John Lewis and Amazon have made strategic moves to make online shopping that little bit easier, with the ‘click and collect’ option coming to a store near you! But will it change the way you shop online?
Welcome to a brave new era of ‘click and collect’ shopping. When online shopping began not so many moons ago, we all hailed the ease at which we could shop, click, buy, and have the product delivered to our homes without ever having to leave the house.
But with great shopping power comes great shopping responsibility. Specifically, we have to be at home when the delivery takes place. Not such a bad trade off, but as we strive for the greatest levels of convenience in life, it turns out this is a bigger problem than anticipated.
The perils of home delivery
Take for example my recent purchase of some speakers. I did the research to find what I wanted, found they were cheaper to buy online and clicked the purchase button thinking it was all a job well done. But the private delivery company came when I was at work (of course). They didn’t leave a collect card and they can’t re-deliver on Saturday mornings. Believe it or not, it was actually easier for me to cancel the order than try to manoeuvre out of this stalemate.
I also find that if I miss the postman during the day, collection from Royal Mail can be a nightmare in itself. So what’s the solution? Where should we turn in this dark hour? Well, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel as ‘click and collect’ shopping is emerging.
Collection for convenience
Click and collect is a lot like it sounds, allowing customers to order online and pick up their purchase from a nearby store soon afterwards. You pay at the store instead of online, increasing your available payment options. Delivery is usually free as the retailer doesn’t need to pay for postage and finally, you can pick up your purchase at your convenience without waiting in for the postman.
John Lewis has recently introduced a ‘click and collect’ service with Waitrose, letting you order online from John Lewis online while collecting your purchase at one of many participating Waitrose stores. Amazon has also entered the fray. They have an arrangement with The Co-operative and have installed their own collection lockers in four Co-op stores to kick-start their own click and collect service.
Anything for an easy life
We’ve already rated the best and worst shops in the UK – but this extra feature may make life a bit easier for many shoppers and help retailers win points in this ever competitive space.
No doubt there will be issues with this service, such as a lack of participating supermarkets. For these unfortunate shoppers, the perils of home delivery must remain for now – but I for one am a click and collect convert. Do you think it would work well for you?