Why shoppers want collection points

27 April 2023
Hub Box

We delve into the reasons why shoppers are turning to collection points over home delivery and how this benefits both consumers and retailers.

There is no doubt that convenience makes up a huge part of customers’ needs when shopping online. And as shopping habits continue to evolve – with many retailers experiencing a boom in online sales during the pandemic – offering more flexible delivery options is vital.

In the US alone, purchasers opting for collection points sky-rocketed by 107% in 2020 vs the previous year, that figure has shown no signs of slowing down with  37% more people choosing to use a form of pickup point in 2022 vs 2021. But what exactly are collection points, and why are they in demand from shoppers?

What are collection points?

Collection points are an alternative option to home delivery. Rather than having a package delivered to their home or office, shoppers can pick it up from a secure location of their choice and at a time that suits them. Examples of collection point locations include retailers’ own stores, UPS Access Points (of which there are over 20,000 across the US), and other convenient locations like Walmart, CVS Pharmacy and Amazon Lockers.

Retailers who have embraced collection points as part of their delivery strategy

A few years ago, collecting from stores or pickup points was unheard of but since the pandemic in 2020, many people turned to pickup locations to get their items whilst stores were closed. Quickly retailers saw the benefit of offering multiple delivery options, rather than relying solely on home delivery as people started venturing out, taking vacations and enjoying their freedom as the world began to unlock.

But who has adopted the changes and seen growth from embracing pickup points?

The obvious leader across the globe is of course Amazon, with over 2,500 lockers across 50+ American cities, the uptake of the Amazon locker since its first launch in 2011 has been a success.

However, not all retailers have the infrastructure to build specific and dedicated lockers, nor do they need to. Carriers such as UPS provided the convenience of pickup points, without the cost and complexity of huge infrastructure changes, by using existing locations for their customers to choose from. This proved to be a huge success.

J Crew, Guess, Emma Bridgewater to name a few, have taken to seeking software solutions that allow them to offer their customers the flexibility of when and where they collect their parcels, reducing the need to be at home. By seeking multiple ways for their customers to have their parcels delivered, many retailers have seen their customer satisfaction scores increase, complaints reduce and order values grow.

Why are collection points attractive to shoppers?

We have an indepth look at the reasons people choose pickup points that goes in great detail, but here are 4 reasons that collection points appeal to shoppers.

Avoid Missing Deliveries in Absence

If a shopper isn’t sure they’re going to be home for a delivery, their choice is either to abandon checkout, or risk missing their package. Using a collection point solves this dilemma. First time delivery is guaranteed, and the package is held securely at the shopper’s chosen location until the shopper is ready to collect their package at a date and time that suits them.

Avoid Doorstep Thefts

Doorstep theft and porch privacy are becoming increasing areas of concern, with over 210 million packages stolen from porches and apartment buildings in the last 12 months alone. This fear leads to decreased conversions from shoppers who are seeking a collection option.

Denver, San Francisco and Austin are amongst the ten worst cities hit by doorstep theft, and according to a survey by Forbes, over 49% of Americans fear that their package will be stolen. That’s because there are reports of thieves following delivery trucks and taking packages that are left waiting, many of whom are caught on doorbell cameras with little the homeowner can do. Alternatively, choosing collection points means that packages are safely held at pickup locations, saving shoppers time, stress, and worry.

Local Collection Points

Statistics reveal that a shopper will more than likely collect their parcel when undertaking an existing errand such as the school-run, commute or grocery shopping. The appeal of local collection points is convenience. Customers can simply pick the most suitable pickup point when checking-out, and of course, this doesn’t have to be their residential address – it could be their workplace, or somewhere close to where they’re travelling at that time.

Discreet Delivery Options

Birthday gifts, anniversary presents, as well as medical kits and tests are just some of the things bought online that people do not want neighbours to receive on their behalf, or left out on their porches to be seen by others. Shoppers prefer to have an option that allows their parcels to be taken in discreetly, and collected at their convenience which is exactly what collection points provide.

Retailers benefit from offering collection points too

As for retailers, research shows that up to 77% of shoppers have abandoned baskets due to unsatisfactory delivery options at checkout, with many preferring collection points over home delivery. And as collection point packages are held at secure pickup locations, retailers will start to save on costs like customer service, returns and the replacement of lost or stolen items. By offering collection points alongside home delivery, retailers are also broadening the choice available to their shoppers.

The average spend per transaction usually increases with collection point orders, too, as customers are comfortable purchasing more expensive items knowing that their orders won’t be left on their doorstep. In 2021, and measured across 50 retailers, we found that the average basket values for orders to collection points were 28% higher than orders delivered to home.

How do collection point orders work?

Implementing a collection point solution at checkout can be done in a user-friendly way that retains the qualities of the retailer’s customer experience. Larger retailers such as Williams Sonoma and J.Crew have already added collection points as an option to their online checkouts, and many more retailers in the US are following suit.

Here’s how collection point orders work for customers:

Collection Point Software Solutions

HubBox provides a software solution that makes it easy for shoppers to choose and use and  retailers can install fuss-free with a dedicated team. Working with popular carriers such as UPS and DPD, it’s a one-stop solution to integrating your site with lock pickup solutions. Find out more at HubBox or to see the software in action, book a demo.