2nd February 2021
Without doubt, click & collect has felt the effects of Covid-19. This fulfilment model has had to evolve in order to survive and comply with the new normal.
Click & collect is an effective way of bringing online and offline shops together. This delivery option has gained popularity among consumers and retailers especially in the last ten years.
With click & collect, retailers have a golden opportunity to drive store footfall and enhance the buying experience through relevant upselling and convenient try and return options.
However, after almost a decade of rising to prominence, 2020 was certainly a challenging year for click & collect as a viable fulfilment channel, primarily due to the temporary coronavirus-enforced lockdowns impacting ‘non-essential’ shops across the UK.
Click & collect numbers during the pandemic
IMRG research shows that the percentage of shoppers preferring click & collect dropped from 17% to 13% from 2019 to 2020. At the same time, 72% of respondents said there is usually someone at their own property to collect online parcels, compared to 56% in 2019, illustrating why behaviour changed.
The percentage of people preferring to collect their order from a staffed convenience store/petrol station location was at a five-year low in 2020, dropping from 54% to 44% year on year.
Those preferring an unmanned locker location for product pick-up edged up from 7% in 2019 to 9% in 2020, as pandemic consumers looked to limit interactions.
But despite facing significant challenges, retailers innovated in the face of Covid-19 disruption.
Parcel locker pilot at Clas Ohlson
Swedish home improvement and electricals chain, Clas Ohlson, ramped up its collect-in-store service with a new parcel locker pilot which automates much of the instore order management process.
“The parcel lockers are more convenient for the customer, as they don’t have to wait in line, and aligned with Covid-19 standards as the lockers eliminate human contact,“ said Richard Lindeen, eCommerce Supply Leader at Clas Ohlson.
Carried out in partnership with Consignor and Quadient, in a first ever integration between delivery management system and locker vendor, Clas Ohlson introduced the pick-up points in Sweden and Norway.
Popup Drive Thru in Stockholm
In the build-up to Christmas 2020, Nordic carrier and postal company PostNord turned the exhibition centre Stockholmsmässan in Älvsjö, Sweden into temporary parcel agent.
Due to the pandemic-related restrictions on shops and the record volumes of eCommerce orders, PostNord used the exhibition centre’s car parks as a sizeable drive-thru parcel PUDO point to ease congestion in other parts of its network around Sweden.
Mathias Olsson, head of PostNord’s agent network, said the vast space provided by Stockholmsmässan can handle a “large number of packages and at the same time offer our customers secure collection of packages and submission of returns”.
Call & collect service launched
As a clothing and home furnishings retailer dubbed ‘non-essential’ by the UK government, The White Company was forced to close stores temporarily in 2020.
In November, it launched a ‘call & collect’ service, allowing shoppers to phone an order in to a local store, before collecting the same day once staff had prepared it.
If you are interested in learning more about how retailers evolved their click & collect offering in response to the pandemic and how to drive store footfall and enhance the buying experience with click & collect, please click on the link below to download the FREE “Click & Collect Evolution In Retail” report.