Study Finds Growing Demand for Retail Click and Collect

Nearly one third of shoppers purchased products online and subsequently picked them up at a store during the 2016 holiday season, according to a study conducted by Bell and Howell. The 2017 Click and Collect Retail Consumer Preference Study reveals consumers’ preferences and behaviors when it comes to this practice. As part of the study, Bell and Howell randomly selected more than 530 consumers from across the United States to report on their click-and-collect experiences. Among other things, the study was designed to understand the prevalence of consumers’ use of click and collect. Participants also shared what’s important to them during a click-and-collect experience.

“Currently, a small portion of total purchases are completed through click and collect, but it is growing in use, with 49 percent of Americans trying it for the first time in 2016,” said Bell and Howell Senior Director Haroon Abu, Ph.D. “Implementing click and collect makes sense for retailers, as they are providing a service that is increasing in popularity, and that can help drive more impulse purchases when customers pick up their items. However, retailers should focus on creating a winning in-store experience by enabling what matters most to click-and-collect consumers: speed, convenience and timely communication.”

Here are some of the study’s key findings:

• More than 70 percent of respondents identified themselves as experienced click-and-collect shoppers (i.e. had used this option in the previous 12 months).

• When asked to select the most important attribute of a click-and-collect experience, respondents replied with the following:

  • Quick in-and-out experience – 56 percent
  • No waiting in line – 22 percent
  • Ease of locating pickup location – 14 percent
  • Dedicated pickup counter – 9 percent
  • Designated parking spots – 5 percent

• Saving on shipping charges was the key driver (76 percent) when selecting click and collect. However, needing the item that day (54 percent) and proximity to another store the respondents were going to (50 percent) were also important.

• Speed was once again the consistent theme, as 83 percent expected to hear back within 24 hours after placing an order online that their item is ready for pickup. Nearly 60 percent expected to hear within the first four hours.

• When asked where they preferred to pick up their purchases, 56 percent indicated inside at the front of the store, 21 percent preferred curbside pickup, and only eight percent selected the back of the store.

• Eighty percent expected to be able to pick up their item in under 10 minutes from the time they enter the store, with 27 percent expecting it to be less than four minutes.

• Of note to retailers, 49 percent of respondents said they were likely to purchase an additional item some of the time when picking up their online order.

To download and view the full report, visit

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