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Click and collect to boost high street sales this Christmas says eBay

Click and collect to boost high street sales this Christmas says eBay
Monday December 8 2014

The typical British high street is set for a boost this Christmas as shoppers are poised to make three additional shopping trips each to collect parcels bought through Click & Collect services, according to new research from eBay.

As a result, smaller neighbourhood high streets like Purley and Tufnell Park and market towns such as Marlborough and Totnes stand to receive a sales lift of around £1.3m each during the Christmas shopping period.

New research released today by eBay and retail analysts Conlumino anticipates the average Click & Collect high street visit will drive £27 in spontaneous spending back in to bricks and mortar retail units this Christmas as three quarters of shoppers will buy additional goods and services on impulse while out collecting parcels.

Key findings include:

- Each shopper will clock up an additional spontaneous spend of £27 per shopping trip as they make impulse purchases in the same store and beyond as they stop for coffees, snacks and meals.

- With each shopper set to make three additional trips to collect parcels bought through Click & Collect, smaller neighbourhood high streets and market towns stand to receive a sales lift of around £1.3m each during the Christmas shopping period.

- This adds up to a Christmas bonus of £1.15bn in spontaneous spend alone nationwide.

- According to the study, the Click & Collect category at Christmas is worth £3bn, a 40pc increase from last years’ £2.1bn valuation.

Nationwide, the popularity of Click & Collect means shoppers will create £1.15bn of spontaneous spend during Christmas 2014 parcel collection trips, thanks to increased opportunities for browsing, impulse buying and snacking.

During last year’s Christmas shopping season, 25% of shoppers stocked up on additional Christmas goods from the same store and 1 in 4 purchased from a neighbouring shop while out collecting parcels. Refuelling on drinks and snacks accounted for 1 in 5 shoppers’ additional spend and 10% of consumers stopped to enjoy a meal while on their collection trip.

Susan Connolly runs four Spar stores on local high streets across Wiltshire. She has seen a marked increase in incremental sales after introducing parcel collection services last year. She said: ‘Customers are pleasantly surprised that we offer this new kind of service as it’s much more convenient than waiting at home for a large parcel. It’s worthwhile for us too – in our Pewsy store footfall has risen 16% in the past year, and we are benefiting from the additional spend from new customers. Shoppers will come in to pick up a package but also leave with a chocolate bar or newspaper.’

Leaving aside the spontaneous high street spend that Click & Collect generates, today’s report puts a value of £3bn on the Click & Collect category this Christmas, compared to £2.1bn in 2013. The 40% growth suggests that Click & Collect has entered the shopping mainstream, giving many of the country’s struggling high streets a share of ecommerce success and thousands of online retailers a physical presence for the first time.

eBay’s Click & Collect partnership with Argos has connected 65,000 online sellers to high street customers. My1stWish, an online clothing business that sells with eBay, has been on board since the collaboration launched in September 2013. Click & Collect now accounts for roughly 10% of the company’s orders.

Tayyab Akhlaq, Managing Director said: ‘Click & Collect has given customers another trusted delivery option. We’ve seen a good pick up, with shoes being one of the most popular items bought through the service. Most of our Click & Collect orders come in on a Monday or Tuesday as customers want to be able to pick them up from a local Argos, safe in the knowledge they’ll get them before the weekend.’

Tanya Lawler, Vice President of eBay in the UK, said: ‘We’ve all heard that the Indian summer has been devastating for the high street. As retailers look for Christmas to help them recover, Click & Collect presents a huge opportunity as shoppers combine clicks with bricks like never before.

‘Our research shows that additional trips made by shoppers to collect goods bought online will also bring spontaneous spend. This could make a big difference to high streets up and down the country, and drive footfall into stores.

‘We believe in collaborating, not competing with the high street. Our Click & Collect offering with Argos is creating a presence for smaller ecommerce businesses. We’ve seen sellers and shoppers really embrace Click & Collect, but this is the first time we’ve quantified the wider benefits to retail.’