LONDON: "Click and collect", the growing consumer trend to order goods online and then pick them up later at a physical store, is forecast to surpass home delivery in the UK by 2015, causing several leading supermarket chains to adapt to meet demand.
Based on statistics from strategy consultants OC&C, the volume of units ordered online but collected from a store will grow by 53m parcels in 2015 compared with an increase of 38m parcels delivered directly to British homes.
It forecasts 60% compound annual growth for non-food click and collect volumes between 2012 and 2017 compared with only 5% for home delivery, the Financial Times reported.
This means non-food click and collect will make up 30% of the UK market by 2017 from its current base of 11%, OC&C predicted, and UK retailers are at the forefront of the development.
Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, has established 260 grocery click and collect locations, including drive-through collection points.
Also, as reported by Marketing Week, it will offer the service for free on groceries as part of its bid to stem declining sales and marketing share.
Meanwhile, Asda already has 110 drive-throughs and plans to create 1,000 click and collect locations by 2018. Potential locations could include transport hubs, office blocks or airports, suggested Mark Ibbotson, retail director at Asda.
Walmart, Asda's parent company, is taking a close interest in one of Asda's trial sites in the Leeds suburb of Pudsey, where it has installed temperature-controlled lockers which shoppers can access by entering an order number or scanning a QR code.
"Click and collect is an interesting idea," said Neil Ashe, Walmart's president and CEO of e-commerce. "If [click and collect] turns out to be popular with customers, it could definitely make a difference."
Data sourced from Financial Times, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff