Retail Trends: The Growing Demand for Click & Collect

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Shoppers using Click & Collect order items online and then pick them up at a certain location instead of having them delivered. The pickup location can be the retailer’s local store or third-party locations such a post office, a purpose-built locker or a different store.

Click & Collect is a win-win situation for retailers and customers. On the one hand, shoppers aren’t charged delivery fees and they can collect their purchase from a nearby location whenever is convenient for them. On the other hand, it’s a great way for retailers to reduce delivery costs and increase footfall to their physical stores where customers are often tempted to make additional purchases.

The 2017 Click & Collect Retail Consumer Preference Study revealed that nearly one third of shoppers purchased products online and subsequently picked them up at a store during the 2016 holiday season. What’s more, while the percentage of total purchases completed through click & collect are still relatively low, the study found that it’s a growing trend with 49 percent of Americans trying it in 2016.

Retailers are able to offer Click & Collect according to item availability either in-store for quick turnarounds, or in the system so that they can be sent to the customer’s local store (the always-in-stock option).

What makes Click & Collect a success with shoppers?

Over 70 percent of respondents from the Retail Consumer Preferences Study in US had used Click & Collect option in the previous year. Cost is by far the key driver for people choosing to use this delivery method, with 76 percent of Click & Collect shoppers say that saving on shipping was the most important factor for them. Other key drivers include needing an item that day and proximity to a store.

Engaging online customers through stores

The in-store experience is still a crucial touch point for retailers looking to enhance the relationship with their customers. In addition, it’s an amazing opportunity for shoppers to browse more and buy more. 49 percent of respondents said they were likely to occasionally purchase an additional item when picking up their online order.

Click and collect is also a way for retailers to optimize their delivery network. Since retailers already need to deliver items to their stores for replenishment, they can make more efficient use of existing vehicles and reduce transportation costs by delivering Click & Collect orders at the same time.

The trend isn’t only picking up in the US but also across other countries such as UK, where estimates suggest that click and collect usage will double by 2025 and generate 10% (or £23bn) of UK retail sales. According to IMRG, the global share of click & collect orders has been steadily increasing each year with a 155% increase between 2011 (8.8%) and 2015 (22.5%).

This makes click & collect a trend that retailers must take into account when developing their growth strategy, especially since it can help them leverage their existing distribution network, increase sales, and make the most of an increasingly challenging retail environment.

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