76 per cent of online shoppers will be using click & collect by 2017, states new research.

Click & collect set for “explosive growth” in the UK, claims Planet Retail

New research by Planet Retail has found that 76 per cent of online shoppers will be using click & collect by 2017.

Currently, 35 per cent of online shoppers in the UK use the service, compared to 13 per cent in the US and 5 per cent in Germany.

“Click & collect is poised for explosive growth in the UK," said Natalie Berg, global research director at Planet Retail.

"Shoppers are already accustomed to browsing and transacting on their own terms – choice in fulfilment is the final piece to the puzzle. Within the next three years, we’re expecting more than three-quarters of online shoppers to collect their own items.

“Two of the biggest barriers to buying online are cost of delivery and inconvenient delivery times, making click & collect an increasingly attractive option for both shoppers and retailers. Fulfilment is poised to be the next big battleground in retail.”

Planet Retail has also found that retailers aren’t doing enough to cater to this demand.

Only two-thirds of the top 50 retailers currently offer the service, with only 14 per cent offering more than one collection option.

“Retailers should be readying themselves for this massive shift in shopping behavior and thinking beyond traditional collection points," added Berg.

"Train stations, schools and even shoppers’ own cars could be the collection points of the future. Retailers must be prepared to forge relationships with some unconventional partners in pursuit of better serving the customer."

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus, the UK’s largest store-based parcel delivery and returns service, added: “Planet Retail’s research demonstrates just how important delivery services have become to online shoppers. This is the area the consumer will take control of next.

"They have already taken control of the way in which they shop and, while there’s an awful lot of talk about immediacy, what customers want first and foremost is reliable delivery, rather than speed. Click & collect allows shoppers to take control. It works for them because it’s on their terms.

“The key to success for retailers will be having a distinctive proposition. Those retailers that are true to themselves, those that are the same retailer online as offline, and maintain their proposition to the customer are the ones that have opportunity to succeed. The trick is not to delay.

"The technology available today is far more accessible than it was just 15-20 years ago. You don’t need to build from scratch. Dive in, but retain your identity.”

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