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eBay Click & Collect at Argos Case Study

By Chris Dawson October 13, 2014 - 7:35 am

Argos NewburyeBay have extended the number of Argos stores included in their Click & Collect program, so of course the minute my local store was live I couldn’t wait to test the service out and see what the collection process was like.

It also seemed like a great opportunity to document the entire process from a buyer’s point of view, where are the strengths of eBay’s Click & Collect solutions (notifications!) and where are the weaknesses (which surprisingly turned on to be eBay’s mobile app!)

Selecting Click & Collect items

Click & Collect searchDesktop

Finding a product to buy was easy, I’m forever buying bits and bobs on eBay so I simply checked the search Click & Collect items only box and eBay only showed items that could be delivered to Argos.

Instore Pick Up on eBay MobileMobile

One thing I did find surprising is that whilst it’s easy to select Click & Collect on eBay, it’s surprisingly difficult on eBay’s mobile app. Choosing items only available for in-store pick up is hidden away in the “Nearby” tab instead of as on eBay in the “Postage” section.

No Click and Collect Postage on eBay MobileHowever, once you’ve selected in-store pick up items only at checkout I couldn’t find any way to select Click & Collect and choose which Argos store I’d prefer to pick the item up from. Adding the item to my eBay basket and checking on a laptop and I could easily checkout choosing Click & Collect.

However I still haven’t found the postage option to use Click & Collect on mobile. I’m guessing it’s just not there yet and will come in a later mobile app update.

Buying

Desktop

What I did like on the desktop version was the easy with which I could choose a Click & Collect checkout. Right on the View Item page on the Delivery Tab was a list of Argos stores close to me and, unlike for traditional postage options, there’s a Buy It Now button waiting to be clicked as soon as I’ve selected a store.

Another nice touch is the map of the selected store which also displays it’s opening hours so I can make sure in advance that they’re going to be there at the time I want to collect.

Click to order

Get notified!

Checkout success click and collectThere’s an extra step in the buying process for Click & Collect and it’s one I’m betting a ton of sellers wish eBay had simply included for every single sale that takes place on the site.

eBay give the buyer the option to enter a phone number to receive a text message on when the item has been delivered and is ready to collect.

Confirmation emailIf only this step was fully integrated into all sales it would mean sellers could grab the number and push it out to their courier for automatic delivery updates. I love the text messages from the likes of DPD letting me know when my items on the way and an estimated time of arrival.

Many other couriers can also notify buyers that their item is out for delivery even if they can’t give a specific time slot. Ensuring buyers could update their phone number for every sale would be a great new feature on eBay.

You do of course receive the normal confirmation email from eBay but with one slight difference – Click & Collect orders give you an “Available for collection by” date and advise that once you’ve been notified that your order is ready for collection you need to check back for further instructions.

Order-Ready-to-CollectThe notification arrives!

Text, email, eBay app, eBay Messages, View Order page

If you check back on the order details page it’ll display the estimated delivery day in a blue bar. Then when your item has been delivered and booked into your chosen Argos store the bar changes green with your delivery pick up code.

Text NotificationFor me the notifications was like all hell breaking loose! At 14.02pm I simultaneously got a text message (so my phone pinged), an email (so I got a different ping from my phone), and a notification in the eBay app (and yet a third type of ping from my phone)!

If there’s one thing for certain I knew something had happened and with my phone lighting up like a Christmas tree I knew my order was ready for collection. I can pretty safely say that it’s very unlikely that your customers won’t know that their item has arrived at their local Argos.

The Collection

Mobile Collection ConfirmationIn Person

Collection turned out to be surprisingly easy. I simply waltzed into the local Newbury Store, went straight to the collection counter and said “I’ve got an item to collect” to the first guy available holding out my mobile phone with the eBay app open on the confirmation page.

There really was no fuss, no drama, no waiting. Argos staff are all using hand helds these days and they simply tapped my reference number in and found my package which was waiting on a shelf, downstairs in the Argos warehouse, just behind the counter. I was in and out in minutes.

I did stay to have a chat with the staff and they dashed my hopes of being the first in Newbury to use eBay’s new Click & Collect service. It was the second day of operations and they’d had a couple of collections the day before and one earlier that day.

CollectionArgos Staff

The staff seemed genuinely excited about the new service though. Explaining it was only their second day they told me they thought it was a great offering and judging by the fact customers had started using it on day one, that by Christmas they expected to be pretty busy with eBay collections.

I haven’t a clue what deal eBay and Argos have agreed upon, but the team in the store already know how many shoppers will come through their doors buying Christmas presents and thought it fantastic that customers could collect their eBay purchases at the same time.

It’s worth remembering that Argos get more customers to their website than Tesco and a vast number of those customers will reserve and pick up in store. Argos is one of the busiest destinations on the high street and that’s what makes it such a great location to pick up eBay parcels… many of your customers are going to Argos anyway.

The one thing that did surprise me was that there was no eBay Signage in the Newbury Argos. I was expecting to find a prominent eBay collection point or at least some indication of where I should go to collect my package. In fairness they’ve only been running the service for two days and signs may be on the way, but the staff were all so helpful and up to speed – they all seemed to know everything there was to know about their eBay Click & Collect service.

Overall scores for eBay Click & Collect at Argos

eBay Site 10/10

Couldn’t be easier.

eBay Mobile App 5/10

Great for notifications, but I still haven’t figured out how to buy with Click & Collect.

Notifications 11/10

I’m sure someone could figure out just one more method of notifying me my parcel is at Argos, but honestly I don’t think I could cope with any more mobile pings!

Argos instore experience 10/10

Staff all clued up and knew exactly what to do. All the tech is in place and barring signage they’re ready for action.

  • 3 years ago

    Glad to hear this. We are still waiting on our click and collect service being enabled but we were told they are aiming to have all customers set up by end of October. Think its going to be huge for the run up to Christmas.

  • Fozz
    3 years ago

    We’ve had a few click & collect orders already. We did have an issue with our first click & collect order , where the buyer paid by card over the telephone , and then the invoice printed off with their normal delivery address , rather than the Argos store address.

  • Emma from eBay
    3 years ago

    Hi Fozz, we are pleased to say we have now fixed that issue with the invoice, so sellers will now see the correct Argos store address if they use the selling manager invoices in myeBay. Hope this helps.

  • Toby
    3 years ago

    Looks Great, although I sick of seeing the pop-up messages & emails telling us about it going live in September & not being able to offer it.

    We have spent hours ensuring compliance by adding the correct courier & sizes to 2200 listings & then to be told by C&C CS that some TRS’s may not have the option to offer the service until after the New Year, even though we’ve been on eBay for 12yrs & have always been Powersellers/TRS.

  • hereford united fan
    3 years ago

    I was really excited by this but now I find I can’t take part as I would have to upgrade all my listings to first class free postage.

    I don’t think I can afford to do this as it will have a huge impact on my already low margins.

    It is disappointing that eBay have chosen to implement it this way. I don’t understand why they did not just give customers the options. I offer first class on all my listings and customers can choose it and pay the extra if they wish.

  • Captain Fartpants
    3 years ago

    Notifications 11/10

    I’m sure someone could figure out just one more method of notifying me my parcel is at Argos, but honestly I don’t think I could cope with any more mobile pings!

    ______________

    LOL 11/10 so objective, was that an error or bleep in le system

  • Steve
    3 years ago

    The vast majority will want to click and collect? really? why mess about with Argos with only 650 stores, when ebay have Collect+ in over 6000? because the take up of collections is low. I think argos have done well to get ebay associated with them, even better if they got ebay to pay for the shop collection refits..

    • Mark
      3 years ago

      Collect Plus exclusively use Yodel for deliveries compared with Argos allowing a range of delivery options. Some of the stores used for Collect Plus are limited in size and would struggle to store large amounts (parcels handed in for delivery only have to stay until the next working day).

  • 3 years ago

    It makes no sense to me that Parcel Force 48 is eligible however Royal Mail 48 is not. So disappointed. We have spent a lot of time preparing our orders to work with this and now we find out this. I am almost certain that in the beginning Royal Mail 48 was included and we offer same day dispatch so this is classed as fast and free.

    Would love a response from eBay regarding this?

    • Emma from eBay
      3 years ago

      Hi Craig, thanks for the comment this is one that has had some wide debate here at eBay. It has been the case from the start of Click & Collect and here is why.

      The reason for not including RM 48 is that according to RM http://www.royalmail.com/parcel-despatch-medium/uk-delivery/royal-mail-tracked-24-and-48 this is a 2-3day service. Whilst Parcelforce is a 2day service http://www.parcelforce.com/parcel-delivery/express48.

      Now the difference here is that we need to meet a buyer promise of having items available for them to pick up within 3days.

      So if your handling time was 0day, but your cut off time for that (as most are is 12 mid-day) then with the RM 48 this turns into a 3-4day service as we now have a 1day handling time to get the item out of the door. Not the case with Parcelforce as we can still meet the 3 days promise if the seller is after the handling time cut off for the order.

      Now we are looking into this to see if we can get confidence that most RM 48 items are delivered earlier than the 3days and we will continue to see if we can make this eligible. Hope that helps to explain.

    • Craig
      3 years ago

      Thank you for the reply Emma. We use the Royal mail service every day and honestly the service is outstanding. 48 hours is almost always the maximum and sometimes orders do arrive next day. Royal Mail 2nd class I can understand but Royal Mail 48 is for business customers only and out near 10,000 positive feedbacks prove that is the case as almost every one just mentions the speed of delivery. I would love to use the Argos click and collect service but I cannot justify editing the orders to Royal Mail 24 and adding 50p ex VAT in costs to every package that goes out. That adds up to a lot of money.

      It is slightly misleading because eBay does recognise Royal Mail 48 as Fast and Free up until that days cut off time. Realistically we have a cut off of 12 noon but usually anything ordered up until 2pm will go out the same day.

      I know this is just ones mans word on it but I imagine many other sellers are feeling the same way. Royal Mail 48 is superb and extremely reliable. I was hoping to use this service for Christmas. Lets see.

    • 3 years ago

      Hi all,

      I just want to make sure Emma knows that Chris and I at Tamebay welcome your very useful comments.

      You’re always most welcome. It’s part of a useful dialogue.

      And thanks to all our commenters too. Fozz and Craig and Mark and Steve to name but a few. Let’s keep the conversation going and polite and valuable. Thanks all.

      Tamebay is all about a useful exchange of information. So pleased to see that here in action.

      dw

    • rick
      3 years ago

      reminiscent of the scenes you see when kim jong-un makes an appearance

    • David
      3 years ago

      Haha – so very true.

      What possible reason could there be for Emma to show up here on a privately owned site when there is never a sign of her on the ebay discussion boards?

      She could try this highest ever rated power seller thread for some real feedback from ebay sellers on the current state of the site.

      http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Powerseller-Board/Personal-message-to-eBay-you-are-a-REAL-mess-and-it-needs/td-p/3807269

  • Mark
    3 years ago

    I wonder why ebay don’t allow the slower delivery methods to be used with click and collect. Amazon offer supersaver delivery to their lockers.

    The key advantage of being able to go into a store to collect your items is that they will be waiting for you, rather than relying on you being in.

    —-

    I wonder how this will work over the busy Christmas period as Argos will also be busy with their regular customers and will be tight for storage space. Customers ordering and not collecting for many days could result in problems.

  • Mark Sugden
    3 years ago

    We offer some listings with free 1st class post but they don’t show up when I click the “click and collect” button on the eBay search?

    Also the help on ebay page it says I can opt out at : My eBay ; Site Preferences ; Edit Click & Collect ; Opt-out. But there is no option in my site preferences?

    Also we offer listings with “other 24 hr courier” if we change to one of the approved couriers do we have to ship to Argos via that courier or can we use the one we currently use (APC).

    None of our listings seem to show up with click and collect checked in ebay serch

  • john
    3 years ago

    I would like to ask “will I be forced, coerced, bribed, threatened in the future regarding mandatory click and collect or penalised for not using it. “(I assume this is already happening via best match)

    • 3 years ago

      Hi John, in some ways yes you already are – there’s an option for buyers to select Click & Collect only listings in search should they wish to avail themselves of it.

      It’s likely that eBay won’t have to tinker with Best Match too much as ultimately they already have a popularity score built into Best Match (a guess, we don’t know for certain).

      If buyers decide that they prefer to pick all their orders up in one place at one time this Christmas they’ll naturally gravitate towards listings that offer this service. If buyers decide they don’t mind their parcels all arriving on different days at different times by different carries then they’ll not use the search option or won’t select Click & Collect at checkout.

      Expect to see marketing on eBay promoting Click & Collect however and links from marketing collateral pointing to Click & Collect only listings.

    • john
      3 years ago

      Really not keen on parcels going via a 3rd party, its bad enough just using RM lol

      However may give the global shipping program a little tester. (sounds like I trust ebay more than argos lol )

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Must admit I’m also a “like things just as they are/were” fan and really don’t/didn’t wish to participate at all in any of ebay’s recent initiatives but as it is the only way to maintain TRS feel forced to.

    My buyers tend to be silver foxes and if they want what I offer will buy regardless of “free” shipping, managed returns, click and collect, fast and free, alternative shipping choices, fancy mobile friendly templates, store changes, and all.

    All this extra stuff just serves to confuse, add to the workload and increase the risk of defects when all I want to do is keep is simple or KISS it!

    I would guess that there are a lot of small and medium sized sellers who feel the same as me.

    • 3 years ago

      Why oh Why is it that every time there is a New Development of any kind that there is a belief that it will suit everybody??? I am like Garry. My customers are just ordinary people. They have never ever asked me about Click and Collect or Managed Returns or whatever. They all seem very happy to get their Books well packaged in a couple of days.

      I am all for new ideas being made available and added to the current list of options but not that they replace the current options. After all if my customers are happy with the current service a replacement new service might not meet their requirements and at the end of the day It is my customers that I am mainly interested in and their requirements.

    • 3 years ago

      Just because they don’t ask for it doesn’t mean they may not like it!!

      Honestly I bet you’ve sold a ton of books no one asked for just because you listed them and made them available. It’s the same with service, if you don’t offer no one will ask but if you do offer you might find some take advantage.

      While your customers might “seem happy”, have you ever thought they might “seem happy” with Click & Collect?? How will you ever know if you take the attitude because they’ve never asked they must not want it?

    • Gary
      3 years ago

      I’ve sold a ton of stuff before these changes and continue to sell a ton of stuff with these changes where I have been forced to implement these and regardless of the ebay impositions my buyers choose to ignore these (extra cost), would prefer to ignore these (the silver foxes get confused easily now that I am forced to offer choices), are not given the option of buying (I no longer wish to sell internationally when previously I was happy to), or at best suffer the choice (pay more for combined shipping and for shipping generally due to ebay imposition of fees on this)!

      If ebay reverted to how it was 2 years ago I would reverse all my current arrangements, keep it simple, keep shipping separate, no options, offer international shipping and discount combined sales up front, and still maintain TRS and acceptable DSR’s.

      ebays “policy fits all” approach does not work for many sellers.

    • john
      3 years ago

      The simple thing often work best lol

      I am all for change, but not forced or just because someone “thinks” something is for the better.

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind ebay increasing the available options for sellers. What I object to is ebay changing its fee and fee credit structure so sellers are not given a real choice of options.

    It may well be that one reason for ebay introducing “click and collect” is that many ebay sellers are becoming less competitive relative to bricks and mortar shops due to rising postal costs, rising ebay fees and more. ebay see “click and collect” as being a way of protecting those sellers who do compete with the bricks and mortar shops from this competition.

    My offer is not available in bricks and mortar shops and never will be. My silver fox buyers don’t want to cover the cost of travelling to pick up a package and are happy to have it posted. ebay has done wonders for access to my offer and are to be applauded for this. I simply don’t need to change anything and have never in 10 years ever felt the need to change anything. All changes I have made have been because ebay have this carrot and stick approach to change and so really I am forced to go with it. All through this I have been a powerseller, TRS, maintained DSR’s and whatever has been asked.

    What actually for me has all this change achieved over 10 years and more? Not a lot!

    • Mark
      3 years ago

      Click and collect offers an additional option to customers. For most sellers there will be no difference in terms of procedures). It does not take away any options for the customers.

      A problem may arise if extra fees are charged for click and collect, or if there are major changes to the way items are sent to the stores.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      we view click and collect an additional service to process ,more administration plus another opportunity for mistakes and problems

      were not trying to compete with the outlets ,were never going to compete with the outlets , we dont delude ourselves ,

  • Ian A
    3 years ago

    Have ARGOS closed their ebay store? All Links and sub links in google going to a shop does not exist page.

    • 3 years ago

      Looks like they changed their shop name from ‘Argos Outlet’ to ‘Argos’. Google will catch up soon.

    • JD
      3 years ago

      Argos seem to have 2 shops.

      ‘Argos’ and ‘Argos Seconds’.

  • John
    3 years ago

    Iv had to opt out of click and collect for two reasons.First they dont allow the courier APC.I dispatch from an APC member warehouse and cant use the couriers allowed.2nd most of my items are just over the size limit.
    Due to this iv reduced my prices on my webby by the difference of the Ebay fees (ie £78 Ebay £70 webby) and bought Google adwords and am seeing website sales outsell Ebay 3 to 1 (google adwords work out 1.6% of sales for conversion).Id of liked click and collect but the courier and size limitations i had to opt out.

  • Steve
    3 years ago

    Argos are/where primarily a catalogue wharehouse, click and collect grew out of thier click and reserve, which highlighted the problem of limited stock – with click and collect, they get the money and buy time to shift the stock to the right place. To think they will get large volumes from ebay is just not going to happen. There are opportunites here, just argos isnt one of them; and allowing for the time to get the parcel to argos just means its dead in the water before it even starts. Looking at argos negative feedback, even accepting thier volumes, they are not a company I would want involvement with.

    • Craig
      3 years ago

      I really think click and collect could be huge but I reckon it should be with the nationwide collect+ service.

  • PNP
    3 years ago

    Im now enrolled on the program, out of all my listings only one is eligible. Nobody at eBay knows how to resolve it!!! Oh I wish they things would work correctly!!!

    • PNP
      3 years ago

      Update to my previous message, Click & Collect will not work on eligible items that are ‘best offers’.

  • Gwen
    3 years ago

    Oh well I must be a dinosaur as I dont do so called free postage.

  • john
    3 years ago

    3 times so far I have opted out of click and collect and 3 times ebay have sent me a message in myebay saying they have opted me back in….

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