There is a lot of talk around the growth of online shopping and the threat this poses to traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retail. But what impact is online actually making and how is it changing the retail industry? In order to understand this trend, FSP surveyed nearly 7,000 individuals across the UK – and the results are in…
The Rise of Click and Collect
Click and Collect has emerged as a key trend in retail. Collect+, a business which works with almost 6000 independent retailers – including some of the biggest in the UK - organising collections of online orders, has reported a 70% increase in sales over the past 12 months. Between 2013 and 2014 overall use of C&C increased by 15%, while the number of those specifying it as their main preference when shopping online almost doubled, up 96%. As we approach Christmas and look towards 2015 this trend is set to continue, with the popularity of Click and Collect rising.
So why is Click and Collect becoming so popular? The FSP survey data shows that convenience is a significant factor: 74% of C&C users believe it is more convenient than home delivery and 54% give ‘saving time’ as an important reason for using C&C. Other important motivators include avoiding a delivery charge (an answer given by 87% of C&C users) and ease of return (71% of C&C shoppers). Zoe Ripley, Head of Marketing for EMEA at ChannelAdvisor, captured the wider appeal of Click and Collect for consumers in an article for the Retail Gazette last month, describing the combination of digital and physical shopping which has ‘captured the imaginations’ of consumers and retailers.
Age and affluence are significant drivers when it comes to Click and Collect. For example, those in the Family Life stage (those with dependent children living at home) are the most likely to use a C&C service. This is mirrored by Click and Collect’s popularity among 25-44 year olds. In contrast, as with online shopping in general, over 65s are the least likely age group to use a C&C service.
In terms of affluence, Click and Collect is most popular amongst the more affluent socio-economic groups (SEG), with use of the service 32% above average amongst SEG ABs (wealthy professionals). In contrast, for SEG grade Ds (least affluent group) use of C&C is just 7%, 37% below average.
What impact is this having on shopping centre owners and investors? Interestingly, our survey data shows that Click and Collect shoppers visit shopping centres more often than those who don’t use C&C, with 87% of C&C shoppers likely to visit very frequently (50+ times per year) or frequently (12-50 times a year). This suggests that Click and Collect – a clear and effective multichannel service – is having a positive effect on centre footfall.
Online shopping is a potential threat, retailers and shopping centres need to move with it and embrace the opportunity it brings, rather than loosing out – specifically by offering customers a multichannel experience. With Click and Collect continuing to grow in popularity, online shopping needs to work in tandem with other channels, including traditional bricks and mortar stores. Some retailers are successfully doing just that, capitalising on this growing trend and optimising their multichannel offerings, such as Argos, John Lewis and Network Rail. Argos is aiming to have eBay collection points in 650 stores by the end of this year. Network Rail is working with co-investor Lloyd Dorfman, the founder of Travelex, to establish collection points in its stations for some of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Sainsbury’s and New Look, in a programme called ‘Doddle’. John Lewis’s Click and Commute store, due to open at St. Pancras this Autumn, will stock only a limited range, but will utilise in-store technology to provide customers with the facilities to purchase a wider range online, as well as collect pre-ordered items. Examples like this show a willingness to embrace change and make shopping as convenient as possible for consumers, which FSP believe will be key in making C&C work for other retailers.
Click and Collect specifically offers an additional clear benefit in the correlation between the service and footfall. Adopting a clear multichannel approach and utilising C&C drives additional visitors into stores and centres, something retailers and centre managers alike are keen to understand.
The overriding message is clear: online can work effectively alongside bricks and mortar, bringing as much opportunity as it does threat. You just need to manage the transition and adopt a strong multi-channel approach.
Talk to FSP to find out more about our range of consultancy services and how we can help you develop a successful retail strategy: call us on +44 (0)1494 474740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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