Surrey garden centre launches drive-in click & collect

Longacres garden centre in Bagshot, Surrey has launched an automated drive-in click & collect service, in reaction to its growing eCommerce operation.

Drive-through pick-up points at retailers are popular in France, and Longacres – which is situated just off Junction 3 of the M3 – sees the fulfilment option as a convenient way for customers to collect products such as heavy compost, bark and lawn care products.

The retailer has worked with solutions company Collectec to design the customer and staff journey for the new service, which has seen kiosks and mobile devices installed at the store. The outdoor touchscreen kiosk enables shoppers to order garden supplies that can be brought out to their vehicle, with live information then sent to store staff who carry Collectec mobile devices.

Employees will see the customer name, order reference and parking bay number, which should give them all the information they need to fulfil the collection request as quickly as possible.

In addition, a dedicated drive-in lane and parking bays have been introduced outside Longacres. This has resulted in the average check-in time for customers being reduced to nine seconds due the fact people no longer need to find a parking space, walk into the store or queue in the shop.

Mike Ainley, eCommerce manager for Longacres, commented: "The Collectec solution has revolutionised our collection service reducing average customer collection time by over 50% to just five minutes.

"It's also improved staff efficiency by removing dedicated staff from the collection point and enabling any available staff member to be alerted to a collection customer and take their order straight to their car."

In other click & collect news last week, grocer Waitrose became the first UK supermarket to launch a trial of automated, temperature-controlled lockers for online grocery orders in third party locations.

The first two locations are now live at London Underground stations Chorleywood and Ickenham, with a further eight sets of lockers soon to launch at other Transport for London stations and Gatwick North and Gatwick South Terminal long-stay car parks.

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