Click and collect – the unexpected high street saviour?

David Lowrence
By , - Reshaping BusinessRetail

Click and collect is set to bolster high street footfall across the festive season this year amid estimations that the service will bring average consumers into town centres an additional three times.

What’s more, the value of goods purchased online and collected in store or at collection points is set to jump to £3 billion over this period – an impressive 40 per cent increase on last year.

It’s great to see retailers beginning to respond to this demand in increasingly innovative ways: Amazon collection lockers have become a familiar sight across shopping centres and transport hubs,

eBay customers are now able to collect certain items at Argos stores and a number of big supermarket names now offer collection at London tube stations.

What’s interesting about this is that according to retail consultancy Conlumino, the average consumer spends an extra £27 on various spontaneous purchases during trips to collect pre-ordered items – resulting in a boost of 1.15 billion for the tills of high street stores across the UK.

This is clear proof that physical retail locations are still incredibly important – even for online businesses. Although companies are operating in a highly digitalised, mobile-driven market, the interplay between the high street and online store allows customers to remain at the heart of the shopping experience. Never has it been more important for retailers to ensure that they are flexible in their approach to customers, and are offering options that work for them.

This figure also reinforces that clicks are not set to replace bricks any time soon, and according to Fujitsu’s Pan-European Retail Survey, 65% of retailers believe the importance of stores is increasing significantly within Europe.

Ultimately, if retailers are looking for profitable growth, the high street must remain an important channel for business. The most secure way to achieve this growth is to provide a seamless customer journey – delivering the capabilities to be found in all channels – and allowing connected customers to interact, amend an order and purchase anything, anywhere, anytime.

Image Credit: tootdood

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