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The Best of Both Worlds. Just Click and Collect!

By Charlotte Amos

February 28, 2013 | 4 min read

Retailers are constantly looking for new ways to ensure customer satisfaction. Luckily for any disgruntled online shoppers, Click and Collect services are becoming increasingly popular and available from more and more retailers.

Internet has revolutionised how we buy and the search engine is now our biggest department store with anything and everything just a click away. Online shopping has become the norm which a number of retailers have recently discovered to their peril. Failing to cope with online

competition has led to the collapse of Jessops and Comet, and left HMV with an uncertain future.

Yet how often have you ordered something, waited in on the designated day for your delivery to arrive anywhere between 9am and 9pm, only to have nothing drop through your letterbox and the doorbell remain silent? There is nothing more frustrating than a delivery service that's not up to scratch or the equally frustrating 'sorry you were out' cards. Delivery is an increasingly important area for retailers seeking to ensure customer loyalty - a report published by Which? last year discovered that around 60% of people shopping online had problems with delivery.

The concept is as it says on the tin - you just click and collect. Argos was one of the first retailers to realise the potential of Click and Collect. With around 2/3 of UK households having an Argos catalogue tucked away somewhere it's easy to see why. Rather than having to wait at home for your purchases to be delivered, or spend time going from shop to shop, you order online then go to the store and collect the chosen yourself. It saves the customer both time and money and better still you know your items will definitely be there waiting for you.

Click and Collect services have been responsible for the boost of Christmas sales for the likes of John Lewis. The much loved department store is a prime example of how a retailer adapts to the changing needs and desires of the customer. Just this week they announced that they are to partner with Collect+ which will allow their customers to buy online and collect orders from various locations including local newsagents, corner shops and petrol stations.

Other retailers are also capitalising on this trend. KFC have announced that they are trialling click and collect which will allow customers to pre order from the menu, via an app or the website, and then collect the order in store.

Collect+ is a genuinely exciting innovation and one I believe that will go from strength to strength. Amongst many others, Collect+ retail partners include Topshop, Next, Clarks, Disney and and online women's fashion catalogue isme. They currently have over 5,000 local shops, a number of which are open 24/7, where you can pick up your ordered goods. This not only benefits the consumers and the department stores but also the independent traders who will enjoy extra footfall into their stores. By using the service, customers can combine collection with buying groceries or daily necessities, as well aiding a far more convenient returns process.

Click and Collect is without doubt a burgeoning retail trend. However, it is still a relatively niche way to shop, and I believe many retailers can do more to market the unique service, especially those who partner with Collect+. I know my life would be made a lot easier knowing I can pick up a new pair of shoes on my way home from the tube rather than wait in all day for them. Online innovations will continue to blend with the high street, making the consumer's life easier and easier, and Click and Collect, I believe will play a major role in the future of the high street.


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