Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Would you pay for click-and-collect?

Last week, The Guardian reported that UK retailer John Lewis is going to start charging for click-and-collect services for orders under £30.

John Lewis processes more than 6m click and collect orders a year, compared with 350,000 when it launched in 2008, the article reported. The retailer found that it was not sustainable to continue offering the free service for small and inexpensive items.

John Lewis managing director, Andy Street, said: “We are sure customers will understand why we are doing this. There is a huge logistical operation behind this system and quite frankly it’s unsustainable. We consider ourselves to be leaders and we want to take the lead on this.”

There is no doubt that click-and-collect is here to stay; a recent survey by IMRG (IMRG eDigitalResearch eCSI Click-and-Collect Survey January 2015) suggests that 73% of UK shoppers have used in-store click-and-collect or reserve and collect, with another 10% intending to try it in the near future. Oracle’s own research report Delivering Retail has revealed a doubling of consumers who are buying online, and collecting in-store.

However, John Lewis is not in fact the only retailer that is currently charging for click-and-collect services. Out of 350 UK retailers with an online presence that we tested for our Delivering Retail report, 43% currently offer click-and-collect. 85% of this sample do not charge for this service. Surprisingly, 15% of the tested UK retailers do in fact charge.

Here is who charges what:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch - £10.00
  • Topshop -  £3.00
  • Boots -  £1.95
  • Camper -  £7.00
  • Carphone Warehouse -  £1.00
  • Claire’s Accessories -  £1.95
  • Direct Golf -  £2.99
  • Dorothy Perkins -  £2.95 (for Express)
  • Evans -  £2.95 (for Express)
  • Hollister -  £10.00
  • Paperchase -  £2.99
  • Pull and Bear -  £3.95
  • Sports Direct -  £3.99

In fact, 1% of the retailers we tested charge customers up to £14.99 to pick up their products. The vast majority of those that charge for click-and-collect (6%), however, charge up to £4.99.

According to our research, the 85% of retailers that offer the service for free is down from last year’s 96%, showing that more retailers are finding it difficult to offer the service for free. And as online and in-store shopping is converging, we can expect to continue to see a rise in the popularity of click-and-collect.

Considering the decline of the free service, what charges would customers deem acceptable and be willing to pay?

Those that order small items such as lipsticks for click-and-collect may not do so solely due to convenience, given they will still have to make the trip to the store. It is likely they order online due to a lack of availability of said product in-store.

This raises a question - should product availability be the customer's or the retailer's problem? Do you, as a customer, support John Lewis' vision for charging for the delivery of small items?

Monday Feb 02, 2015

Australian Pharmacy Chemmart Triples Average Order Size

We love seeing our customers do well. Last week, Australian Chemmart Pharmacy announced it tripled its average order size and has seen a significant increase in the sale of high value items by extending its business online with the Oracle Commerce solution.

Chemmart Pharmacy attributes this incredible increase in sales to customers having access to a wider range of products online as well as a better understanding of each item’s availability. This strikes a perfect chord with the findings of our New Retail Democracy research last year which showed that choice and availability were key consumer concerns.

In order to extend its localised approach, Chemmart Pharmacy developed an innovative, decentralised e-commerce model that allows each pharmacy to manage its online store, including range and pricing of prescription items, ensuring revenue is directed back to each store, rather than head office. This focus on localising the customer experience is resulting in a significant adoption of click and collect: over 40% of their customers chose to fulfil their purchases in this way.

For more information click here.

Chemmart Pharmacy

Wednesday Oct 22, 2014

Amazon’s Same-Day Click and Collect & John Lewis Railway Stores – How Retailers Are Responding To A New Retail Democracy

Online retailer Amazon announced its partnership with newspaper and magazine wholesaler Smiths News last week, in order to launch a same-day click and collect delivery service for its customers. The new service will allow customers to collect orders placed in the morning after 4pm in the afternoon on the same day, at one of 500 locations.

Next-day delivery has been a standard industry offering for some time but by presenting customers with the opportunity to collect their purchases the very same day, Amazon has demonstrated a commitment to facilitating customer choice and convenience by providing the ‘always available’ option.

Offering a same-day collection or delivery service requires sophisticated operational organisation and investment- every aspect of the supply chain has to function in seamless unison to enable rapid order fulfilment.

The significance of Amazon’s new service is clear - if consumers can receive an item from an alternative supplier on the day of purchase then they will certainly shop elsewhere. In the modern retail industry, the connection between supply chain and execution must be fast, integrated and customer-focused to avoid losing out to the competition.

John Lewis is also listening to consumers’ needs for convenience in their shopping journey and has ventured into new territory with opening its first ever railway station store at St Pancras International in London. John Lewis and Amazon are demonstrating that the ability to provide a variety of convenient purchase channels and delivery options is now common place.

The challenge for retailers that want to be successful is to recognise that consumers want options when it comes to collection or delivery of their orders. In our 2014 research report “The New Retail Democracy”, we saw that 93% of UK respondents will not wait for an out-of stock item and 90% will source the product elsewhere.

To deliver democratic retail, a retailer’s priority is to provide commerce anywhere. To enable this, retailers must focus on integrating business processes and aligning their operations with the needs of the individual consumer, in order to stay relevant, competitive and deliver on the brand promise.

To learn more about our New Retail Democracy research please visit here.

Tuesday Sep 24, 2013

Argos announce ‘click and collect’ collaboration with eBay

UK retailer Argos has today announced their collaboration with eBay, the online marketplace with a global customer base of 233 million (18 million in the UK), in providing a ‘click and collect’ service to eBay customers. The agreement means that around 50 eBay merchants will allow customers to purchase goods on eBay, and collect their products at one of 150 UK Argos stores.

This news reflects the ongoing push in the industry to provide Commerce Anywhere to consumers, who wish to shop at a time and via a method that is ‘good for them’, having products delivered when and where they choose. Whilst eBay merchants have traditionally offered home delivery, the tie-up with Argos will allow the e-commerce company to offer an alternative, tackling issues of consumers not being at the delivery location when an item arrives.

‘Click and collect’ is a growing trend, with an increasing number of retailers now offering the delivery mechanism. Consumers are able to select a location that is close to them, and collect the item at a time that is convenient. Growth in such services is a result of the increasing range of fulfilment options for consumers, with retailers looking to deliver a customer experience that is ‘good for me’.

The deal between eBay and Argos is for an initial six month pilot period.


Everything Retail.

Principal contributors:

Sarah Taylor, Senior Industry Director, Oracle Retail.

Marie-Christin Hansen, Senior Industry Campaigns Manager, Oracle Retail.

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