Is click and collect the future of eCommerce?

According to a survey of 2,400 shoppers in the UK, a staggering 95% of consumers plan to use “click and collect” services instead of traditional deliveries to their home or workplace this Christmas.

Online retailers who want to thrive in the UK need to update their website and in-house processes to meet this demand from consumers, but many are finding their off-the-shelf eCommerce platforms aren’t up to the task.

According to the survey, the most common reason given for wanting click and collect was the convenience of not having to wait at home all day for a delivery, followed by avoiding the costs of postage. With many businesses finding their offices swamped by Amazon deliveries during the Christmas shopping periods, some companies are also instituting a “no personal parcels” rule that has removed deliveries to the workplace as an option.

With finances a top priority for many shoppers this Christmas, 85% of those surveyed also said that they expect click and collect options to be a free service.

The complexities of click and collect are significant however, especially if you are not able to turn to your website development company for help. Whilst a traditional shipping set-up requires only a destination address and a matrix of shipping costs, click and collect often requires proper integration to your businesses ERP system to manage deliveries to store locations. It also needs to be able to manage subsequent collection by the customer or complex integration to a third party service who can provide collection points.

In either of these scenarios, the capabilities of off-the-shelf eCommerce platforms are severely stretched. It’s little wonder that the providers who are leading the market in terms of click and collect services are large scale retailers (such as Tesco, John Lewis, and Argos) who already have an infrastructure to support click and collect. They have built their eCommerce systems from the ground up to integrate into their ERP and CRM environments. Even eBay, often the market leader in eCommerce developments, has found it necessary to partner with Argos for its first experiments with click and collect.

If you are considering click and collect as a way to convert more customers on your eCommerce website, make sure you consider the costs of developing and integrating the system. Remember that custom software development can often offer the best return on investment when instituting complex new processes in a business.

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December 10th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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