Imagine a world where you don’t have to wait around at home for Mr. Postman to deliver your package before you venture on your merry way. You have the luxury of choosing a shipping destination and being notified when your package is safely delivered and ready for pickup at your destination of choice. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, eBay has solved this challenge for its UK shoppers. Its Click & Collect program allows buyers to select a location to send purchases to and then pick them up at their convenience.
In the UK, eBay partnered with popular retailer Argos (think UK version of Target) to add its widespread brick-and-mortar network of stores as delivery spots in the Click & Collect program. There are currently more than 650 Argos locations, each within 10 miles of most of the UK population — offering a convenient pickup destination for UK eBay-ers.
The offering proved to be so strong in beta tests last year that eBay estimates 65,000 people will enroll by the end of 2014 and 80,000 will enroll in 2015.
So when can we expect to see a similar offering in the US? EBay does offer Click & Collect in the US — known as In-Store Pickup — which ChannelAdvisor also supports. With In-Store Pickup, buyers make a purchase from a retailer and then pick up their item at the retailer’s own store. As a result, participating US retailers are required to have a wide brick-and-mortar presence to appeal to many buyers. For that reason, the program is currently invitation-only in the US.
When you compare the two programs, Argos Click & Collect offers clear value because retailers can leverage Argos’ high street presence without needing any brick-and-mortar stores of their own.
EBay is opening up a new world of e-commerce customer care. UK sellers can capitalize on this new feature, but will this be an industry-changing opportunity for online retail? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor