Click and Collect: An E-Commerce Retailer’s Guide

November 5, 2015

Marketplaces Laura Lane By Laura Lane

It seems as that UK consumers can’t get enough of click and collect, the delivery option that allows buyers to pick up their online orders in a physical location. A recent IMRG consumer survey found that 73% of respondents had used click and collect, and 10% intended to do so in the near future. The service has taken has taken more time to catch on in the US than it has in the UK, as only 20% of US retailers have used click and collect.

If you think offering click and collect is too complex or expensive for your business, then maybe it’s time to think again — especially if you’re trying to expand to the UK market. Companies of all sizes can quickly get on board with click and collect by leveraging the fulfillment programs offered by the big two marketplaces.

EBay Click & Collect: Digital Meets Physical

EBay Click & Collect provides a way for retailers of all sizes to offer customers this flexible form of delivery. By partnering with Argos, eBay offers a UK network of shops where customers can pick up their eBay orders. An estimated 750 stores are now involved in the program, and with more than 95% of the population living within 10 miles of an Argos store, this is a wide-reaching offering. The majority of eBay customers recently rated the service as ‘excellent’, so it’s no wonder that there are now over 140,000 sellers enrolled in the program.

EBay Click & Collect is simple and quick to set up. You’ll automatically be presented with Click & Collect as an option when you offer Fast ‘N Free shipping, meet dimension limits (such as ensuring that items are under 40 lb) and use an eBay-approved carrier. If you don’t currently offer these options, you’ll need to update your listings to join the Click & Collect program. You can opt in at any time using the Site Preferences tool, and you can edit individual listings if you want only certain listings to be eligible.

Once you’re signed up with eBay Click & Collect, the process is straightforward. When you receive an order, simply prepare the item as usual. Then, instead of sending the parcel directly to your customer, forward it to the appropriate Argos store. Keep in mind that returns come directly to you, not the Argos store – in line with your current returns policy. And if your customer doesn’t pick their order up within seven days, you’ll need to issue a refund.

Amazon Lockers: An Extra Layer of Convenience

We all know that Amazon sets the bar high when it comes to fulfillment options for customers, and Amazon Lockers are no exception to the rule. Arriving on UK shores last year and available in a variety of locations throughout the US, Amazon Lockers offer buyers the option to pick up their parcels from a number of locations. Once you sign up for the program, your buyers can select Amazon Lockers as a delivery option and pick up their parcels at a nearby Locker, if there’s one available.

You can opt to offer one-day or standard delivery, while Prime members are automatically eligible for free delivery. Once the parcel is delivered, customers receive an email notification and a unique pickup code. Only small, light parcels can fit in a Locker (up to 10 pounds and 16.5 in x 13.8 in x 12.6 in).

And Amazon Lockers appear to be working. Recent research indicates that consumers rate them highly, with 90% finding Lockers easy to use and 84% saying they would use them again. There are several hundred Lockers in convenient locations across the US and UK, including shopping centers, supermarkets, libraries and universities.

Get Started

Last Christmas 45% of online shoppers opted to use click and collect services — and this year that number has increased. According to a recent survey, 95% of online shoppers plan to use the fulfillment service this holiday season. With Christmas just around the corner, there’s still time to add this popular delivery option to your arsenal!

EBay's Click & Collect with Argos