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Online shopping transforms festive buying habits

13 August 2014 - 12:13 by Sarah Collinson

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While it may only be August, thousands of retailers across the UK are already putting their plans into action for the Christmas shopping season. And the Guardian reports that e-commerce sites are having a marked impact on how high street spaces are being used this year.

In the past there was a gulf between the experience of buying something in-store and the process of shopping online. And most of this came down to the way that consumers received the products they purchased.

The rise of click and collect services is changing all that, since it is now simple to order something online and then pick it up from a bricks and mortar outlet. In fact, plenty of online-only retailers are now making it possible to collect orders from venues other than a dedicated retailer, such as lockers at train stations.

Supermarket giant, Waitrose, is even partnering with Gatwick Airport, with travellers able to order shopping to be delivered to refrigerated compartments at terminals, so that they can collect it once they get off their flight.

As Christmas approaches, there are usually plenty of pop-up shops and temporary retailers opened across the UK. But in 2014 it is predicted that more spaces than ever will be dedicated to allowing for click and  collect to occur.

Click & collect is convenient because it means that consumers can benefit from the lower prices and 24/7 convenience of safe shopping online, without having to wait around at home on the day that the delivery is due to arrive.

Packages can be picked up from travel interchanges and other locations on your route to and from work, so expect the festive season to be defined by click & collect shopping this year, as e-commerce usage continues to grow.