Doddle CEO looks at UK Click & Collect market

Tom Robinson DoddleDoddle have opened an new store at 462 Brixton Road, opposite the Brixton Underground Station. The store occupies a 2194 square foot area that was previously a Phones4U unit.

The Brixton site is the latest in Doddle’s store roll-out programme, which will see up to 100 stores open by the end of 2015, making it one of the largest retail store roll-outs since Whitbread bought Costa Coffee in the 1990s.

Click and collect deliveries are evolving in the UK and today Doddle CEO, Tim Robinson, comments on the latest Marks & Spencer and John Lewis announcements around delivery and click and collect offerings.

On demand: Click, collect and consumers’ great expectations

M&SThe announcement that Marks & Spencer is expanding its click and collect offering into M&S Simply Food stores is great news and shows that the UK’s biggest brands are adapting their offerings to respond to customer demand for convenient delivery options. For retailers, offering click and collect in store offers numerous benefits; delivery cost consolidation and offering a convenient collection location by using store locations with high passing footfall. The M&S Simply Food stores are a perfect example of this.

For retailers the challenge lies in keeping up with customer expectations as the service grows in popularity. Based on Doddle’s own experience of having click and collect stores in railway stations, we believe this service will be very popular with M&S customers.

john lewisM&S’s click and collect service will be free to customers, this contrasts with John Lewis’ announcement that it will start charging £2 for its click and collect service for orders under £30. Marks & Spencer may well look more attractive to its shoppers from a price perspective in the short term, but will the service levels match that of its experienced click and collect peer?

The decision to charge £2 by John Lewis is in line with research Doddle has undertaken previously to establish consumers’ price sensitivity to click and collect services; however, once a service attracts a charge, consumers expect it to be a seamless experience and a more sophisticated service.

Customers don’t and won’t wait in a queue if they are paying for the privilege. Whether retailers decide to charge for click and collect or not, the customer experience has to come front and centre. Having built 35 purpose built click and collect stores and counting, Doddle has been able to consolidate the cost of offering click and collect amongst multiple retailers while ensuring click and collect is delivered as a customer-first service. While there are challenges and costs to retailers offering click and collect on a large scale, we firmly believe Doddle is the solution to help them keep up with the demand and ensure the customer experience isn’t compromised.