Retail in Asia

In Trends

Why ‘click and collect’ is getting popular


Hong Kong’s retail landscape is in the midst of considerable reinvention.

As luxury brands rein in their expansion and sales of high-end goods slow, landlords and retailers have had to adapt — quickly — to new purchasing patterns. Among those new patterns are e-commerce and mobile shopping (m-commerce).

Mall operators have responded to shifting consumer demands by offering more food and beverage options in shopping centres and making a visit to the local mall more experiential — and convenient.

SEE ALSO: Hong Kong retail might go underground, literally

One of the fastest growing retail trends is click and collect services, or buy online, pick up in store (BOPUS). According to the New York-based International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), nearly 33 percent of American shoppers bought items online and picked them up at a store during the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Why click and collect makes sense

Click and collect makes sense for retailers feeling the heat from e-commerce. ICSC data indicated that 69 percent of shoppers made additional impulse purchases at the time of pick-up, and 36 percent shopped at other nearby stores.

It’s good business for mall operators and leads to increased foot traffic, and the convenience of the service keeps customers coming back. For customers, it makes for a smooth shopping experience without the wait involved in e-retailing.

In Hong Kong, some early adopters of click and collect retailing started experimenting in 2014, and now include Burberry, Watsons, J. Crew, Indigo Living, Watson’s Wine and Wellcome supermarkets.

SEE ALSO: How to get online shoppers back into malls

Spanish retailer Zara is another brand offering a click and collect option. And it’s not just clothing, pharmacy and food vendors that are getting in on the trend. Swedish mega-retailer IKEA offers collection services at its dedicated Island East Merchandise Pick-up Point in Shau Kei Wan.

Items are ready for next-day pick-up after ordering in-store —quicker than online purchase and home delivery.

Challenges faced by click and collect

Efficient click and collect service isn’t without its challenges. Front and back offices need to coordinate carefully, and the supply chain must be flawless. Little is more frustrating for shoppers than getting two different messages from a store: an online version that states a given item is in stock, and a bricks-and-mortar shop that says otherwise.

More and more retailers are opting into click and collect services largely due to consumer demand. As a market, Hong Kong aligns itself quickly with online and mobile trends, and retailers compelled to respond to those demands and trends are adopting click and collect services as a way to remain vital in a transforming retail landscape.

(Source: EJ Insight)