Trading updates from two of the UK’s biggest department stores have confirmed the growing importance of click-and-collect services.
In the five weeks leading up to 27 December 2014, total sales for John Lewis were £777M, which was an increase of 5.8% compared with last year, the company said.
Online sales for the same period were up 19% on last year, representing 36% (versus 32% last year) of total John Lewis sales during this period.
More than half (56%) of those online orders were click-and-collect purchases.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, said: “Our shops continue to have a critical role to play in the omnichannel shopping journey, and will be a major development focus for us over the coming months. To that end, we will be opening two further “At Home” shops in Horsham and Basingstoke in 2015 as well as our new regional flagship in the heart of Birmingham in September, which will set an exciting new benchmark in bricks and mortar retailing.”
At House of Fraser, 37% of online orders were click-and-collect – or ‘Buy & Collect’ as it prefers to call them.
House of Fraser has announced that it has extended the cut-off deadline for next-day pre-noon orders to 8pm, with its sights set firmly on pushing that back as late as 10pm “within the next few weeks.”
In November it announced an early morning delivery service offering pre-9am delivery for £8 with a cut-off of 8pm for orders.
Highlighting the growing use of mobile phones and tablets by shoppers, House of Fraser claims that more than half of all online traffic now comes from touch-screen devices.
Andy Harding, Executive Director for Multichannel at House of Fraser, said: “With more than 50% of our online traffic coming from mobile devices, it is a clear indication of how rapidly consumer shopping habits are evolving. We’re increasingly becoming a nation of ‘on the go shoppers’ and as one of the largest online retail destinations, we need to ensure we’re providing our customers with innovative solutions to suit their busy lifestyles. Designing for mobile and tablet devices before desktop versions will soon become the norm and is a change we’ve already implemented.”
These retail announcements coincide with Royal Mail’s annual UK SME retail tracker survey. The survey found that 62% of UK SME retailers believe that providing customers with delivery-when-expected services is the more important factor for driving customer satisfaction.