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The UK’s click & collect market is set to grow to about £10bn over the next five years, according to research by GlobalData.
The study found that as click & collect gains popularity, its usage will rise by 45.8% by 2023. Clothing and footwear account for the largest portions of spending in the click & collect market – making up almost 60% of the spend in 2018.
But Emily Salter, retail analyst for GlobalData, warned retailers to work on improving their click & collect offerings, because although almost 80% of customers said they were satisfied with the click & collect services they used in 2018, satisfaction with home delivery came in at 89.5% in the survey.
Salter said: “Retailers continue to introduce measures to meet rising consumer expectations for home delivery, such as offering same-day services – led by online pureplays such as Amazon and ASOS. Next is one of the few multichannel retailers currently offering a click & collect proposition to rival the speed and cost of home delivery, through recently introducing free one-hour collection in selected stores.”
The ability to order goods online and collect them from a store or other location at an elected time is becoming an expectation for most customers, not only with retailers such as Argos, Marks and Spencer and John Lewis offering the service, but with services such as Amazon’s lockers adding to the choice of pick-up locations.
GlobalData found that in 2018, 39.2% of customers who used click & collect services bought something else from a store when they went to collect their item, although this varies between stores and is more likely to happen with food and grocery orders due to convenience.
As online and mobile shopping increases, stores are also having to become places for hosting experiences in order to stay relevant, especially as some customers use store visits for research rather than actual purchases.
Salter said that although click & collect can benefit retailers, many barriers stand in the way of adoption.
“A number of factors will inhibit growth of the click & collect channel, including store closures,” she said. “The growing number of retailers closing stores and implementing CVAs [company voluntary arrangements] will reduce the availability of collection points, increasing usage of alternative delivery options.
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“Also, delivery saver schemes encourage customers to predominantly use home delivery as express deliveries are included in the vast majority of schemes, driving up usage of express home delivery.”
But Tim Robinson, CEO of Doddle, said retailers should do more to cater to the increasingly omni-channel customers who are less concerned with where and how they buy their goods as long as it is convenient.
Robinson said more than one-third of the customers who visit the Doddle click & collect desk in Debenhams stores make additional purchases. “So many indicators point to 2019 being a tipping point for click & collect,” he added. “Consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally driven in their choices and are embracing the greater control and convenience that click & collect offers.
“The digitisation of the collection experience makes increasing sense to customers living in a world in which online and offline are completely blurred.”