According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, the UK’s click & collect market is set to increase by 45.8% within the next five years, reaching £9.8bn by 2023. Retailers plan to capitalize on this demand, with 90 percent planning to invest in this service in the next five years.
Almost nine in ten retailers (87 percent) report that Click & Collect is their most rapidly growing delivery option. Now, seven in ten shoppers (68 percent) are electing to pick up their online orders in-store. Convenience is the biggest driver behind this trend, 42 percent of customers report that they rely on Click & Collect services because they are out and about during the day. And 15 percent of customers select this option because they cannot receive deliveries at their workplace.
Amongst a backdrop of widespread store closures occurring across the UK, 60 percent of Brits are requesting that businesses partner together so that they can conveniently pick up purchases in more locations. Almost three in ten customers (29 percent) already pick up their online purchases at local shops and lockers, and 68 percent of retailers are expecting this demand to increase in the next year.
The benefits of retailers teaming up to offer Click & Collect services are that they can potentially increase sales and reduce refunds. In fact, over eight in ten customers (85 percent), say they buy additional items in the store while using this service. Plus, more than three quarters of retailers (77 percent) reported reduced return volumes. Ultimately, this saves them both the cost of processing refunds and restocking goods.
However, despite this growing consumer demand, less than one in five retailers (17 percent) have started offering collection services by third-parties to allow shoppers to pick up purchases from other locations, including local corner shops or lockers.
Kirsty Morris, the Director of Barclaycard Payment Solutions had this to say:
“Not only does Click & Collect offer merchants the opportunity to increase sales, our research shows it can improve the overall customer experience as a complement to online shopping, while reducing return volumes too.
With the retail sector facing unprecedented challenges, investing in Click & Collect partnerships should be part of a long-term strategy for retailers to encourage shoppers into stores and respond to the changing shape of the nation’s high streets.”
Even though Click & Collect offers the advantages of lower costs as purchases are going to one shop versus multiple homes, it does present some challenges.
Firstly, the space to store goods while awaiting collection can be costly, as it takes time away from the sales floor. Staff would need more time to sort and organise Click & Collect deliveries. Secondly, retailers will need to develop more technology to track deliveries, notify customers when their package has arrived, and eventually match them to their purchases in-store.
With retailers experiencing tough trading conditions and worse, actual store closures in 2018, they may be more keen in taking advantage of these opportunities.
Retailers are also realizing that Click & Collect can save them money and reduce their carbon footprint by having fewer home deliveries.
It is believed that shops will essentially become “showrooms”, where people try things out first, before ordering online to pick up later.