Click & collect and new technology driving CollectPlus forward

Parcel delivery and returns service CollectPlus has this week reported its second full-year of profit, with the growing popularity of click & collect in the UK and a new technology partnership said to be boosting the company's bottom line.

The business, which creates partnerships with local stores, garages and other organisations to allow consumers to pick up or return their online orders at a location convenient to them, saw parcel transactions grow by 39% to 18.8 million in the 12 months to the end of March.

Volumes for its click & collect service were up 91% year on year, while the network of stores using CollectPlus now totals around 5,800.

A statement from the business, which is a joint venture between payments firm PayPoint and Yodel, indicated that a recent project with web platform Visualsoft has resulted in the development of new web technology that has made it easier for UK retailers to integrate the CollectPlus click & collect service into their websites. A web-based widget, created in partnership with ParcelPoint, has also aided this process, the company said.

Neil Ashworth, CEO of CollectPlus, which was established in 2009 and made its first annual profit in 2013/14 financial year, said: "We are particularly pleased with the growth of our click & collect service; enthusiasm for the delivery option amongst online shoppers continues to go from strength to strength and our customers now increasingly look for CollectPlus at the point of checkout when shopping online.

"Over the next 12 months our focus is to continue to grow our store network in locations that are most convenient to our customers, develop new and innovative retail partnerships and ensure that we stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive market by putting our customers and their needs at the heart of our service offer."

CollectPlus said it grew its client base by 17% last year, with over 300 retailers such as John Lewis, Boohoo, New Look, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser counted among its partners. More retail collaborations are expected to be announced this summer.

Last week saw the publication of the IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2015, which surveyed 1,300 adult consumers to understand their online fulfilment perceptions and expectations.

Among the findings, the study highlighted that 85% of consumers highly value in-transit delivery information, although overall satisfaction surrounding the product returns process had dropped.

Click & collect is a now a recognised delivery option for 98% of respondents, with over 60% having used it to receive an online order – either from the retailer's own store or through a third-party parcel store or locker network. 

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, remarked: "While overall satisfaction with online fulfilment has remained consistent over the past few years, the delivery experience has become a key differentiator for customers – with 70% confirming that a good delivery experience will help keep them loyal to a particular retailer.

"It is therefore important for industry to keep innovating to keep pace with evolving customer demands – click & collect is a good example of how customers will adopt new solutions if they greatly aid convenience, with 60% now saying they have made use of the option."

Click below for more information: