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Click and collect is gaining momentum amid pandemic

Click and collect has been a growing trend for some time now as US consumers found they enjoyed the convenience and cost-savings of purchasing online and picking up their order on the way home from work or while running errands.

But the pandemic has turned this behavior from a convenience into a necessity almost overnight, particularly for essential goods and groceries. In March and April 2020, as logistics networks furiously expanded their capacity to support the ecommerce demand shock, online delivery windows were scarce and delays were inevitable. Click and collect—and particularly curbside pickup—helped plug the gap for millions of consumers.

Adoption wasn’t driven only by the demand side. Retailers also needed to ramp up their availability of click-and-collect options to accommodate this newfound demand and to have any hope of recovering lost sales due to the pandemic.

According to Digital Commerce 360, the percentage of Top 500 North American ecommerce retailers offering curbside pickup leapt from just 6.9% in December 2019 to 43.7% in August 2020.

“Though the pandemic created the impetus for the behavior, it will carry forward into the future,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence and author of our recent report, “Future of Retail 2021.”