Small retailers in the UK offered free click and collect solution

Small retailers in the UK offered free click and collect solution

A new free service launched in the UK is offering smaller retailers the chance to offer their customers a “click and collect” in-store pick-up option for their online purchases. Global Freight Solutions (GFS) says the new service is designed for those retailers unable to offer click and collect because they do not have a sufficient brick and mortar presence across the country.

The company said click and collect had really “captured the imagination” of shoppers and retailers in the UK, as an alternative to home delivery.

Anthony Smith, the director of multi-channel sales at GFS, said smaller retailers know it is difficult to offer click and collect if they do not have the number and geographic spread of stores from which consumers can pick up their purchases.

But he said retailers who are not high-volume shippers could also find a way to reduce the costs of shipping parcels through the new service, allowing them to compete against high-volume rivals who can benefit from volume parcel rate discounts.

He said of smaller retailers: “Even if they decide to press ahead with their ‘click and collect’ plans, building such a facility into their websites takes time and money, when all they really want to be doing is selling stock.

“What we have managed to create is a straightforward system which can be seamlessly bolted on to their websites and takes advantage of our long-standing relationships with the premier third party ‘click and collect’ operators to provide the essential convenience and simplicity which the retailers and their customers are looking for.”

Growth driver

GFS said that studies suggest click and collect services accounted for as much as a quarter of all multi-channel sales in the UK in 2013.

Major multichannel UK retailer Argos has seen click and collect grow to comprise more than 31% of its sales, while an Econsultancy survey claimed that 45% of UK online consumers used click and collect over the Christmas period.

A forecast from retail intelligence agency Planet Retail claimed back in April that three quarters of UK shoppers will be using click and collect by 2017.

GFS said increasing numbers of small e-commerce traders were now considering opening brick-and-mortar outlets this year because of the need to use click and collect in the competitive online retail market.

Smith said the GFS service aimed to “remove the cost and complication” in deploying a full click and collect service.

GFS, which has its head office in West Sussex, was founded in 2001 and now manages more than 10m parcels on behalf of various business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients.

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