Click & collect, a retail concept that offers the benefits of shopping online with the convenience of collecting purchases at a convenient time, is a growing trend and the number of UK shoppers using the service is poised more than double by 2017. 35% of online shoppers in the UK buy online and self-collect, compared to 13% in the US and 5% in Germany, says Planet Retail. And within the next three years, Planet Retail expects this figure to jump to 76% of online shoppers in the UK.
“Click & collect is poised for explosive growth in the UK. Shoppers are already accustomed to browsing and transacting on their own terms. Within the next three years, we’re expecting more than three-quarters of online shoppers to collect their own items. Two of the biggest barriers to buying online are cost of delivery and inconvenient delivery times, making click & collect an increasingly attractive option for both shoppers and retailers. Fulfilment is poised to be the next big battleground in retail,” says Natalie Berg, global research director at Planet Retail.
However, Planet Retail warns that retailers aren’t doing enough to cater to this shifting shopping behaviour. Despite the UK being a hotbed for click & collect, only two-thirds of the top 50 retailers currently offer the service. What’s more, only 14% offer more than one collection option (i.e. in-store collection, locker, third -party store). “Retailers should be readying themselves for this massive shift in shopping behaviour and thinking beyond traditional collection points. Train stations, schools and even shoppers’ own cars could be the collection points of the future. Retailers must be prepared to forge relationships with some unconventional partners in pursuit of better serving the customer,” Berg adds.