Capitalising on click and collect in time for Christmas

Date: 15th July 2014
Author: Deri Jones

click and collect research from Planet Retail

The last few weeks has seen a plethora of new click and collect options hitting the headlines. In the press only this week I read that Argos will be extending its click and collect tie-up with eBay. By the end of this year 65,000 eBay sellers are expected to offer items for collection at 650 Argos stores.

According to Tanya Lawler UK Vice President of eBay retail has changed and shoppers want to “shop any time, anywhere, on any device, and British shoppers love to click and collect”. She’s not wrong, 30 million people, equivalent to 59% of British consumers, now use click and collect services, a rise of 7 million in six months.

35% of online shoppers in the UK currently use click and collect, compared to only 13% in the US and 5% in Germany. And recent research from Planet Retail shows that the number of UK shoppers using the channel is set to more than double to 76% by 2017.

Only last week John Lewis revealed it expects Click and Collect to outperform home delivery this Christmas. And this following the launch of a pilot a few months ago, of its smallest ever store – a click and collect service in St Pancras station.

Amazon has collection lockers in the Co-op and other stores and is now planning to trial pick up lockers in London Underground car parks, joining the likes of Asda and Tesco. And Network Rail have also set up a joint venture with Lloyd Dorfman founder of Travelex, investing in the new Doddle click and collect service, with 300 pick-up-points at stations.

The beauty of click and collect is that in connecting online shopping with physical stores it gives all the benefits of eCommerce whilst saving time and money on delivery and returns. This convenience suits our hectic lifestyles. The number one barrier to shopping online is cost of delivery and 1 in 4 online shoppers are put off by the inconvenience of delivery times.

Whilst many successful retailers are rolling out in store collection and have click and collect firmly at the core of their multi channel strategy – such as Next with 45% of it’s online orders through this channel – only two-thirds of the top 50 retailers currently offer the service.

So do you offer click and collect and will you be able to capitalise on Britain’s love affair with click and collect in time for this year’s Christmas shopping rush?

We all know it’s that time of year when we prepare for Christmas peak periods with pre Christmas load testing and web performance monitoring. This year it’s critical to include your key mobile journeys, and if you already offer click and collect on your website make sure your checkout journeys will be putting all your click and collect options to the test.

If you’ve gone to the lengths of providing click and collect on your website you’ll want to ensure the options are working quickly and smoothly especially at peak times. It’s crucial to manage online customer experience right to the end of the transaction because it ain’t over till the fat lady sings