Consumers are craving speed and convenience as they shop in the shadow of Covid-19, say retail experts. 

April saw a 268% increase in click & collect orders compared with the same period last year.

The record-breaking figure relates to e-commerce specialist Citrus-Lime’s retail customers and correlates with the Covid-19 lockdown across the UK.

“This huge boost shows that consumers continue to place high value on being able to browse online and pick up items in their local shop, despite social distancing measures,” says Cate Barnes of Citrus-Lime

“The convenience and speed achieved by click & collect is a clear priority for shoppers - therefore it should be for retailers too.”  

Indeed, today’s consumers increasingly expect click & collect to be available when they browse online. And that’s because they want - and often need - their chosen items immediately.

Make more money

Cate adds that click & collect is the vital link between a retailer’s e-commerce website and physical shop. 

“By drawing local customers who are browsing online into the shop, click & collect empowers retailers to serve their local community better, creating more opportunities to build relationships, and to add extra items to the sale,” she says. 

Click & collect also helps retailers make more money. As well as those extra items, there’s the saving on fulfilling deliveries to consider. 

“It also keeps your shop in the mind of your local customer, encouraging repeat visits and inspiring loyalty,” says Cate.

Worthwhile shopping trip

Real-time stock availability and location is crucial to making the most of the appetite for click & collect. 

“A Citrus-Lime Ecommerce site gives clear visibility of what your local customers can pick up, or look at, when they visit your shop,” Cate explains. 

“Before they even put their shoes on, they know it’s going to be a worthwhile trip.” 

The UK click & collect market is predicted to be worth £9.8bn by 2023, according to a report in Retail Gazette

Lockdown service

Many equestrian retailers have provided an invaluable service to keep horse owners supplied during the darkest days of lockdown. 

In some cases, stores have taken telephone orders and payment ahead of customers collecting goods. Click & collect is surely the next logical step for those yet to take the plunge. 

It certainly looks like being a good habit that’s here to stay and set to grow.