The business has now set up shop in Australia to court retail partners, betting on local shoppers taking to the solution as eagerly as our UK counterparts.
Between 2010 and 2017 in the UK, multichannel click and collect grew from 12 to 37 per cent of overall order volume. It’s continuing to grow 50 per cent each year, and Mr Lauffer is predicting the same adoption locally.
One of the major frustrations for online customers is around delivery – especially if you are not home when your orders are delivered.
University of Tasmania lecturer Dr Louise Grimmer
“What we see is, particularly in urban areas and particularly with Millennials, the more convenient options are becoming more and more of a factor driving the buying decision,” he said.
“From all the conversations with the retailers we’re having, this is absolutely on everyone’s agenda. It’s definitely a growing space in the market, and it’s definitely being driven by consumer appetite.”
He estimates just 40 per cent of Australian retailers currently offer click and collect options, up from 24 per cent in 2015, representative of the fact the channel is not particularly dominant or well-known.
That’s set to change according to retail researcher at the University of Tasmania Louise Grimmer who says click and collect is set to overtake delivery to become the standard offering.
“One of the major frustrations for online customers is around delivery – especially if you are not home when your orders are delivered,” Dr Grimmer said.
“Customers want to be connected with the purchases as quickly and easily as possible so click and collect minimises some of the delivery frustrations.”
“It’s all about giving customers different options to make their shopping experience as convenient as possible.”
A boon for retailers
In recent years, retailers have doggedly been trying to keep up Australia’s growing demand for online shopping, but the push has been costing them.
Woolworths and Coles have both warned selling groceries online is margin dilutive, with the cost of picking, packing, and shipping online orders eroding the retailers’ profits.
Both are looking to ways to combat this, however, announcing tech partnerships this year aimed to cut down on the time and manpower needed to facilitate online orders.
With click and collect, not only are there no costs for delivery, retailers can also get “another bite of the cherry” when shoppers pick up their orders.
“Click and collect is a very powerful weapon in terms of driving footfall back into physical real estate,” Mr Lauffer said.
“Retailers then have an opportunity to merchandise and upsell their product to customers.”
A study from 2017 revealed 50 per cent of shoppers said they’d be likely to purchase an additional item when collecting an online order in-store.
It’s no wonder then Bunnings’ online store, set to launch by Christmas, will be click and collect first, delivery second.
“Universally, not just in the UK, this is the fastest-growing fulfilment channel and model we’re seeing consumers adopt,” Mr Lauffer said.
“I think the opportunity now for retailers in Australia is to take a step ahead of the curve.”
Dominic Powell writes about the retail industry for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.