Consumers are calling for online and offline retailers to collaborate, not compete, as the demand for click & collect services rises, according to a new report by IMRG.
The study, titled ‘A Tale of Two City Centres’, showed that while 21% of all UK retail is now being conducted online, many retailers with national store networks are seeing over half of these orders collected in their shops – and customers shopping for additional unplanned items while they are in-store.
Study author, independent multi-channel retail consultant Chris Jones, explained: “The relationship between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores is all too often painted as a kind of zero-sum game. However, today’s consumers want online and offline channels to collaborate, not compete, to deliver the ‘always open, always available, always informed’ shopping experience they expect.
"What’s particularly challenging for retailers trying to meet this need is the ever-increasing pace at which best-practice has to be re-invented to adjust to this new consumer expectation. This report highlights the key challenges and, making particular use of IMRG’s extensive database of stats and facts, shows why they matter."
IMRG’s report also found that a third of all online sales happen after 6pm. Additionally, national retailers such as Argos and Tesco Direct see over half of online orders collected in store, highlighting the importance of click-and-collect.
Meanwhile, over 27% of online sales took place on a tablet in Q1 2014, marking yet another overnight revolution in the way consumers like to shop and with which retailers now need to cope.