Retailers should be ready to fit consumers’ demand for convenience.
New research by retail analysts Verdict suggests that "click and collect" services could be worth as much as £4 billion by 2018 as consumers place more emphasis on convenience when shopping.
Click and collect, whereby a customer purchases an item online to collect from a local shop or secure location, is anticipated to grow by two thirds in the next six years.
Click and collect services are expected to account for about 8% of online sales and 1.2% of total retail sales in 2018, and there is growing demand for online retailers to provide convenience collection points for consumers to pick up goods, rather than waiting for shipping.
Verdict analyst Matthew Rubin said: “Home delivery companies and purely online retailers are monitoring the development of click and collect and are reacting accordingly. They are looking to offer collection points at convenience stores and lockers, same day delivery, narrower delivery time slots, and improved tracking and updates of estimated delivery times.”
According to the data fashion and footwear continues to dominate the click and collect service, with 46.5% of users shopping in these sectors.
Verdict’s research has also uncovered the typical user of click and collect as "older well-off females". The data offers that females are more likely to pick up online purchases from stores than men, making up 54% of users. The typical user is between 25 and 44 years old, and in the most affluent AB socio-economic group.
Of the 10,000 online shoppers surveyed by Verdict, 27% expect to increase their use of click and collect. “This represents both an opportunity and a warning for retailers”, said Rubin. “With so many potential new users, retailers must invest in having adequate space, stock maintenance, and logistics to cope with the pressure.”