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According to eMarketer estimates, retail ecommerce will account for 13.0% of all retail sales in the UK in 2014, and 73.1% of the population will make at least one digital purchase. Both these measures are way above most other digitally developed nations. In the US, for example, retail ecommerce will account for 6.5% of total retail sales this year, while 62.5% of the population will be digital buyers.
Another area where UK consumers are well advanced is click and collect. September 2014 research from Verdict Retail forecast that UK click-and-collect sales would be worth £3.5 billion ($5.47 billion) in 2014, growing 82% to £6.5 billion ($10.16 billion) by 2019.
July 2014 polling from Conlumino for Barclays Bank, however, indicated that click and collect was a far less valued delivery method than some others, with fewer than one-fifth of digital buyers in the UK having used such a service in the past year, vs. 82.2% who’d used home delivery via Royal Mail.
That said, the survey also found that 18.5% of respondents planned to use click and collect via the same shop more often in the coming year, and 12.5% intended to order online and pick up in a different store. In addition, 19.4% expected to use locker collection services more regularly—something that’s becoming a familiar scene in the UK, particularly across the rail and underground networks.
According to an April 2014 release from Planet Retail, a much more healthy 35% of digital buyers said they’d used click-and-collect services in 2013, and that proportion was expected to rise to 76% by 2017. But no matter the relative proportions, one thing that each study highlights is that click and collect is becoming an increasingly important, and compelling, proposition in the UK.
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