The growing popularity of so called click-and-collect services from high street retailers is set to account for £3bn of sales over the upcoming festive season.
A report published in the times said the figure would represent a 40% increase on similar purchasing habits during the same period last year. It also claimed that the service would produce an additional three ‘last-minute’ visits by consumers to their local high street to collect goods, providing previously unavailable selling opportunities for retailers.
According to Paul Doble, DX delivery services chief sales and marketing officer, free Click and Collect provides a way of tempting customers onto the high street. He said: “Whilst Click and Collect (C&C) won’t impinge on the dominance of home deliveries this Christmas, we may see instances of ‘free C&C’ versus chargeable home delivery that tempt the customer into the store.
“The main barrier to C&C is simply that there are still a relatively low number of online checkouts that offer facilities such as CollectPlus. For the moment at least, shoppers welcome the convenience of delivery to the home as long as the price is right, the service is quick and efficient, and doesn’t require them to be in to sign for it.”
He continues: “This Christmas, the industry will be more competitive than ever. Several large carriers have opened additional hubs and others are offering delivery on Sundays; the net result being that some firms will be aggressively increasing their delivery volumes and ‘free delivery’ is likely to become available at a lower minimum spend.
“Last Christmas there was a capacity shortage across the market, as sales outstripped delivery capabilities. The growth of C&C should capture some of this market, but capacity will remain an issue, forcing consumers to pay for more specialised delivery options in order to get their hotly anticipated purchases delivered on time.”