Global ecommerce tech provider Doddle aims to help Australian retailers better compete and build revenue, after launching in Sydney and Melbourne. 

The company has enjoyed 114 per cent year-on-year transaction growth in the UK, where it opened in 2014. This has been driven in part by the growth in Click and Collect (C&C), which has outpaced the growth of online retail in the UK, prompting retailers to invest in the in-store experience in order to build loyalty and drive foot traffic.

Now Doddle hopes to partner with retailers across Australia to do the same thing here, with plans to enter more markets across Asia Pacific over the next 12 months.

“We see significant growth and opportunities in Australia and our mission is to become the most sought after delivery partner in ecommerce,” Doddle’s APAC CEO Justin Dery told Retailbiz.

Online shopping remains at nine per cent in Australia, compared to 18 per cent in the UK. And C&C isn’t yet mature here; only 42 per cent of retailers in Australia offer the option, and just 38 per cent for returns.

But the number is rising.

“We’re certainly encouraged by the growth in the local ecommerce market and the need for our types of services,” said Dery.

“There’s increased consumer demand for fast and convenient delivery options, as well as digital and self-service returns. Plus, the high cost of logistics and geographical dispersion in Australia means retailers really want to use their stores for online orders at the point that’s closest to the consumer and we can help them do that.”

C&C uses economy of scale; it’s cheaper to send 100 parcels to one location than to 100 different locations. For omnichannel retailers, it turns their stores into mini distribution centres, increasing efficiency and speed and reducing costs. C&C also gets customers to the store, familiarising them with your store locations and stocks.

“Ultimately that should lead to increased customer loyalty and revenue,” said Dery.

For consumers, C&C provides a pick-up option that is faster and safer – and often drier – than home delivery and a easy way to return items. It also offers convenience, says Dery.

“It gives them the opportunity to pick up and return their product at a time that suits them best, that suits their lifestyle in terms of geography and times of day.”

The main challenge Dery expects to have in Australia is persuading people to change their behaviour.

“It’s about getting people to do things they haven’t done before. But what we’ve found is once people use C&C they continue to use it. On average, 58 per cent of consumers collecting or returning orders in the stores of Doddle’s retail partners, go on to make additional purchases in-store.”

Dery explains there is always a place for home delivery; it’s about offering consumers a choice.

“Our aim isn’t to directly challenge home deliveries, but give customers broader choice and convenience,” he said.

“We’re very excited about the launch and the opportunities. We have a great team and we’re all chomping at the bit to get out there, let retailers know that we’re here and we’re open for business.”

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