E-commerce websites don’t offer just products. No matter how great the products are, customers expect high-quality services too. It is a vital condition for retailers who want to increase conversions to make sure that delivery options suit customers’ expectations. The two most important aspects concerning delivery are the possibility of choosing a fixed date and reserving and collecting from a local store.

Key Takeaways

  • Saves Time: Streamlines shopping by letting customers reserve online and collect in-store.
  • Reduces Abandonment: Fixed delivery options lower cart abandonment.
  • Improves Stock Management: Integrates with inventory systems for better stock control.
  • Increases Satisfaction: Enhances customer experience, promoting repeat business.
  • Facilitates Cross-Selling: Offers cross-selling opportunities during pickup.
  • Strengthens Omnichannel: Supports strategies that merge online and offline shopping.
  • Proven by Retailers: Demonstrated through case studies like Argos and Best Buy.

The lack of delivery options leads to abandoned carts and high bounce rates

The uncertainty of a promise to deliver within several days or at an approximate date makes customers uncomfortable. They would like to know the exact date their order will arrive (as shown in the chart below).

Bar chart showing consumer preferences for delivery options, with a fixed date being the most popular.

To avoid uncertainty, retailers can offer a reserve and collect option for customers.

The Strategic Benefits of Reserve and Collect in Modern Retail

It is Time-Saving

The reserve and collect option exemplifies how retail strategies can streamline the shopping experience for both customers and businesses. This service, closely related to the “Click and Collect” model, allows customers to select and reserve their products online before picking them up in-store. Here are some of the key ways in which reserve and collect saves time for consumers and enhances operational efficiency for retailers:

Pre-Planned Purchasing Decisions

When customers use the reserve and collect option, they can browse and make purchasing decisions at their convenience, without the pressure of in-store decision-making. This pre-selection process reduces the time spent in the store, as the visit is focused solely on pickup. Customers appreciate the efficiency of this process, knowing exactly what they will collect, which drastically cuts down on their in-store time.

Reduced Wait Times

Traditional shopping methods can lead to unpredictable wait times at checkout counters. With reserve and collect customers bypass these lines, as their items are pre-paid and ready for collection upon arrival. This system is particularly beneficial during peak shopping periods, such as holidays or special sales, when long lines can deter shoppers.

Streamlined Inventory Management

For retailers, integrating reserve and collect with their inventory management systems allows for more accurate stock control. This real-time inventory tracking helps maintain optimal stock levels in stores, ensuring that items are available for reservation and collection without the risk of overstocking or stockouts.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

The convenience of reserve and collection significantly enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers who experience a smooth, hassle-free collection are more likely to return and use the same service again. This method saves time and reinforces a positive brand experience, encouraging repeat business.

Integration with Mobile Technology

Leveraging mobile technology to enhance the reserve and collect experience can further streamline the process. For instance, customers can receive notifications on their smartphones when their items are ready for pickup, or they can check in via an app when they arrive, prompting staff to prepare their items with minimal waiting time.


The reserve and collect and “Click and Collect” services offer unique opportunities for cross-selling that benefit both customers and retailers. By strategically positioning complementary products and engaging with customers during the pickup process, retailers can significantly increase the average transaction value and enhance customer satisfaction. Here are detailed insights into how these services facilitate effective cross-selling

Strategic Product Placement

Retailers can enhance cross-selling opportunities by strategically placing related products near the collection points. For example, if a customer reserves a smartphone online, accessories like cases, screen protectors, or portable chargers can be displayed nearby. This not only prompts additional purchases but also caters to the customer’s likely needs, making the shopping experience more comprehensive.

Personalized Recommendations

Leveraging data from online reservations, retailers can offer personalized recommendations during the pickup process. Staff can be informed about the customer’s purchase history and preferences, which allows them to suggest relevant products effectively. For instance, a customer who has reserved a set of cookware might be interested in high-quality kitchen gadgets or cookbook recommendations.

Incentives and Promotions

Offering exclusive in-store promotions for customers who use reserve and collect can drive additional sales. These promotions could include discounts on complementary items or loyalty points for future purchases, which encourage customers to explore more products while they are in the store.

Interactive Displays

Utilizing interactive displays or kiosks at collection points can engage customers and introduce them to new products or upcoming promotions. These tools can highlight how additional products work with the items purchased, demonstrate product benefits, and even allow quick add-on purchases through self-service options.

Training Staff for Engagement

Training staff to engage with customers at the point of collection can significantly boost cross-selling efforts. Employees should be knowledgeable about the products and skilled in sales techniques to naturally introduce additional purchases in the conversation. For example, when a customer picks up a new camera, a knowledgeable staff member might discuss the advantages of a specific type of memory card or an extended warranty plan.

Utilizing Customer Feedback

Encouraging feedback during the collection process can provide insights into what additional products customers might be interested in. This feedback can be used to adjust the cross-selling strategy and ensure that the products offered are aligned with customer needs and expectations

Broader Strategic Decisions

While reserve and collect offers significant benefits, understanding its role within a broader omnichannel strategy is crucial for retailers aiming to maximize customer engagement and sales. Let’s have a look at alternative strategies and how they integrate with reserve and collect to create a seamless customer journey.

Alternative Strategies

  • Click and Collect: Click and Collect complements reserve and collect by allowing customers to pay online and pick up in-store, which can cater to those who prefer a complete online transaction.

  • Ship-from-Store: Integrating Ship-from-Store capabilities can help retailers manage inventory more efficiently and provide faster delivery options, enhancing the overall customer experience.

  • In-Store Returns for Online Purchases: In-store returns for online purchases can drive additional foot traffic to stores and provide more cross-selling opportunities.

Case Examples from Various Retailers

Examples from leading retailers, we can see the varied applications of reserve and collect and related strategies, showcasing their benefits and challenges in real-world settings.


Delivery person in a high-visibility vest smiling in front of a Fast Track Delivery van.

Argos has leveraged reserve and collect for over a decade, focusing on how they’ve adapted their strategy to meet evolving consumer demands and the impact on their sales and customer retention.

Further Reading: For a more detailed analysis of how Argos has successfully implemented and maintained its reserve and collect strategy over the years, enhancing both customer engagement and sales, visit. Argos’s strategy overview

Best Buy

Best Buy storefront with a prominent logo.

By blending click-and-collect with a reserve and collect services, they have fine-tuned their strategy to efficiently handle the release of highly sought-after products and the surge in customer traffic during the holiday season. This dual-service approach not only caters to immediate customer demand but also helps in managing in-store inventory and reducing the pressure on delivery logistics during peak shopping times.

Further Reading: Explore Best Buy’s integration of click and collect and its impact on holiday sales and customer throughput by visiting Best Buy’s strategy.


Nordstrom store with a five-star rating overlay.

Nordstrom’s seamless integration of online and offline experiences, particularly how their ‘Reserve Online, Try In-Store’ model enhances customer satisfaction and increases sales.

Further Reading: To understand more about how Nordstrom enhances customer experience with its reserve online, the try in-store model, read the detailed review at Nordstrom Innovations.


Exterior of an IKEA store with large signage.

IKEA’s use of reserve and collection alongside large item logistics illustrates the challenges and solutions in managing bulky products.

Further Reading: Learn about IKEA’s logistical challenges and solutions in managing bulky products through reserve and collection by accessing IKEA’s approach to inventory and logistics.

How do you improve the reserve and collect services?

Tips to improve reserve and collect services over a clothing store background.

Show the stocks on the product page before the checkout process starts

Screenshot of a stock management interface with a tooltip instructing to check the stock levels for each product.

The customers will get annoyed to find out that the product isn’t available in the nearby stores after they have added the item to the cart. It may be their first online purchase on your website…and first impressions do matter.

Suggest other stores to pick up the order

Mobile screen showing a list of three available delivery batches with earnings, with the second option selected and the first and third crossed out.

If the local stores don’t have the item in stock, suggest other stores, but do not forget to mention the distance. Some people may be willing to drive a few miles to pick up their order.

Suggest other products in case of unavailability

Online store page showing 'A Perfect World' SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea out of stock.

If the selected item on the shopping cart isn’t available in any of the nearest stores, similar products can be the solution for having happy customers. If your customer isn’t a fan of a particular brand or the item he intended to purchase doesn’t involve great efforts, don’t be afraid to suggest something else.

Don’t wait for customers to get in the checkout process to inform them about the reserve and collect option. Promote this great feature on your most important pages. Promoting products isn’t enough. As I’ve mentioned in the first lines of this article, services complete the purchase and drive engagement. So, any competitive advantage that you own should be shown off, even if it’s a product or a service.

reserve and collect

Make the reservation process as easy as possible. Do not request long forms, but just the minimum information you need to deliver the order.

Reseve and collect

Mention the exact time when the customer is supposed to pick up the order from the store. After the checkout process is completed, reward your customers with basic information: the date when the item will be available for them.

Product pages aren’t just about product images and descriptions. If you have the option to deliver the order to nearby stores, take advantage of it. It is one valuable asset that will convince customers to complete the purchase.

If you want to do more with your e-commerce website, try Omniconvert and optimize your most important pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Click and Collect order?

Click and Collect is a retail service that allows customers to buy products online and pick them up at a physical store or a designated collection point. This method merges the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store purchasing.

What is the difference between Click and Collect and Reserve and Collect?

  • Click and Collect: Involves purchasing an item online and then picking it up in the store. Payment is typically made online at the time of the purchase.
  • Reserve and Collect: Allow customers to reserve an item online without immediate payment. Customers pay for the product when they collect it in-store, providing an opportunity to see the item first before finalizing the purchase.

What is the risk of Click and Collect?

The primary risks include potential delays in order fulfillment if inventory levels are not accurately reflected online, security concerns over picking up items (e.g., theft if not properly managed), and the logistical challenges of managing in-store pickup points that could affect both staff and customer experiences.

What Does Reserving Items in Shopify Mean?

When you reserve an item on Shopify, you are essentially putting together a draft order for your client. By doing this, you can make sure that your buyer can still add the item to their cart and finish their purchase. Reservations for Shopify stores are crucial for inventory control and customer satisfaction.

What Does Reserve in-store Mean?

Alternatively referred to as reserve-online-pickup-in-store, this e-commerce option enables buyers to browse and reserve products online, and then visit a real store to make a final decision about what to buy.