Click and collect: the e-tailing evolution

Click and collect: the e-tailing evolution

24/05/2012

Sean Prigmore

Shopping on the internet can be very quick and convenient. Conversely, taking delivery of what you have purchased can be a hassle. Delivery companies often offer delivery windows in half day segments rendering the purchaser housebound and frustrated. Consequently, e-tailers are investigating more consumer friendly ways of delivering the product to the consumer.

Delivery collection lockers being trialled across the country

Amazon has recently installed collection lockers at Land Securities’ 1 New Change, London EC4. When ordering your product you can nominate the collection point and when it is delivered you receive an email with a code which allows you access to the locker with your product inside. The locker registers when the product is removed so Amazon know you`ve got your goods. Other home delivery companies are using low tech methods such as local corner shops as drop off points.

High street retailers to act as collection point

ASOS are currently seeking a high street partner to act as an alternative collection point to home delivery. However it remains to be seen if they actually lease space themselves or merely form an alliance with a bricks and mortar retailer with whom they have some synergy. It does beg the question as to why a traditional fashion retailer would want to partner with ASOS, but short term financial incentives will undoubtedly win the day.

Argos report that half their customers either order in store for home delivery or order online for collection and that 25% of click and reserve customers collected their goods within two hours of placing their order.

Click and collect to hit grocery stores

The area in which we anticipate rapid growth is click and collect at grocery stores. A number of the major supermarket groups now have click and collect facilities at their stores. Initially these were ‘low tech’ where by the customer pulled up in a designated parking area and an employee would rush off and get their pre packed order and take it to the car. Tesco have recently reported that they intend to build bespoke Click and collect pods within the car parks of their stores similar to a fast food drive thru.

The click and collect concept for groceries is advancing further than this. Some of the supermarket groups are investigating the viability of free standing click and collect outlets remote from the foodstore whereby goods are ordered online and delivered to this remote facility which will house climate controlled grocery lockers. The customer is sent an email confirming the drop off has been made along with a collection code. The customer is then free to pick the goods up when convenient at which point the locker sends a message back to the retailer confirming the goods have been collected.

Out of town click and collect points to grow

Undoubtedly, the click and collect model will evolve further. Potentially, we could see click and collect pods on main arterial roads out of major commercial centres where consumers pick up their pre ordered goods on the way home saving valuable minutes. We might see Click and collect pods being run by a third party distributor housing lockers for all the main supermarket groups as well as non food e-tailers such as Amazon, ASOS etc.

So, while e-tailing is undoubtedly impacting on our traditional world of shops, we should be open minded as to how the commercial property market can work with internet retailers.

To find out more about this particular viewpoint please contact: Sean Prigmore

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