The emergence of click & collect as a real sales driver.
Arguably, the click & collect phenomenon emerged first in France. Much of this development has been driven by legal constraints such as zoning laws in France and high hurdles for the opening of new hypermarches.
The law for opening smaller scale outlets on the other hand was relaxed leading to a convenience store and discounter boom. One way to differentiate for hypermarket players has been online and click & collect has acted as both a footfall driver (Casino) as well as a cost effective solution to online grocery retailing as the difficult last mile is placed in the hand of the consumer. Chronodrive’s drive model is now emulated by grocers all across the Continent.
Offering click & collect capabilities has become a real point of differentiation and incremental sales driver for many retailers. Indeed many customers will simply go elsewhere if they are not being offered this service. This incidentally was also one of the major reasons behind the opening of House of Fraser’s click & collect stores in Aberdeen and Liverpool.
For many online customers avoiding fees and extra costs for deliveries is a major reason for choosing click & collect solutions. This is especially true in austere times in a macro economic environment characterised by government cuts and general retrenchment. We believe that it will remain a feature until the economy recovers and free deliveries have become a commonplace in the service proposition of online and multichannel retailers.
Moreover many customers are using click & collect to plan shopping trips and to go for top up shopping at the retailers where they have reserved an item or surrounding retailers. As such there are opportunities for retailers, they can utilise click & collect to drive spend into impulse categories and can recommend complimentary items to customers when they come into the store to pick up their purchases. This should be especially powerful in clothing, where accessories to the reserved purchase can be recommended by the sales teams for example.
Looking ahead, the click & collect revolution might take on a different meaning altogether, if retailers will use their store estates as fulfillment hubs for deliveries as well (shutl), radically changing the cost dynamics of online shopping once again.
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Next week we will continue with our series on the store of the future by looking at the smartphone revolution
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