Click-and-Collect: Win-and-Win for Retailers and Landlords

March 2019

Click-and-collect is a hybrid e-commerce model in which people purchase or select items online and pick them up at a brick-and-mortar location or other designated collection point.  It is the convergence of online and offline channels, combining the advantages of internet shopping with those of brick-and-mortars.  Consumer participation in click-and-collect is healthy and growing for a myriad of reasons.  Based on a new poll conducted by ICSC on approximately 1,000 adults in the US[1], the most common reason that consumers use click-and-collect, cited by almost half of those using it, is to avoid shipping fees.  Consumers also mentioned the ability to get the item(s) quicker, assurance that the merchandise will be available when they visit the brick-and-mortar, incentives offered to use the service and greater convenience.  More than half of those already using the concept expect to use it more frequently moving forward.  Nearly two-thirds of millennials have engaged in click-and-collect and it is more popular in urban areas than rural.  Nonetheless, participation is strong and growing among all demographics, including older generations and in rural areas.

While consumers have a lot to be happy about with the emergence of this trend, retailers and their landlords may have even more reason to celebrate.  First, many of the consumers using click-and-collect and consumers that have expressed interest in using the concept are consumers that were previously exclusively online shoppers.  The concept is bringing new customers into the brick-and-mortar that were not previously in the mix.  Next, the consumer rarely leaves the brick-and-mortar with only the items they ordered online.  Polls show that a staggering 94% of click-and-collect users buy additional items when they pick up their original online orders.  About 36% of those buying online and picking up in brick-and-mortars say they are generally buying more.  Finally, retailers are benefited by the improvement in logistics[2].  Not only is the expense associated with shipping products to the customer removed, but the high volume of returns and exchanges are reduced since customers are able to check the quality of their items before heading home.  Specifically, nearly half of the consumers participating in click-and-collect say that the amount of items they return/exchange purchased through this concept is much less than the number of items they return/exchange after ordering online and having the goods delivered to them.  Landlords who in this day and age are spending substantial money and resources to improve foot traffic in their malls may be the biggest beneficiaries from this concept.  Aside from seeing an increase in consumers coming to their malls to collect the ordered merchandise from the particular retailer, polls show that nearly half of click-and-collect consumers typically visit at least one other tenant in the same center during this experience.  Simply put, click-and-collect improves the bottom line for all involved.

[1] These results and all other polls in this article are based on a representative poll of 1,004 adults in the U.S., conducted between February 21 and 24, 2019, by Engine Insights on behalf of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

[2] Anubha Verma, “How Click & Collect Option Plans to Dominate the Online Shopping Space,” Entrepreneur, September 1, 2018.