November 27, 2013, 12:50 PM

More U.K. shoppers buy online and pick up in stores

‘Click and collect’ accounts for 19% of Q3 online orders for multichannel retailers.

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Consumers picked up in stores nearly one in five (19%) of the online purchases they made in the third quarter from U.K. retailers that sell both in stores and on the web, up from 13% in Q3 last year, according to a new report from technology consultancy Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group, or IMRG.

In the first quarter of 2013, the number of British sales that fulfilled with this service, called “click and collect” in the U.K., dipped slightly, to 11%, but has been growing steadily since then, the firms report. The IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Index tracks 40 metrics across seven categories among IMRG’s more than 100 U.K. e-retailer members.

“Based on the level of growth seen during 2013, we expect click-and-collect sales to account for at least a quarter of multichannel online sales by the end of next year,” Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, says.

“Click and collect” has been growing steadily as more major retail chains add and promote the service, IMRG and Capgemini say. Those stores include: Boots UK Ltd., Tesco Stores, John Lewis Plc and eBay Inc., through a deal with general merchandise retailer Argos.

Boots is No. 81 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500; Tesco, No. 5; John Lewis, No. 13; and Argo is owned by the Home Retail Group, No. 4.

IMRG and Capgemini also predict that U.K. web sales will reach a record high in December, when British shoppers will spend 10.8 billion pounds ($17.40 billion) online. And many shoppers will select click and collect over shipping items to their homes, predicts Chris Webster, vice president and head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini.

“While home delivery is perfect in theory, failed deliveries is a challenge for retailers and customers alike as we try to track down parcels, arrange for redeliveries and eventually collect them from far from convenient locations,” he says. “So this Christmas, customers will opt for click and collect rather than it happening by accident.”

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