Category: UX advice / Ecommerce guides

Delivery or collection? Should your ecommerce store handle both in one basket?

Illustration by Eastwood

Ecommerce sites increasingly offer pick up in-person methods such as ‘click and collect’ for orders. However I’ve come across several sites that are not thinking through how they implement the option causing a messy experience. Here I flag the good and bad approach to this feature.

Click and collect is particularly appealing for bricks and mortar stores who have a network of locations (often in prime city centre locations) and would rather users choose this than have to deal with the additional partners and complexity that delivery brings. It can also apply to ecommerce-only sites who have delivery partners that offer collection, often at convenience stores or newsagents.

The wrong delivery

In their eagerness to offer this, some websites will supply the option of collection alongside delivery on the product details page, or even earlier on the product listings page, such as Screwfix shown below.

Collection and delivery buttons on Screwfix

This is a clunky approach for a few reasons:

Some sites muddle this further by using the term ‘click and collect’ to mean in-store and then when users come to the checkout, under the delivery options they also offer an option of collecting at a third party location. This is truly confusing as most users don’t care whether it’s in a branded store or the newsagent, they just want the one that is easiest for them.

A smarter package

The above method fails to put the user first and just gives the options in a blanket way. Users will certainly want to know what delivery options a product is available for (and which it isn’t) but that doesn’t mean they want to keep selecting it.

A much cleaner approach is to simply allow users to shop as they normally would, adding items to their basket and checking out. Only once the user reaches the delivery step of checkout do they need to select whether they want their order to be delivered or available for pick up. If you have stores you should merge the in-store and pick up locations to give a single point of choice.

Delivery selection John Lewis checkout

John Lewis do a brilliant job of this on their checkout (shown above), offering a single list of third party locations and store branches. They then incentivise users to pick a store by making this option free, showing that you can give users choices and still influence the process.

A single point of selection does mean that you lose the ability for users to specify a mixture of collection and delivery in their order but just how common is that? Find out if your users really need this before implementing. Extra customisation is advanced behaviour and rarely what most people want, as much as a tech team might like the idea.

Last updated on 6 November 2019
Designing Ecommerce Websites 2nd edition book cover

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