Marketplaces Alana Fennessy By Alana Fennessy

Using eBay Click and Collect to reach more shoppers

As the lines between online and in-store retail become increasingly blurred, traditional bricks and mortar retailers have enthusiastically embraced click and collect. This is because it gives them an edge over pure-play online retailers by giving customers the choice of picking up online orders in-store or having them delivered to their homes. Traditional retailers are discovering that having a physical presence provides them with a competitive advantage online, and they are now starting to drive click and collect services.

But click and collect isn’t limited to large retailers with a physical presence across Australia. EBay’s Click and Collect program allows eBay buyers to choose to pick up their products at their local Woolworths or Big W. eBay launched its Click and Collect program in early 2015 which allows any seller, no matter what size, to allow customers to choose to collect their item from their local Woolworths or Big W.

Why do customers like this option? 

Two words spring to mind – convenience and security. It guarantees you will not miss your delivery if you are not at home, nor do you need to take time off work to get to your local post office on time to pick it up. Additionally, no longer do you need to hope for good weather if your parcel is left at your doorstep, or worst of all, left hoping your neighbours are honest people. This service means that buyers choose not only when, but where, they want to collect their item with the knowledge that is is being stored in a safe and secure location until they are ready to pick it up. Lastly, it is only natural that shoppers search for ways to save money, and choosing to click and collect avoids shipping fees as eBay mandates that this is free to consumers.

An eBay survey conducted in 2014 found that one in five online shoppers in Australia bought products online at least once a week, but 47 percent were not permitted to receive personal deliveries at work and almost a quarter had to leave work or ask to work from home to ensure they received the delivery of the online order.   This indicated that numerous consumers would choose to take advantage of a click and collect service on eBay if they had the choice.

Retailers now need to ask, am I limiting who will choose to shop with me if I do not offer them a variety of ways to receive their order?

Why do sellers want to get involved?

First and foremost, sellers are getting involved because customers want to shop this way! There is no denying that buyers now more than ever dictate the terms of engagement when it comes to online and delivery – they want the flexibility to decide when, where and how they like to purchase, collect or receive their items. In turn, this means their is an opportunity for increased sales, and let’s be honest, this is the goal for all retailers.

Additionally, because it is easy. eBay have ensured that sellers of all shapes and sizes, regardless of whether they are pure play or a bricks and mortar store, can leverage the Woolworths and Big W’s well established infrastructure to support this delivery option. Additionally, actually setting it up and turning it on in eBay itself is as simple as creating a new business policy.

Big W and Woolworths are undoubtedly benefiting from the program too. This program provides an opportunity to increase foot traffic, creating a new reason to entice shoppers into their physical stores to strengthen customer relationships. Once in-store, there is an opportunity to provide a more personalised service and of course, Big W and Woolworths hope that the consumer will then shop at their local store.

So what is next in the delivery world at eBay? In the US, eBay has introduced their ‘Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store” program which mirrors how consumers would shop on a retailer’s website allowing a customer to purchase from the Retailers eBay store and collect the item from their actual ‘bricks and mortar’ store. We are now seeing this program roll out in Australia with The Good Guys and Masters being early adopters.

As the ‘Click and Collect’ and ‘Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store’ models on eBay continue to evolve, so to will consumers appetites to expect to be able to collect their purchases when and where they choose.  The demand for more delivery choice at the checkout is sure to see the delivery battleground in Australia to evolve.