Retail analyst Verdict has suggested that despite an omnichannel approach being essential for today’s retailers, click-&-collect – where shoppers reserve online and collect in-store – cannot halt online’s increasing squeeze on the high street.
Without doubt, building a seamless experience between an online channel and a physical store is critical for any retailer, with Argos and John Lewis two high street retailers demonstrating clear success with their omnichannel approach. Consumers increasingly want convenience, tailored promotions and uniform pricing across all channels.
However Verdict argues that for click-&-collect to be the ‘panacea’ for high street retailers, it relies on collecting online purchases in-store to be the consumer’s first choice, and once through the doors, for the consumer to remain loyal to that retailer for all future purchases – both of which cannot be guaranteed. Verdict predicts that collection of goods from a retailer’s store will not be the preferred choice for customers in the long-term as convenience continues to be the key trigger for time-poor consumers.
With the increasing availability of services such as CollectPlus, which enable shoppers to pick up ordered goods from their local convenience store, the need for a customer to visit the retailer’s high street store diminishes. Verdict suggests that as store-based collections grow, it will be local neighbourhood stores, not the retailer’s high street outlets, which will benefit the most as they provide more convenient locations and longer opening hours for the modern consumer.
As a result, the notion that click-&-collect can reverse the impact of online competition on the high street – which has contributed to the demise of many big name retailers and led to the growing trend of showrooming – is just wishful thinking according to the retail analyst.
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