Click & collect popularity grows but UK consumers call for more locations
UK consumer appetite for click & collect is increasing, a new study has shown, with 68% of shoppers now actively choosing to pick up their online orders in a physical shop. But there's a problem – as more UK fashion retailers exit some of their physical shops, click & collect isn't always convenient for them and they're calling on retailers to open up their logistics operations so that they can click then collect from more than just the company's own shops.
Some retailers have already responded to that, including John Lewis, which recently extended its click & collect trial with the Co-op, and Amazon, which allows customers to collect packages from Next stores, as well as from Amazon lockers.
However, a huge number retailers don’t offer this delivery option yet, “meaning they miss out on the mutual benefits that partnerships provide”. In fact, only 17% of retailers have started offering third-party collection services that allow shoppers to pick up purchases from other locations.
That's all according to research from Barclaycard, which also discovered that a massive 85% of consumers buy additional items in-store when using click & collect, while 77% of retailers say providing the service reduces return volumes.
Admittedly, if retailers form partnerships, those extra purchases that consumers make when collecting their orders won't go direct to the retailer concerned. But they will boost the brand partner and if the brand is itself a partner of other retailers, it can benefit when customers are collecting goods from those other retailers in its shops.
And of course, we have to take into account the overall benefit of happy consumers who can select a fast, affordable delivery option that's also very convenient to them. Such consumers are much more likely to shop again with the retailer concerned.
At the moment, 29% of shoppers pick up items ordered online at local shops or lockers, and 68% of retailers expect demand for this to increase in the next year.
Barclaycard spoke to more than 2,000 consumers during the summer, as well as 250 medium to large-sized retailers and found nine in 10 retailers are planning to invest in click & collect services “over the next five years” with the market set to grow 45% and be worth almost £10bn by 2023. But a five-year timescale might not be fast enough and six in 10 of the consumers surveyed already want retailers to partner together so they can collect purchases in more locations.
The research shows that since offering click & collect via their own stores, 34% of retailers have seen their in-store sales increase. It’s no surprise therefore that 87% of stores say click & collect is their fastest-growing delivery option with shoppers flocking to it.
Convenience seems to be a driver here with 42% of consumers saying that they rely on click & collect because they’re out during the day, and a further 15% preferring it as they can’t have deliveries sent to work.
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