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Christmas delivers click & collect surge

By Retail Technology | Friday January 3 2014

New consumer research finds growing popularity of buying online and collecting instore, pointing the way toward an increasingly multichannel retail future

New survey findings suggest that ‘click & collect’ was the success story for retailers this Christmas, with 20% of shoppers buying items online for instore collection in the run up to the festive season.
 
Experience design agency Foolproof commissioned research among 1,000 shoppers, conducted by Usurv on 23 December 2013, on whether they had bought an item online for instore collection in the run up to the festive period.

Lucrative potential for growth 
 
In total, 20% of respondents said they had done so, with those on higher incomes being 50% more likely to use the service than those on low incomes (24.4% versus 16.2%).
 
With UK retail spend estimated to have been worth £12 billion during the four-day run up to Christmas alone, click & collect has emerged as one of the main drivers behind another big increase in online sales:
 
John Lewis recently reported over 60% growth in sales from click & collect compared with 2012. And it was one of a number of high profile retailers who got serious about the multichannel opportunity in 2013, despite warnings about its profitability for grocery retailers in particular.

Other retailers pitching in with new or improved propositions during the last year included Argos with eBay and Asda, as well as Boots, Debenhams, Selfridges, Tesco and Waitrose.

Online sales and store traffic boost
 
Peter Ballard, managing partner of Foolproof, stated: “Click & collect offers an enticing ‘win-win’ for both retailers and consumers. Consumers can still enjoy all the benefits of shopping around on digital channels at their leisure, but can avoid the more frustrating side of the online retail experience such as queues, inconvenient and unreliable delivery times and the hassles of returns. 

“For retailers, it is a significant driver for online sales, but also pulls customers instore, where smart retailing can lead to further purchases and ancillary sales.
 
“Most of all, it shows that retailers are finally getting to grips with the realities of multichannel retailing. Click & collect requires digital and physical retailing skills and works best when the store and digital teams work together to deliver a seamless experience for the customer.”

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