Nearly half of online shoppers have used Click & Collect, i.e. order or buy online but go and collect the purchase rather than have it delivered.

It is a bit of a half way house, Click & Collect allows us to browse and price compare in our time (or work time) but we still go and collect the purchase (mainly from the shop we ordered it from). After all, we go and collect when we want, and where we want all at our convenience rather than have the goods delivered at the retailer’s or delivery company’s convenience. Click & Collect is also often cheaper than paying for Click & Deliver.

According to our findings a significant reason for us using Click & Collect is to save going to a shop only to find that what we want is out of stock. It’s an infuriating experience for all concerned. The shopper who is now likely to buy elsewhere. The retailer, if they don’t have it they can’t sell it. Click & Collect can help manage a retailer’s inventory. 

As a consequence, Click & Collect gets us to go to the shops and possibly to the shops next door or near by, i.e. there is the possibility of linked trips and all the economic benefits this can bring. It also gets us to go back when we need to return an item, it gets us out to the shops.  

So although online shopping is often seen as a threat to traditional retailing there are opportunities for the threat to be harnessed and in fact assist bricks and mortar shopping. Alas all the good points of Click & Collect could be unraveled if we are made to pay or pay more for the facility as this would make us less likely to use the service.

At the risk of being cynical, retailers should not abuse shoppers’ goodwill with regard to Click & Collect, after all it’s a great way of managing a store’s inventory and stock level.

However, aren’t the shops missing another trick? Linked trips are all very well but that’s money going to a competitor, so why not try and encourage the customer to stay in the store as long as possible. By that I don’t mean continue with the policy of locating the Click & Collect point in some dingy part of the store which is located more often than not for the store’s convenience (.e. g first floor near the loos etc), staffed by someone who never sees daylight and works there ‘out of harms way. Instead, why not make the experience more fulfilling (for the customer!). Perhaps locate it near to where there is the chance of cross selling some of the store’s other departments, by the in store café, near some of the better merchandised stock.

For more information go to data tables in our Public Opinion online data sets or contact Richard Lindsay.

This public opinion data has been collected and analysed by NEMS from a survey of representative sample of UK adults conducted through NEMS Market Research’s telephone omnibus, a national survey of 1000 adults conducted every week. 

More details of our omnibus service can be found at: http://www.nemsmr.co.uk/omnibus/default.aspx