Four in 10 of online shoppers opted to use click and collect services this Christmas – but more than a third of those that did said the experience fell short, in a new study out today.
Click and collect, found the JDA/Centiro Christmas Customer Pulse report, was more popular this year. Some 41% of the 2,000 people who took part in the study said they opted to use the service, which enables internet shoppers to buy or reserve online and collect in store. That’s up from 39% at the same time last year.
But 36% said they had issues that could potentially mean a negative expxerience when picking up their orders. Foremost among these was when the retailer did not have a dedicated in-store pickup area for click and collect (31%), long waiting times because of a lack of in-store staff (31%), staff unable to – or taking a long time – to find the items in store (24%).
Some 33% of all online Christmas shoppers said they had had some issue with their purchase – up from 31% the previous year. They included 48% who had had a late delivery or did not receive their goods at all, while 48% had a missed delivery, including when they were at home. More than three quarters (77%) said they would be likely to buy with another retailer next Christmas, as a result.
“While online retail continues to see unprecedented growth in the UK, Christmas shoppers continued to be plagued with problems concerning their online orders. While issues with home deliveries are nothing new, more worrying for many retailers is that this Christmas exposed cracks in their ‘Click & Collect’ operations,” said Jason Shorrock, vice president of retail strategy at JDA.
“Shoppers are showing a growing preference for ‘Click & Collect’ as it offers them the convenience they crave and it is vital that retailers get it right. However, without the effective management of staff, stores and inventory, retailers risk damaging customer relationships. Ironically, at a time when the online channel continues to grow, the in-store experience is becoming ever more important. As the survey findings show, today’s online customer has no qualms about taking their business elsewhere if retailers don’t meet their expectations.”