As many as 72% of retailers see Click & Collect services as a solution to drive high street footfall, yet, UK shoppers are leaving as much as £228m worth of items uncollected each year.
So finds research from Barclaycard – which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions – which suggests that more needs to be done to enhance the experience for shoppers.
According to the study, more than seven in ten UK consumers (71%) now use Click & Collect – selecting the option twice a month on average – yet 15% of shoppers admit to not collecting their purchases in-store. Despite the challenges this can cause retailers, for instance in processing returns and managing stock flow – 87% still consider it the fastest-growing delivery option.
One in three who have failed to pick up an item put it down to the Click & Collect process being a ‘hassle’ (30%), preferring to wait for a refund before re-ordering for home delivery. Other reasons cited by shoppers include long wait times (25%), poorly staffed collection points (25%), struggling to find the Click & Collect area (17%) and paying for the service (15%).
However, implemented well, Click & Collect could be beneficial for the high street. 89% of merchants offering the service have seen footfall increase over the past two years and 97% have benefitted from additional revenue. Almost two in five (39%) UK adults also say they would visit shops more often if the process was improved.
Cost efficiencies can also be made, with the retailers surveyed estimating that they could each save over £178,500 across delivery, packaging, returns and restocking costs if more customers chose this option.
In today’s experience-driven economy, more than half of Brits (53%) want retailers to offer special rewards and experiences to Click & Collect customers. A third of shoppers (34%) would also like to try out the products they have purchased; for instance, by exposing outdoor clothing to the appropriate conditions or trialling kitchen equipment before they take it home with them.
Amazon has teamed up with click and collect network PayPoint to introduce new pick-up locations in the UK. Amazon Hub Counter launched at over 500 stores and thousands of shops across the country following successful trials. PayPoint operates out of high street shops such as supermarkets and convenience stores, with a network of 28,000 locations across the UK.
The service allows customers to pick up parcels within 14 days. It is available on tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.co.uk.
Counter launched earlier this year in the UK, Italy and the US. It is part of the Amazon Hub offering of pick-up and return points.
Meanwhile, DHL has teamed up with PayPoint to expand its collection and returns offering to customers. The shipping giant is working with PayPoint to add 500 new pick-up and drop-off locations in convenience stores across the country. The service will add a further 3,000 points by the end of the year.
PayPoint will support DHL’s ServicePoint, which allows consumers to either collect or return parcels.
The ServicePoint offering previously used the Pass My Parcel network, formerly owned by Smiths News before DHL acquired it. Retailers who are operating Pass My Parcel locations will have the option to opt into this new PayPoint scheme if they aren’t already part of the network.
In Germany, DHL has stopped working with Amazon Fresh, citing concerns over the size of the market. The firm said the market for online fresh food orders had “so far fallen far short of expectations”.
DHL began delivering fresh food in 2016. The company also has its own online supermarket Allyouneed Fresh in the country.
The number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the UK has exceeded the number of fuel stations, according to a study. Car manufacturer Nissan analysed data from the Energy Institute and Zap-Map to find that there are now 9,199 EV charging locations across the country compared to 8,396 fuel stations.
Of the charge points, more than 1,600 provide rapid charging which can recharge a typical battery to around 80% in less than an hour.
The EV figure has risen 38% in a year from 6,669 in 2018 and more than doubled since 2016, while the number of petrol stations has peaked and begun to decline. It is worth noting that the EV figure includes stations with as few as one charging point, however.
Nissan credited Transport for London with installing over 1,000 EV charging points in the last year. The London EV Infrastructure Delivery Plan announced by Mayor Sadiq Khan’s administration in June will see five rapid charging hubs installed across the city. It aims to install the first hub in the Square Mile area by the end of this year.
Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director of Nissan Motor Great Britain, said: “We’ve moved beyond the early concerns of range anxiety with EVs now exceeding the vast majority of customer’s daily driving needs. The next challenge is for charging infrastructure to keep pace with the number of EVs on the road, and that the experience of recharging is as enjoyable and effortless as that of all-electric driving.”
While major couriers are showing considerable interest in electric vehicles, many cite the lack of charging infrastructure as a considerable obstacle.
DPD announced earlier this year that it is rolling out a new charging grid for its electric vehicles in the UK, allowing it to expand its fleet. The courier is working with Rolec EV, a manufacturer of electric vehicle charge points, to install the network across its 60 UK distribution centres.
Nike has acquired a company specialising in predictive analytics to improve its inventory management across different channels. The sports brand retailer paid an undisclosed sum for Boston-based Celect, which has a range of technologies across the data science and software engineering spaces.
Celect has a cloud analytics platform which offers localised demand predictions, allowing retailers to allocate inventory to the most useful channel.
The Celect team will be integrated into Nike’s global operations team, while its co-founders, who are professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will provide consultancy services.
Eric Sprunk, COO at Nike, said: “With the acquisition of Celect, Nike greatly accelerates our digital advantage by adding a platform developed by world-class data scientists.
“As demand for our product grows, we must be insight-driven, data-optimised and hyper-focused on consumer behaviour. This is how we serve consumers more personally at scale.”
John Andrews, Celect CEO, said: “We’re thrilled to be joining the Nike team, adding our unique and innovative capabilities to the data and analytics foundation they’ve been building over the years.”
Sainsbury’s is tapping into Deliveroo’s delivery network to offer fresh food delivery to customers in four UK cities. Customers within the specified delivery area will find the supermarket listed on the Deliveroo app or website alongside local restaurants.
The service will offer deliveries of fresh food such as pizza as well as a range of snacks, sides, salads, dips and drinks. Sainsbury’s will add personnel and extend the opening times of counters to support the service.
The service will be available in London, Birmingham, Brighton and Cambridge. It will operate from stores at Cambridge, Selly Oak, West Hove, Pimlico and Hornsey.
Sainsbury’s is running a two-month trial, gradually expanding the product range, to test customer demand before a potential wider roll-out. Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s group chief digital officer said: “With more and more shoppers looking for convenient and affordable meals delivered to their doors, our trial with Deliveroo brings our great value hot food direct to customers’ homes.
“We’re committed to making it as quick and easy as possible for our customers to shop with us and we’ll be listening to their feedback throughout the trial to understand how we can best serve their hot food delivery needs. We’re excited to see what our customers think before deciding if, how and where we go next with the offer.”
A Mercedes-Benz and Daimler service which allows customers to have in-car delivery of their parcels has expanded to Berlin. Called chark, the service allows drivers of certain Mercedes-Benz models to have parcels delivered to the boot of their car.
Using the Mercedes me connect app, the customer provides the digital vehicle key of their parked car to a service provider and inputs the chark hub as the delivery address when placing the order. The user decides the time window and parking location in which the courier can open the vehicle.
Once the courier is within 500 metres of the parking location they can locate the vehicle by GPS and unlock it once. The customer receives a notification when the delivery is underway and a report with photos when it is finished.
The service has already been successfully piloted in Stuttgart, with Daimler reporting positive feedback and more than 1,000 parcels delivered in the greater Stuttgart area to date. The new delivery area in Berlin extends from Reinickendorf over Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Köpenick to Pankow.
Currently the service only supports ecommerce orders but in the future it aims to support grocery purchases, returns and laundry services.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen is allowing Spanish customers to have parcels delivered to their cars through a new service. Customers will be able to select the service from amongst other possibilities such as home delivery. They specify a time slot and the area the car will be parked in, authorising Volkswagen at the same time to remotely unlock the car’s boot.