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The click-and-collect phenomenon, whereby consumers buy products online then collect them at a physical store, is very popular in the UK. However, August 2016 research by Vanson Bourne for ecommerce solutions provider Tryzens indicates that another popular option—and a potentially more lucrative one for retailers—is on UK consumers’ minds.
The study found 84% of female and 83% of male UK internet users who had made a recent ecommerce purchase always or sometimes preferred to reserve products digitally before heading to a physical store to complete their purchase.
The subtle but important difference here is that with reserve and collect, consumers come into a physical store armed with a still-to-be-completed order, whereby click and collectors will have already paid for their purchase online. The reserve-and-collect opportunity for retailers, of course, is that the “collector” may be more inclined to make additional purchases once on-site.
In-store shopping is still the de facto method of buying retail goods in the UK. Even in this world-leading ecommerce nation and at a time of the year—the run up to Christmas—when digital shopping peaks, almost 80% of holiday season shopping this year will happen in physical stores, according to eMarketer’s latest holiday season shopping forecast. The appeal of reserve-and-collect shopping may help maintain the healthy lead that physical retailing holds over digital buying.
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