Click and collect booms in Europe
TMT Predictions 2015
Deloitte predicts that the number of click and collect locations in Europe will reach half a million in 2015, a twenty percent increase on the previous year.
The appeal of e-commerce is well documented, and volumes continue to rise. About half the people in Europe currently shop online, and annual spend is rising at double-digit rates in some markets. The key friction point in e-commerce has been delivery. Click and collect, whereby online orders are picked up from a physical location rather than delivered to the purchaser’s home, offers consumers the best of both worlds: a wealth of choice in selection and flexibility in collection.
Deloitte predicts that the number of click and collect locations in Europe will reach half a million in 2015, a 20 percent increase on the previous year, and that click and collect will likely become an increasingly fundamental part of the e-commerce offer. However, merchants will need to take care to avoid the potential pitfalls. At first glance, click and collect may seem a win-win for retailers and customers alike. Consumers are offered additional convenience, hopefully encouraging them to spend more; retailers avoid the cost of delivery to the home, and can utilize existing space. However, every element of delivery incurs a cost: every square meter of space used for storage displaces space that could be used for display, and any staff member processing a collection is unable to assist other customers. Also, click and collect might make it easier to return goods, leading to over-stocking of baskets and a surge in the volume of returns -- with all of the associated complications.
Although click and collect is most prevalent in Europe, other regions are also deploying it -- but are at earlier phases of deployment. For example, in Canada, retailers, including some of the largest grocers, general merchandise retailers, and entire malls are trialing the service at pilot locations. Some UK-based retailers are exporting their experience of click and collect in other markets they operate in, such as Thailand. In South Africa, one chain is using a UK based sister company’s experience in collection to trial a click and collect service.