Click & Collect now accounts for 70% of ecommerce volumes in the UK and is expected to grow 45.8% to 9.8 billion Pounds (A$18.4 billion) by 2023. But here in Australia, only 42% of retailers have adopted the service, meaning there is huge growth opportunity locally, according to Doddle APAC CEO, Justin Dery.

Doddle was established in the UK five years ago as a pioneer of Click & Collect and last mile specialist for omni channel retailers, turning physical stores into mini distribution centres, to increase fulfilment speeds and decrease costs associated with delivery. For pureplay retailers, Doddle digitises returns and offers self-service portals to customers.

In the UK, Doddle works with big brand retailers including Amazon, eBay, Asos and boohoo, and in July this year, Doddle expanded into the Australian market to help local retailers realise the benefits of providing Click & Collect and create sites for customers to pick up or return online purchases.

Speaking to Retailbiz, Doddle’s Justin Dery highlighted five key reasons why retailers should employ Click & Collect.

  1. Reviving the physical stores

“With the ongoing rise of online shopping, Click & Collect can help retailers drive foot traffic back into stores. When customers come to collect their order, there is an opportunity to up-sell them to purchase additional items. Many pureplay retailers are choosing to partner with bricks-and-mortar retailers to take advantage of this opportunity. For example, in the UK, Amazon has partnered with fashion retailer, Next, which has almost 500 stores across the UK.”

  1. The convenience factor

“Shoppers are increasingly demanding convenience and Click & Collect allows them to choose where and when they would like to pick up their order. This is why the service is extremely popular for young professionals who aren’t home often and don’t want to miss a delivery to their home address. This customer segment is also found to shop more frequently and have larger basket sizes.”

  1. Cost-effectiveness

“Shoppers are also seeking free and fast delivery. With Click & Collect, retailers can choose to offer a delivery cost less than a home delivery fee or even free delivery as it is much more cost-effective to ship 50 items to one location than 50 different locations. Further, it enables deliveries to almost be immediate, rather than two- to three-hour windows.”

  1. Returns made easy

“There is a common misconception that making product returns difficult is a good way to minimise impact on the bottom line. But it’s quite the contrary. Making it easy for customers to return unwanted items will create brand loyalty and retailers can gain valuable insights from returns by understanding the reasons why their customers aren’t satisfied with their product. Retailers should be evolving their returns policy to give customers more choice.”

  1. Being environmentally friendly

“The environment has become a hot topic in the media and among the Millennial generation, so as mentioned in point three, Click & Collect enables items to be shipped to one location. This also supports a more sustainable proposition and customers will often choose to shop with businesses that reflect their values and beliefs.”