Is Click and Collect the future of retail?

PCR's Retail Advisory Panel discusses whether Click and Collect will become the norm
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PCR's Retail Advisory Panel discusses whether Click and Collect will become the norm

PCR's Retail Advisory Panel discusses whether Click and Collect will become the norm in the future, following the news that Argos will trial a service with eBay in its stores.

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Duncan Rutherford,

“Many customers will see Click and Collect as a more compelling reason to buy IT products online. We expect the demand for C&C to explode over the next 12 months, with festive period take-up doubling again on last year. This begs the question: ‘Can you afford not to offer Click and Collect services?’”

Simon Barry, Argos

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“For Argos, this trial enables even greater optimisation of 150 locations across our store network; it presents an opportunity to drive footfall in our stores and it offers access to a new customer base to potentially review other Argos products and services.”

Craig Hume, Utopia Computers

“Traditional retail is changing. Retailers with their finger on the pulse realise this and are moving with the times. 

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We offer C&C services, with just under five per cent of our custom-built systems being ordered this way.”

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James Gorbold, Scan Computers

“Scan has won multiple awards for its customer service and a strong part of our philosophy is to provide customers with flexibility during their orders. We implemented a Click and Collect service via our Bolton retail showroom over five years ago, which continues to be very popular.”

Rebecca Smith, John Lewis

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“We can do Click and Collect to nearly 300 Waitrose branches. If you’re a John Lewis customer but don’t live near a John Lewis store, or want something delivered but you’re not at home in the day, you can get it sent to your local Waitrose. This also encourages cross-selling to our customers between John Lewis and Waitrose.”

Chris Innes, Micro Plus Computers

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“We have looked into offering Click and Collect but it feels like a move towards ‘box shifting’ which isn’t what we’re about. Like most specialist retailers it’s important for us to get the customer in-store to start the conversation. Giving customers visibility of what we have in stock will be more important over the next few years, even if we don’t allow them to order online or via C&C.”

Lorelei Gibb, Dolphin Upgrades

“A lot of our customers want advice – not because they are confused after researching online, but because they have gone into well known High Street stores and attempted to talk to someone.

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Independent retailers will always have the advantage of being able to offer hands-on after care and support – this is something that Click and Collect can never replace.”

Steve Ling, Overclockers UK

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“C&C is something I would use myself but it depends on the convenience of the pick-up location and opening hours. Although our customers are not asking for this kind of service at the moment, I expect it to grow in popularity and we will look into offering it in the future as an alternative to home delivery.”

Iain Shaw, Brigantia

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“This is not game changing. Etailers have delivered to residential and business premises since their emergence, as their traditional mail order colleagues had done before them.

But there is no question in my mind that successful national retailers need strong web and multi-channel offerings, such as Click and Collect services, in order to allow them to survive and then thrive.”