UK shoppers using click & collect poised to more than double by 2017, Planet Retail reports



New research by Planet Retail shows the number of UK shoppers using click & collect is poised to more than double by 2017. Currently, 35% of online shoppers in the UK buy online and self-collect, compared to 13% in the US and 5% in Germany. Within the next three years, Planet Retail expects this figure to jump to 76% of online shoppers in the UK.

Natalie Berg, Global Research Director at Planet Retail, said: “Click & collect is poised for explosive growth in the UK. Shoppers are already accustomed to browsing and transacting on their own terms – choice in fulfilment is the final piece to the puzzle. Within the next three years, we’re expecting more than three-quarters of online shoppers to collect their own items

“Two of the biggest barriers to buying online are cost of delivery and inconvenient delivery times, making click & collect an increasingly attractive option for both shoppers and retailers. Fulfilment is poised to be the next big battleground in retail.”

However, Planet Retail warns that retailers aren’t doing enough to cater to this shifting shopping behaviour. Despite the UK being a hotbed for click & collect, only two-thirds of the Top 50 retailers currently offer the service. What’s more, only 14% offer more than one collection option (i.e. instore collection, locker, third party store).

“Retailers should be readying themselves for this massive shift in shopping behavior and thinking beyond traditional collection points. Train stations, schools and even shoppers’ own cars could be the collection points of the future. Retailers must be prepared to forge relationships with some unconventional partners in pursuit of better serving the customer,” Berg added.

In its latest report, UK Click & Collect: Retail fad or future of the high street?, Planet Retail highlights strategic partnerships such as eBay/Argos and CollectPlus/Westfield, and calls out best practice examples from John Lewis, Next, Amazon, Tesco and Asda, among others.

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus, the UK’s largest store-based parcel delivery and returns service, commented: “Planet Retail’s research demonstrates just how important delivery services have become to online shoppers. This is the area the consumer will take control of next. They have already taken control of the way in which they shop and, while there’s an awful lot of talk about immediacy, what customers want first and foremost is reliable delivery, rather than speed. Click & collect allows shoppers to take control. It works for them because it’s on their terms.

“The key to success for retailers will be having a distinctive proposition. Those retailers that are true to themselves, those that are the same retailer online as offline, and maintain their proposition to the customer are the ones that have opportunity to succeed. The trick is not to delay. The technology available today is far more accessible than it was just 15-20 years ago. You don’t need to build from scratch. Dive in, but retain your identity.”

Key findings

  • 35% of online shoppers in the UK currently click & collect, compared to 13% in the US and 5% in Germany.
  • That figure will more than double within the next three years: 76% of online shoppers in the UK will self-collect by 2017.
  • Despite being a hotbed for click & collect, only two-thirds of the top 50 retailers offer the service.
  • More needs to be done: the most successful retailers are placing click & collect at the heart of their multi-channel strategies and justifying their store presence. For example, click & collect accounts for 45% of Next’s online orders, while 57% of click & collect orders through John Lewis are picked up at sister brand Waitrose’s stores. 
  • Growth to be driven by continued roll-out of instore collection as well as alternative pick-up points such as lockers – currently used by 4% of online shoppers – and third party stores – currently used by 12% of shoppers.
  • #1 barrier to shopping online is the cost of delivery. Similarly, Planet Retail research shows that 1 in 4 online shoppers aredeterred by inconvenient delivery times.