IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 2 Dec 2013

Can Click-and-Collect Help the High Street?

Rapid evolution of the retail world has seen mobile and tablet technology shape the way people shop.  With convenience high on peoples agendas ‘click-and-collect’ has become a core part of the shopping experience.  Whilst not necessarily a new phenomenon ‘click-and-collect’ has grown in popularity over the last couple of years. Research by Econsultancy has shown that 79% of customers have used this service within the past year.

It has seen the merging of boundaries between retailer’s bricks and mortar stores and the internet.  The collection option is helping the bricks and mortar store to draw customers back in, offering an increasingly important role for stores to play in the omnichannel retail world.

The process is increasing customer loyalty, face to face contact and helping to generate a more personalised shopping experience.  Tradedoubler research states that 38% of people who find a product on their computer or smartphone still prefer to make their final purchase in store, thus underpinning the importance of the store whilst offering customers a multichannel experience.

With many retailers offering the approach of ‘any product, anywhere, anytime’ customers expectations are continually rising.  Whilst many of the options are convenient for customers it is often very challenging for the retailers, and not always cost effective.  However with additional sales often made in store whilst collecting online orders, click-and-collect is making users of this service a valuable asset to have, whilst also facilitating the omnichannel journey for the customer.

With the continued predicted growth of online shopping and subsequently click-and-collect, it will become the norm for customers to expect same day services, 90 minute delivery options, and localised deliveries.  Click-and-collect is just one of many solutions aimed at offering convenience and the ability to shop the brand not just one particular channel.  Time will tell how much customers continue to use this service as delivery options become more favourable vs the opening hours of stores, and potential parking costs associated with collecting in store.

Shopping will still remain a leisure activity that the online world simply cannot compete with.  Traditional shopping behaviour is changing, and as such, so is the role of the store.  Click-and-collect is helping stores right now, but as always its future looks set to change, so retailers must be prepared and ready to evolve when the time is right.

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