John Lewis offers Click & Collect service to other retailers

John Lewis ChristmasJohn Lewis and Clipper Logistics have announced a joint investment in the “provision of multi-user Click & Collect services to address the needs of retailers in the rapidly growing online marketplace“.

What this means is that Clipper are providing the logistics side of Click & Collect for John Lewis and by selling the service to other retailers they’ll lower the overall costs. The service includes “timed delivery to store in a retailer-friendly format, integration with retailers’ customer service systems to provide customer and store updates, text messaging to retailers’ end customers, and delivery into store in roll cages with clear “parent and child” relationships between the cage and the parcel in order to facilitate rapid parcel selection“.

Trials started late 2015 testing John Lewis’s Click & Collect deliveries into 120 Waitrose stores and has recently been expanded to over 300 Waitrose stores, providing nationwide coverage. A number of other un-named customers are already using the service.

Together John Lewis and Clipper have pumped £3.4 million into the service but will also share profits.

With Christmas coming and Click & Collect’s busiest time of the year for retailers streamlining the service for customers is essential. Two of the problems retailers have discovered is that retail stores aren’t set up for long Click & Collect queues and the logistics of actually getting products into stores is much harder than a normal stock replenishment. The new partnership can’t help with the space issue, but it should assist in getting stock into stores quicker and make it easier for staff to locate a parcel when a customers comes to collect.

With the amount of investment retailers are putting into Click & Collect it should send a clear signal to marketplace sellers that eBay’s Argos and Sainsburys offering and Amazon’s local collect options (accessible only through Fulfilment by Amazon) are more important than ever. This year expect consumers to use Click & Collect more frequently than even before and if you’re not already making your items available through marketplace Click & Collect services this is the year to do so.