With Christmas just days away, retailers are gearing up for a surge in click and collect orders resulting from booming online sales over the festive period. According to independent research commissioned by Barclays’ Retail & Wholesale banking sector team, retailers say they are set to see growth of 49% in click and collect orders over Christmas, on top of impressive growth last year, which saw 5.7m consumers using click and collect during the week of Christmas in 2013.
This predicted spike comes with an increased confidence about Christmas trading – 70% of retailers say they are feeling more confident compared to last year, when just over half (52%) were feeling optimistic about the trading period ahead.
Additional research from Barclays’ Last Mile survey also revealed the rise in demand for click and collect is being met head on by retailers, with nearly half (43%) investing in this type of delivery option. Most retailers (84%) believe click and collect has become a permanent fixture within the delivery market and 71% see it as critical to their business success. Over a third (38%) of retailers are expecting usage to soar more over the next four years than any other delivery option.
The e-commerce and delivery market landscape is predicted to continue to change with click and collect becoming more crucial to retailers and consumers alike by 2018. Deliveries direct to a consumer’s address are predicted to decrease from 72% to just over 64% of total physical deliveries over the next four years whilst click and collect volumes are anticipated to rise to just under 35% from 26%. This growth may be a result of consumer collection services offering shoppers a more manageable, flexible and often cheaper solution to daytime home delivery.
Currently, the UK is the most active nation in terms of click and collect services, compared to the US, France or Germany. However, France’s click and drive supermarket collection points are an integral part of its delivery networks. Similarly, US-based retailer The Container Store, a specialist retail chain, allows consumers to shop online and collect their orders in under an hour of purchase, and as part of the initiative, staff bring consumers’ shopping straight to their cars.
Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, said: “According to a recent report one in 10 consumers fell victim to late deliveries last Christmas and it’s clear to see how click and collect offers a practical, alternative solution. Amazon has also recently partnered with Royal Mail, allowing shoppers to collect their parcels from their local Post Office, and I believe we will increasingly see this kind of tie-up. These developments can only be good news for consumers, offering them increasing levels of choice and the confidence that their gifts will make it under the Christmas tree in time.”