Shoppers left £228 million of goods at click and collect desks in past year

Busy shoppers have left around £228 million worth of uncollected products at click-and-collect sites over the past year, blaming long waiting times and poorly staffed collection points, according to a report.

More than seven million Brits now use click and collect.

Barclaycard found that more than seven in ten Britons now use click and collect when making online purchases. However, 15 per cent are buying goods but not collecting them.

Shoppers use click and collect around twice a month and, of those who have failed to pick up an item, a third said collecting was a “hassle” and it was easier to wait for a refund before reordering for home delivery.

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Around 25 per cent of shoppers said the queues at collection points are too long, 25 per cent said the areas are poorly staffed and 17 per cent said they struggled to find the right desk. Almost two in five UK adults said they would visit shops more often if the process was improved.

Kirsty Morris, director at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Click and collect is a win-win for both retailers and consumers.

“Brands have the opportunity to not only increase the number of shoppers through their doors but also to reduce costs and returns, while generating revenue from ‘click and collectors’ purchasing additional items in-store.

“Enhancing the click and collect experience is a potentially lucrative way for retailers to ward off the unprecedented challenges of the high street and bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping.”

With the high street struggling to cope with rising taxes, the economic downturn and the continued march of online-only rivals, 72 per cent of retailers said they see click and collect as a viable solution to driving shoppers back into stores. Around 89 per cent said footfall has increased since offering the service, but there is agreement more needs to be done and firms should be creative.

Sports retailer Decathlon agreed, and revealed it is testing a new way for shoppers to collect goods by creating a microclimate in its Surrey Quays store with Barclaycard.

The microclimate will allow shoppers to try out their hiking products in conditions more like a windy mountainside than a shopping centre.

Christian Baggaley, head of operations at Decathlon UK, said he wants to “further encourage shoppers into our stores so they can experience everything it has to offer”.

He added: “We have seen a real increase in the number of shoppers opting to use click and collect since 2017 and are constantly looking at ways to make the shopping experience better for customers.”