The rise of “Click & Collect” purchases

A half-century ago, it was common for British housewives to drop off their weekly list of groceries at the local shop and return later to collect the items.

History is repeating itself in the digital age as a new study released by Verdict, reveals that the UK has a growing number of consumers who are selecting the option of “click and collect” services for online purchases.

Many British retailers have been offering this service for their customers for the past few years, including the country’s four biggest grocery stores. Verdict estimates that by 2018, the click and collect service will continue to grow by nearly two-thirds (£4 billion), account for 8 percent of online sales and 1.2 percent of all retail sales in Britain. These statistics underscore the need for merchants to understand why shoppers want this service, and who these people are.

Who Are The Consumers?

As eCommerce Facts notes, the study reports that the majority (54 percent) of click and collect shoppers are females. These women are generally between the ages of 25-44 and belong to the affluent, AB socio-economic consumer group (meaning consumers in upper middle and middle social class). Future use is predicted to increase as 27 percent of online shoppers claimed they plan on increasing the use of this service. At present, there is about £2.5 billion in online purchase being made through click and collect, which is expected to grow 63 percent, or £4 billion, by 2018.

Popular Categories

The study highlights the most popular retail sectors in which consumers are using click and collect to help predict which areas will experience future growth. Clothing and footwear represent the most purchases made through click and collect at 23.5 percent. Additionally, 46.5 percent of respondents admitted to having used this service to purchase clothing or shoes in the past.

Most Used Retailers For Click And Collect

The infographic points out the retailers in Britain with the highest frequency of click and collect orders, namely (in order from highest to lowest): grocer giant Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Asda, John Lewis and Currys/PC World. Interesting, the majority of retailers operate in the grocery sector.

Lastly, the study touched on how retailers can better serve customers with click and collect programs.  Companies need to make sure they are heavily marketing these services on their websites so consumers are aware that this option is available. Since click and collect requires the shopper to make a trip to the store instead of selecting an at-home delivery service, retailers need to offer the service free of charge. Additionally, if a consumer makes an online purchase and opts for click and collect, retailers must be quick and be sure that the product is ready to pick up by the next business day.

According to The Guardian, back when online retail came into play, “web-only” retailers believed they would become more successful than traditional retailers. They thought that since they were free from paying the high costs associated with running physical storefronts, this would allow them to prevail over traditional commerce. However, the market took an unexpected turn and instead of further differentiating, these channels were combined and now offer popular services, such as the growing click and collect program.

(article by C.Smith)


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