Online shopping can reduce car trips if the goods are delivered to our homes. But this can be inconvenient if you have to stay in to receive the delivery. So there is growing interest in ‘click and collect’, where you order online but collect at your convenience from the store or another collection point.
An article in the Financial Times discusses an experiment conducted by the supermarket Asda (owned by Walmart) whereby customers can collect their pre-ordered shopping from temperature-controlled storage lockers. The UK is much more advanced than the US in grocery shopping online – 5% of sales compared with less than 1% in the US. Click and collect is forecast to grow much faster than home delivery in Britain. For the retailers, the last mile of fulfilling delivery has always been the challenging part of online shopping, particularly for food. Click and collect solves this for the store, but at the expense of more car trips for customers.