Following “phenomenal” growth during the pandemic, click and collect services are here to stay with retailers who offer the service reporting that approximately 40% of their sales – 8.4% of total retail sales – are currently generated via collection offerings.
A new study – What’s in store for retail? from Barclays Corporate Banking found the click and collect economy is now worth £42.4 billion a year.
Furthermore, the click and collect economy also underpins 184,000 jobs across the industry, which equates to 7.4% of the total workforce. Over two fifths (41%) of physical stores in the UK are now used as click and collect locations, with the same amount being used to process returns.
The report also stressed that those retailers who have not invested in click and collect may consider doing so, such as Primark which had previously shied away from digital but is piloting the service this year.
Barclays’ data also demonstrated how online and physical retail sales channels are becoming more intertwined. Consumers reported that they like to research products online and in-store in equal measure across a number of products, including homewares (34%), fashion (33%), accessories (31%) and garden products (28%).
The research revealed that having both an online and physical presence can be advantageous for a retailer’s appeal. A quarter (24%) of consumers said they can be hesitant when buying from online-only brands, a figure which drops to just over one in ten (13%) when businesses also have physical stores.
Karen Johnson, head of retail and wholesale, Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Perhaps more than any other sector over the past two years, retail has been forced into a period of accelerated evolution. The pandemic drove everyone online, and now the rising cost-of-living is increasing business outgoings while reducing consumer spending.
“Encouragingly for the UK’s retail sector, however, businesses are adapting their sales models to weather these financial storms as effectively as possible. Links between digital and physical shopping are being evolved, which are opening up new opportunities and ways to generate income.”