The first week after the introduction of the hybrid e-commerce model known as click-and-collect (dubbed “click-away” in Greece) saw the turnover of retail enterprises boosted by about 20% compared to the previous week. However, in this can in no way offset all of the sector’s festive season losses as the lockdown does not allow for the conventional operation of brick-and-mortar stores.
Market professionals estimate that six days before Christmas the festive season turnover has come to just 30%-40% of last year’s, as turnover losses for now amount to about two-thirds despite the operation of online commerce and the click-and-collect system.
About a third of this weekly increase in turnover has come from the click-and-collect system, market experts tell Kathimerini. The practice of curbside collection has also helped accelerate the delivery times of online orders by courier companies to a significant extent, which has multiple benefits.
Consequently, while the huge delays led to many consumers avoiding making online purchases and several e-shops to declaring they would not accept any more orders or informing consumers of huge delays – which in turn discouraged purchases – now more and more consumers are returning to online shopping.
A decisive factor in that is the fact that more and more retail enterprises are using their own means of delivery or have reached agreements with car rental companies or even taxis for the delivery of orders made online or by phone.
The click-and-collect process has particularly benefited retailers of toys and tech products, but the apparel sector has faced problems. There have also been some cases where major chains have not managed to make this system work: Besides Jumbo, which has announced it does not have the necessary infrastructure, a major multinational in the clothing sector has said it will not apply this model as its logistics centers that serve the local market are located in Italy and Bulgaria.
The question now is what will happen after the holiday season ends – i.e. from January 7, 2021.