Click & collect turns the tables in the High Street versus e-commerce rivalry

Tustains Jewellers in Leamington Spa launch their new click & collect service this week.
Tustains are in good company as many of our national chains of high street retailers are adding ‘click and collect’ options to their e-commerce websites. Recently, the online retailer eBay have added a pilot service, using 150 stores of a high street retailer, Argos, as a strategic partner. They recognise that online shopping often lacks a personal touch for the customer, which can be addressed by combining the convenience of an online order with a personal contact in a high street shop. Both retail giants Next and John Lewis have also recently announced new click and collect schemes to combine the advantages of both face to face customer service with the convenience of shopping online in the comfort of your own home.
Click-and-collect is increasingly popular in the UK, with an Econsultancy online shopping survey finding that 40 per cent of shoppers used it over Christmas last year. Customers are increasingly looking for more flexible options from their retailers and the line between e-commerce and high street store shopping is becoming blurred.
For John Lewis, the challenge was to expand into areas where customers don’t have easy access to their existing stores. They have teamed up with the 1,500 stores in the CollectPlus network (Spar, Costcutter and Martin McColl) and will be offering a click and collect service for just £3. They are backing the new service with advertising on radio, online, mobile, e-mail and traditional door drop leafleting in the areas where the test will be running.
This is one way in which traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers can fight back for market share against their purely e-commerce rivals. Whilst many people love the freedom to browse for products online, the majority of e-commerce sites then have to rely on couriers to get goods to your door. This can be very inconvenient, with shoppers sometimes having to wait at home for deliveries and sometimes being disappointed when their delivery time is not met. It also adds cost to the transaction. By adding the choice for their online orders to be collected from a high street store, retailers can add a personal touch to the transaction, something that a purely e-commerce retailer cannot match.
Adding an e-commerce website to a High Street store therefore gives your customers the freedom to shop whenever and however they choose. By offering great traditional customer service in their store, plus options of free delivery or collection from the store for online shopping, Tustains Jewellers have listened to their customers and provided them with the flexibility they love.
Happy marketing!