‘Click and collect’ helps retailers fight back against online rivals – Daily News

‘Click and collect’ helps retailers fight back against online rivals – Daily News


‘Click and collect’ is giving bricks-and-mortar retailers an edge in the battle for sales against online rivals Costly real estate has been partly blamed for the struggles of traditional retailers, with stores like Sears and Toys ‘R’ Us already hit hard But in the last holiday season, sales where customers order goods online and pick them up at a nearby store soared 47 per cent compared with a year earlier This outstripping 16.5 per cent growth in online sales in November and December, according to Adobe Analytics Among those reporting big increases in such sales were chains such Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Home Depot The statistics suggest that physical stores offer retailers a rare advantage during the shopping season against e-commerce giant Amazon and other online retailers Retail experts said delays during the 2017 holiday season caused by bad weather, and a late surge in online orders overwhelming shipping firms, is likely to have contributed to the surge in store pickups last season And even though UPS and FedEx largely avoided a repeat of such problems in 2018, analysts say store pickups offer important benefits for both consumers and retailers According to retail research and consulting firm GlobalData Retail, store pickups accounted for nearly a third of U S. online sales last November and December. That compares with about 22 per cent a year earlier and just over 17 per cent during the 2016 holiday season Jeff Sylvester, of customer experience researchers Foresee, said the method ‘brings together the benefits of the digital shopping experience with the instant gratification of same-day store pickup and easy returns’. Share this article Share It means that shoppers avoid shipping costs and the agony of waiting for the delivery, and can also get help from store staff if any issues come up Web designer Steve Molloy said a 3-1/2-week delay in delivery of a pair of Nikes he ordered online during the 2016 holiday season made him switch to in-store pickup He said: ‘It feels like you have a little bit of control’.Retailers save on packaging and delivery costs as they have items on sale in their in-store backrooms rather than a distant warehouse Foresee’s Sylvester estimates it costs retailers about $5.60 in packaging, labor and fuel to deliver goods ordered online Factoring in other costs, retailers stand to make a 25 per cent gross profit on a shipment of $82, the size of an average online order during the 2017 holiday season The store pickup option raises that margin to at least 33 per cent, he said.It also helps bring in additional sales More than a third of customers who come to collect their orders end up buying something else, said Tom McGee, chief executive of International Council of Shopping Centers, a global trade association   He added that during the holidays that number increases to 86 per cent.U.S. retailers are some years behind their European peers in adopting ‘click-and-collect’ and it has not yet reached a scale where it could pose a significant challenge to Amazon, analysts say Yet already now, the model helps retailers better cope with the downward pressure on margins from online competition ‘Buy online pickup in store is every CEO’s nirvana,’ said Ted McCaffrey, a retail strategy consultant with SensorMatic Making it work, however, takes careful planning and money.Retail consultants say it comes down to how fast an employee can fulfill multiple orders and if retailers can pull workers away during rush hours since long wait times can discourage customers who chose the service to save time Creating dedicated space for order collection also requires investment, which can be substantial particularly in urban areas where stores tend to be smaller and real estate more expensive Among retailers that so far have made biggest strides in the United States is home improvement chain Home Depot, Adobe Analytics’ group manager Nate Smith said Adobe Analytics’ data showed that customers picked up nearly half of their online orders in Home Depot stores during the holidays last year and a fifth of those customers bought additional items doing so Smith said Home Depot had remodeled some stores to create separate pickup areas with lockers that customers can unlock with a government identification and an order number Home Depot did not comment on the subject citing its quiet period ahead of its quarterly earnings report Walmart said it has added hundreds of ‘pickup towers’ in stores, while Target’s ‘Order Pickup’ and ‘Drive Up’ options in stores grew 60 per cent during key holiday months last year, and accounted for a quarter of the company’s overall digital sales, the company said Similarly, Best Buy told Reuters that more than 40 per cent of its online sales involve in-store pickups The electronics chain also provides dedicated parking spaces for such customers.’Store pickup is certainly convenient as 70 per cent of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Best Buy store and millions of people drive past one of our stores each day on their way to and from work,’ Best Buy spokesman Jeff Shelman said

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