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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 18, 2016

2015 festive shopping season exposed cracks in click-and-collect service

It turns out that click-and-collect was not as convenient or easy as shoppers hoped it would be over the recent festive period, according to the results of a recent survey in the U.K.

by Helen Leggatt

Shoppers that chose to purchase gifts online and collect them from a local store, rather than having them delivered to their home, encountered several issues with the service, found a recent survey by YouGov conducted for the 2016 JDA/Centiro Christmas Customer Pulse.

Almost a third of those surveyed said they had to wait for extended periods of time, even when using the service with a major high street chain.

Thirty-one percent said they were unable to arrange a pickup in their local area because the retailer had yet to make the service available, even if it was available with the same retail chain elsewhere, and a quarter (24%) cited problems when collecting orders due to staff members having trouble locating their goods

So, while click-and-collect is increasingly viewed as a convenient way to pick up purchases made online, and avoids the need to be at home to receive home deliveries, there are still issues that retailers need to iron out if the service is to continue to be popular.

Four in ten (41%) UK shoppers used the click-and-collect format in the Christmas period, up from 39% in 2014, and a quarter of those said that they planned to use it again in 2016 with avoiding delivery charges (56%) and convenience (49%) the main reasons cited for its appeal. However, more than three-quarters (77%) said they would be likely to switch to shopping with an alternative retailer next Christmas as a result of a poor online Christmas shopping experience

"Shoppers are showing a growing preference for 'Click & Collect' as it offers them the convenience they crave and it is vital that retailers get it right. However, without the effective management of staff, stores and inventory, retailers risk damaging customer relationships," said Jason Shorrock, vice president of retail strategy at JDA. "Ironically, at a time when the online channel continues to grow, the in-store experience is becoming ever more important. As the survey findings show, today's online customer has no qualms about taking their business elsewhere if retailers don't meet their expectations."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: 2015 holiday shopping data, click and collect, retail, survey, U.K.

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