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'Click & Collect' - Online Shopping Convenience That Falls Short

Click & Collect
Click & Collect is a service offered by many online retailers where you can shop for your items online, and then pick up your order from a participating retailer near you within hours. It sounds all very convenient but is it really?

When I shop online, I do so because I want my purchase to be delivered to my front door. I don't want to leave my house. That's convenience.

Click and Collect allows me to go to an actual store, that stocks the item I've ordered online, where my purchase will be packed and waiting for me to pick up within a few hours of placing the order.

As opposed to me just going to the store near me, buying from that retailer what I would've ordered online, in however long it takes for me to get to the store and back.

In certain circumstances Click & Collect is great. There may be times when you don't want something delivered directly to your home. It's particularly appropriate for purchases where the item is physically being shipped to a location nearer to you, or if you just want to collect an item from somewhere secure because you're never home during delivery times.

However, especially in times like these where being around others is a health issue, if a retailer can fill my order through a participating store near me, why can't they go the extra yards, and deliver that order to my door? That would actually be convenient, right?

Recently I shopped online with a major Australian online pharmacy (a.k.a. chemist or drug store). Their warehouse is based in Sydney NSW. I'm located on the outskirts of Adelaide SA.

I have several local pharmacies within walking distance of my home but, due to a Government COVID directive (as I write this), you can't enter their premises without a mask. Not just any mask either, you have to wear a proper disposable PPE mask preferred by health workers.

I'm not opposed to wearing masks. I'll wear one if I have to but they've never been compulsory in SA, and I'm always careful to social distance. (Don't get me started on people who wear masks outside, and then lower them when they come up to you and start a conversation - what are they even doing?).

Again, as I'm writing this, there is only one known case of COVID in my entire state. That person is a returning expatriate who was already in quarantine when they returned a positive test result.

My purchases were not urgent so I thought I'd shop online, knowing full well it'd be a minimum of five days before my items would arrive from the Sydney warehouse.

Unfortunately the warehouse was out of stock on some items I wanted to buy. Their website gave me the 'click and collect' option of ordering them, with the order being fulfilled by a local, participating pharmacy that would allow me to collect my purchase within hours of my online order. Sounds extremely convenient. I'd get my order sooner.

Except I'd gone to the trouble of shopping online because I didn't want to actually go out to a local pharmacy, knowing full well that my order would take longer to deliver as a result.

If I can 'click and collect' my order same day, how hard would it be for that pharmacy to put my order in the post, where it would likely get to me next day instead of the five days it may have taken from the Sydney warehouse? I mean, they're already bagging up my order ready for me to collect. Why not stick it in a mailing bag/box and drop it in the post?

More to the point, why even send any orders from a central warehouse? Why not just fulfill all orders from local participating pharmacy stock? Local pharmacies get more business, customers get their orders sooner and delivered to their door. Seems like everyone wins.

Maybe behind the scenes it's not as easy as it sounds. However my local pharmacies could have still got my business if they home delivered. Instead I ordered alternative products from the Sydney warehouse that I could get delivered to my door. I was prepared to wait those extra days, which just seemed easier than dealing with going to a physical store at the time.

Comments

  1. I've always wondered this too. What's the point of ordering online for your groceries and then having to go down and get them? Only that it saves you the time spent going round the shelves. I see a notice in a well-known super market saying, for Click 'N' Collect' that if you buy online they will then bring your groceries to your car! What's the point, that's what I say, but I don't drive, so it's useless to me anyway!

    Years ago another super market used to have a delivery service for around $3 or $4 dollars, which I used to use because I didn't have a vinyl trolley on wheels then and couldn't carry all my groceries home, so I just took the perishables, and they brought the rest about an hour later.

    I've seen the assistants at the super market going around with their big black trolleys with the shelves and putting items in and marking the price off on a screen. I realised later that this must be the groceries Click 'N' Collect being made up. I don't mind tins and packets being picked which might be easy but how do they pick your meat and fruit and veg to your satisfaction, though I'm sure they must pick the best. I expect you put the prices you want to pay for your meat. What about Specials, I always look for those or those that have been advertised? How do they know, unless it's all catered for on the online form?

    Don't think it would suit me, and I would rather have it delivered to my door anyway, but as I said, I'd have to. My sister in UK gets her groceries delivered to her door.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've done the click'n'collect for groceries (with Coles) because it is actually convenient sometimes to shop online then pick up the groceries on the way home from work - without having to collect everything off the shelves yourself. I'm not sure the staff always give you the best choice of fruit and veg or meat but we've never had anything that looked particularly like a poor choice either.

      You can have your order delivered to your home too, which we've done on occasion, but I think it gets a little expensive. Hard to justify when you literally drive by the supermarket to and from work as well.

      With my article, I was targeting purchases where you're only buying a small number of items that are easy to send through the mail. The online chemist's only alternative option for items they didn't have in stock was to click'n'collect the items from a local chemist. Basically making the time spent shopping online a waste of effort because I could've skipped that and just walked to the local chemist (which, at the time, I was trying to avoid doing).

      Delete
  2. I'd never think to buy things online for the chemists, but then we have the large Discount Warehouse chemist just down the road which is open 7 days a week, cheaper than the little IGA chemist, though I do buy a brand of arthritis cream from them which the discount one doesn't stock. Say they're not allowed to for some reason. It's one just called Arthritis made with natural ingredients such as shark oil and glaucosimine etc. None of these creams really work anyway, but this one is a non-anti- inflamatory one that aren't supposed to be too good for you anyway.

    About the Click 'N' Collect. I just read in my latest Reader's Digest that I subscribe to on the 'Life's Like That' page where someone put 'Why would I drive 8mns down the road to the supermarket when I can pay an extra $43 to have my groceries delivered to my door? !!' It was headed 'Easy Peasy'

    I just went on the social shopping bus today with my group People Who Care for $5 ($2. 50c each way) to be taken to a local supermarket at a nearby shopping centre to shop at which one I wanted or any other shopping. I was picked up 2hrs later while chatting with the other ladies who had bought coffee from Muffin Break. Just had to take shopping bags and I have to get used to pushing a trolley round again instead of my shopping trolley on wheels. Save me going out in all weathers and temps even though I have to be ready for 9-25am.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like click snd collect as I don’t have to put up with other people getting in my way

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plus I do click and collect Shopping at night so then I can pick it up after work at night. Saves having to go to the shop and spending time doing something I don’t like doing

      Delete

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