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The UK's click and collect market is forecast to reach £9.6bn by the end of 2022, representing a surge in sales of 55.6% from 2018.1 Anxieties that this growth would decelerate as stores closed amid the pandemic have been countered by the remarkable rise in out of store click and collect. Just as the name suggests, these points are located outdoors or in public spaces and allow customers to self-serve.

So what do shoppers like about out of store click and collect? And is it really the future of retail?

Convenience and control

97% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase over a lack of convenience and 83% now say that convenience is more important to them when online shopping than it was five years ago.2

Out of store click and collect points provide added convenience to shoppers by putting them in control of when they collect deliveries. It also means shoppers don't need to travel to a specific retailer's store; they can instead pick the out of store click and collect point closest to them.

John Lewis, for example, adopted an early out of store click and collect model by offering a service that wasn't solely focused on their own stores. While shoppers could collect from John Lewis stores, the retailer also partnered with grocery company Co-op to offer click and collect at their stores as well. Providing this wider network of options delivered more convenience and more control to their shoppers.3

More sustainable

One report from last year's Black Friday suggested that the majority of UK shoppers now opt for sustainable retail brands.4 Out of store click and collect's sustainable credentials are twofold: there are fewer van journeys for delivery providers and a large percent of shoppers can walk to collect. This has undoubtedly contributed to its rise in popularity over the past few years.

Sports clothing retailer Under Armour are popular amongst younger shoppers in particular. They offer shipping to a pick-up point on their website and actively encourage it as a "more sustainable" option. In their words, it helps delivery partners "be more efficient, reduce vehicle emissions, and contribute less to local traffic."5

Better opening hours

Mostly, out of store click and collect points offer longer opening hours than high street stores. This allows customers to skip the busy periods whilst collecting and returning at a time to suit them. Shoppers can also choose to collect their purchases 24/7 from lockers in convenient public places like stations and supermarkets.

The future of retail?

Parcel delivery and returns is all about removing friction for the end recipient. If out of store click and collect can be proven to do this better than any other channel, it seems likely to be the future of retail. But this is a big 'if'. All that's for sure is, currently, out of store click and collection points are a great way to boost customer convenience to the next level.

DHL ServicePoints are out of store click and collect points that allow us to minimise van journeys whilst delivering more convenience to customers; over 3,500 ServicePoints nationwide are located in local convenience stores, open longer hours, 7 days a week. To find out more, visit here.


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