pickup, you’ll need dedicated parking spots or a drive-up lane where customers wait for the staff to bring out their orders. 

For kiosk/locker pickup, you’ll need to invest in the containers, determine their locations, and form the necessary partnerships with retailers to secure those locations. 

Collection areas also require collaboration with other retailers or with warehouse staff.

Gather employee and customer feedback

Continue improving your processes. Pay attention to mentions of the pickup process amid customer reviews. You can also send customer satisfaction surveys and explicitly ask about their shopping experience. 

Check in with employees and supervisors to gather customer responses from their perspectives. See how the process is going for the team and ask for suggestions for improvement.

Perfect your Click and Collect process with Delivery Solutions

Click and Collect is here to stay and has permeated most retail industries. Now you’re ready to consider tackling it for your business. 

Use the steps above to create a game plan for incorporating this e-commerce fulfillment method into your strategy. 

To learn how Delivery Solutions can help you execute and streamline your Click and Collect strategy, schedule a demo today! 

Delivery Solutions orchestrates fulfillment experiences for enterprise retailers, supplying flexible options for consumers and priming merchants for innovation at scale.

About the author

Caitlyn Metzker

Caitlyn Metzker, a professional with 9 years of experience, brings a wealth of insight to her Sr. Enterprise Account Executive role. As a University of South Carolina graduate, Caitlyn has honed her skills within the industry previously with Roadie and Kabbage. Originating from Philadelphia, her multifaceted interests include traveling, hiking, soccer, swimming, and boating, reflecting her adventurous spirit. Her favorite getaway is the picturesque Kauai, Hawaii. Caitlyn's business philosophy underscores the importance of continuous learning, as she believes that "there is always more to learn; absorb as much as you can." When not devising groundbreaking strategies, Caitlyn unwinds by delving into books or enjoying the serene beach. Adding a unique touch, she cherishes the privilege of occasionally working alongside her sister and mother as part of the UPS Digital family. Caitlyn's profound industry knowledge and passion make her an invaluable asset to our B2B SaaS sales and marketing team.


Topics from this blog: Curbside Bopis Logistics

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