Asda this week announced that it would be introducing an new click and collect service, called ToYou.
The difference with this collect in store service is that it will allow customers to collect orders from other retailers in its stores.
With 614 stores around the UK, Asda’s ToYou service offers an appealing option for pure play retailers, and fashion retailer Missguided has already signed up for the service.
There is also a precedent for this in Argos’s deal to allow eBay orders to be collected from its stores.
Delivery options are all important for ecommerce sites, and the growth of popularity of click and collect services means that this has now become a must-have for many online retailers.
Indeed, the proportion of UK shoppers has using click and collect has grown recently, and will continue to do so.
While multichannel retailers have their store networks to rely on, online-only retailers like Shop Direct’s brands and Amazon have other options.
These include those click and collect lockers you now frequently see in places like supermarket car parks and train stations, as well as services like Collect+ which enable collection from local stores and petrol stations.
All of these options allow online-only retailers to offer customers the convenience of click and collect, something which is likely to be very important this Christmas.
I can also see how they’ll be attracted to the option of offering pick up in Asda stores, with their wide reach.
However, what does this deal offer for Asda? Will people collecting online orders decide to pick up their grocery shopping while they’re in Asda?
I asked Schuh’s Deputy Head of Ecommerce Stuart McMillan:
I’d think the incremental footfall potential as well as additional operation income that they are bound to be receiving from the other retailers would outweigh the complexity.
Asda will already have established procedures and facilities in place for its own click and collect products, so it makes sense to use these capabilities as much as possible.
The retailer is targeting 40m extra store visits by 2019 as a result of this service, so I can see other retailers following suit here, though many may wait and see how this works out.