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Hidden Costs of Click and Collect Hit Retailers

20 August 2019 - 16:30 by Graham Miller

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While click and collect has become a popular delivery option for consumers who want to enjoy safe shopping online in combination with same-day access to their goods, a new study from Barclaycard suggests that it could actually be hurting the retailers that offer it.

With click and collect it is possible for customers to reserve an item online and then arrange to pick it up at their nearest store in person. However, analysts revealed that items worth £228 million are being pre-ordered and then left in limbo, with the shopper not actually choosing to go through with the collection.

This is equivalent to a bricks and mortar version of online basket abandonment, although there are far greater costs associated with ignored click and collect orders, since retailers actually have to dedicate resources to dealing with click and collect requests.

71 per cent of Brits said that they regularly take advantage of click and collect when buying online, but 15 per cent confirmed that they had done so and then failed to pick up their order, according to Internet Retailing.

A third of those who fell into this small group said that they felt it was too much bother to visit the store after placing their order, while a quarter said that they were put off by having to wait a long time before they were able to visit the store and retrieve their items. A similar proportion said that the collection points from which goods could be picked up were generally not adequately staffed.

While click and collect can help to bring more people into the store, the rise in footfall needs to be counterbalanced against the costs of uncollected items and the additional administration required to offer this kind of service.