A new UK click and collect initiative has been launched which will mean that online shoppers will be able to order goods from eBay and pick them up from an Argos store.
At least 50 eBay merchants are taking part in the scheme but have not been named yet. The move may help eBay challenge Amazon’s Locker delivery.
The Amazon scheme lets people order online then pick up their package from a growing number of secure passcode-protected lockers situated in local shops or other public venues.
Both Amazon, eBay and other online retailers are also involved in the separate Collect+ scheme, which allows parcels to be collected from participating corner shops, avoiding the risk of missing a delivery.
One of the drawbacks of eCommerce is the issue of deliveries. If you are out when a parcel was delivered it may be taken miles to a warehouse- or a Post Office sorting centre.
So, it makes sense to forge a partnership with national retailers, and we’ll see more of this because it combines the benefits of online shopping – competitive prices and massive ranges – with the convenience of the real-world store you can pop into on your way home.
Argos has been expanding its own click-and-collect service, allowing shoppers to have an item held back that might be in short supply or ordered in if not in stock.
There is a risk that the eBay tie-up could cannibalise some of those sales, and Argos noted the tie-up was only a trial set to last about six months.
“Having pioneered check-and-reserve in the year 2000, it now accounts for around a third of our business and continues to grow,” said the firm’s managing director, John Walden.
In May, Argos reported its first rise in annual sales in five years, largely thanks to online sales and the popularity of its “check and reserve” service.