I am thrilled to see that, in the last week, eBay and Argos have announced that they have entered an agreement to extend eBay’s offering of click-and-collect services via Argos’s store portfolio. This extension will enable shoppers like me to choose a much wider range of products from many more eBay sellers for collection at over 600 Argos stores.
This partnership started in late 2013 with a handful of eBay sellers offering a selected range of products for collection in around a third of Argos’s stores. The trial service has clearly proved successful operationally and incredibly popular with customers including myself who have click-and-collected from both retailers at Argos’s Old Street store.
I am not alone in expecting timely fulfilment of online retail orders; busy people are time constrained. This is one of the most important challenges facing the retail industry, which JLL has discussed in its latest global research project entitled Redefining Retail Places.
This extension of the trial illustrates how retailers with physical space potentially have a competitive advantage over pureplay retailers in terms of fulfilment. Credit to eBay who have successfully bolted this on to their offer; expect others to follow suit.
For me, click-and-collect has been revolutionary; I get an email or text when my product has arrived and then can decide over the next week when I want to pick it up from the store. The window of delivery is entirely on my terms and is not dictated by any logistics provider. I can tailor my week’s itinerary around how urgently I need the product and where I am for work and leisure activities.
Retailers with physical space need to respond to eBay and Argos’s innovative moves, and make sure their online delivery options are flexible and convenient in order to compete; they also need to play to their strengths, and maximise the advantages provided by physical store networks.
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