Woolworths, eBay blur lines between online and offline retail

By Uwear

In an attempt to attract new customers while increasing traffic and sales, Woolworths recently extended its click-and-collect venture with online retailer eBay that began in February.

With consumers able to purchase products on eBay and pick them up at Woolworths supermarkets or BIG W stores, the lines between online and offline retail have become even tougher to differentiate. It gives buyers an extra advantage over standard online retailers by giving the option of having it delivered to your home or post office, while also giving entrepreneurs a chance to boost their reach and introduce an additional revenue stream.

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Merchant Development Director of eBay, Hamish Moline said, “The online retail industry is growing faster than ever. Last year, Australians spent $16.4 billion in this sector alone. As it continues to expand, the traditional retail model is evolving and the lines between online and offline blurring. Consumers now expect a more bespoke experience that meets their needs.

“The new service creates a brand new avenue for our sellers, driving traffic and encouraging a rise in sales that could change the face of business all over the country. Not only that, it’s a service we hope will revolutionise the way Australians shop, enabling a new and convenient way to get things they need and want every day.”

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This process, known as Simply Collect, cuts back the price of delivering and returning products, while also generating additional sales. Studies show between 30 and 40 per cent of online shoppers make additional purchases in the store while they’re there to collect online orders. It now makes up between 20 to 50 per cent of online sales in Woolworths, BIG W stores liquor stores and home improvement stores, where customers spend an average of $40 when picking up online orders.

After initially being launched in 90 stores throughout NSW and Tasmania, Simply Collect has quickly increased its popularity. It now has over 1200 users after having 250 just two months ago. An eBay survey found that although one in five online shoppers made a purchase at least once a week, almost half of them were unable to receive personal deliveries at their place of employment. This creates the inconvenience of being forced to either redirect packages or take time off work to receive their product.

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With this new, convenient option, there is an increase in purchase frequency predicted for over two million eBay customers. As online sales continue to rise in major markets across the world and the expectations of shoppers always increasing, companies are forced to find ways to provide more convenient and innovative ways to attract customers. Collaborations such as Simply Collect are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to do this.

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