Following a successful test last fall, eBay and U.K. retailer Argos have expanded a click and collect program which addresses a key deficiency of many online-only retailers’ fulfillment strategy.
Argos is a U.K retailer with about 650 stores and in September 2013 it began a program with 50 eBay sellers that allowed for the pick up of purchases in 150 Argos’ stores. The program worked well enough that the companies have embarked on a dramatic expansion. By the end of 2014, around 65,000 eBay sellers will offer products available for collection at all Argos stores and by 2015 the number of sellers is expected to grow to 80,000.
According to a statement from the companies, the service is being expanded after, “the trial service proved successful operationally and incredibly popular with customers. A clear majority of those who have used the service and other click and collect services rate eBay’s Click & Collect at Argos as one of the best available.”
“Retail has changed and shoppers are in the driving seat like never before. They want to shop anytime, anywhere, on any device and British shoppers love to click and collect,” said eBay U.K. vp Tanya Lawler. “It’s a service being rapidly adopted by larger retailers and this partnership with Argos now gives tens of thousands of sellers the chance to capitalize on Click & Collect, even if they have no high street presence of their own.”
The way the system works for buyers is simple. They choose ‘Click and Collect at Argos’ as the delivery option in their eBay checkout and select their most convenient Argos store. Buyers receive a message when their item is ready for collection and then they pick up their purchase from a dedicated collection point in Argos stores.
David Robinson, COO of Argos said the recent agreement is about figuring out how to scale the partnership with eBay.
“Fulfilment is the next retail battleground and Argos’ unique model is well placed to leverage this,” Robinson said.