So, click-and-collect is convenient, right? Well, not convenient enough, according to John Lewis.
The department store teamed up with car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover last year to trial delivering click-and-collect orders to shoppers’ car boots to save them schlepping to their nearest store.
Working with Shoreditch-based start-up toBoot, the service works by placing a “smart box” in customers’ cars that allows them to add it as a delivery destination.
“John Lewis aims to give peace of mind by sending customers real-time updates, including images confirming successful delivery and showing the secure locking of the car afterwards”
The courier then receives the GPS location of the car along with its registration number and is sent a one-time code that allows them to access the boot.
Hmmm. Giving a stranger access to your car? Many will be feeling uncomfortable with the idea.
However, peace of mind is sought by sending customers real-time updates, including images confirming successful delivery and showing the secure locking of the car afterwards.
Booting up innovation
Deliveries to car boots aren’t entirely new in retail. As ever, Amazon was quick off the mark and started testing a similar service with Audi and DHL back in 2015.
Volvo and Volkswagen have also run pilots; however, John Lewis and Jaguar’s venture is understood to be the first trial in the UK.
The department store carried out the small-scale feasibility study last year, delivering packages to Jaguar Land Rover staff. ToBoot plans to roll out the trial to a group of the car manufacturer’s customers later this year with John Lewis confirmed as an ongoing partner.
Shoppers don’t have to run out and buy a Chelsea tractor to use the service. According to toBoot, the plan is to expand the service to other retailers and car manufacturers.
Will it take off?
Click-and-collect is a delivery method that seems only to grow in popularity. At John Lewis, more than half of its online orders were picked up in-store in the run-up to Christmas.
The collection method is built around convenience and the recognition that waiting at home for parcels to arrive all day is a waste of time for most shoppers.
However, collection in-store still requires some effort. Sure, you think you’ll pop into John Lewis during the week or you’ll visit your local Waitrose to do a grocery shop, but sometimes life gets in the way.
Clicking and not collecting is an issue for retailers. In fact, research by Retail Week and Shutl in 2015 revealed that 20% of shoppers who buy online would ask for a refund rather than collect their goods in-store.
“It can only be a matter of time until we have a ‘deliver to me’ option, whereby using smartphone GPS will allow delivery drivers to get parcels to shoppers wherever they are”
River Island even operates a ‘click and don’t collect service’ to reduce the amount of refunds. It offers customers who are unable to get to stores delivery for £4.95.
Car boot delivery saves the shopper making any effort. Your car can be in your driveway, at your workplace, or even in the car park of a rival retailer, and your parcels will find their way there.
Retailers and couriers alike are pushing the boundaries to make receiving goods as convenient as possible.
It can only be a matter of time until we have a “deliver to me” option, whereby using smartphone GPS will allow delivery drivers to get parcels to shoppers wherever they are.
Until this becomes a reality, delivering to our cars seems like a good alternative. I just hope the delivery driver can find some room in the back of my Alfa.