eBay have extended the number of Argos stores included in their Click & Collect program, so of course the minute my local store was live I couldn’t wait to test the service out and see what the collection process was like.
It also seemed like a great opportunity to document the entire process from a buyer’s point of view, where are the strengths of eBay’s Click & Collect solutions (notifications!) and where are the weaknesses (which surprisingly turned on to be eBay’s mobile app!)
Selecting Click & Collect items
Finding a product to buy was easy, I’m forever buying bits and bobs on eBay so I simply checked the search Click & Collect items only box and eBay only showed items that could be delivered to Argos.
One thing I did find surprising is that whilst it’s easy to select Click & Collect on eBay, it’s surprisingly difficult on eBay’s mobile app. Choosing items only available for in-store pick up is hidden away in the “Nearby” tab instead of as on eBay in the “Postage” section.
However, once you’ve selected in-store pick up items only at checkout I couldn’t find any way to select Click & Collect and choose which Argos store I’d prefer to pick the item up from. Adding the item to my eBay basket and checking on a laptop and I could easily checkout choosing Click & Collect.
However I still haven’t found the postage option to use Click & Collect on mobile. I’m guessing it’s just not there yet and will come in a later mobile app update.
What I did like on the desktop version was the easy with which I could choose a Click & Collect checkout. Right on the View Item page on the Delivery Tab was a list of Argos stores close to me and, unlike for traditional postage options, there’s a Buy It Now button waiting to be clicked as soon as I’ve selected a store.
Another nice touch is the map of the selected store which also displays it’s opening hours so I can make sure in advance that they’re going to be there at the time I want to collect.
There’s an extra step in the buying process for Click & Collect and it’s one I’m betting a ton of sellers wish eBay had simply included for every single sale that takes place on the site.
eBay give the buyer the option to enter a phone number to receive a text message on when the item has been delivered and is ready to collect.
If only this step was fully integrated into all sales it would mean sellers could grab the number and push it out to their courier for automatic delivery updates. I love the text messages from the likes of DPD letting me know when my items on the way and an estimated time of arrival.
Many other couriers can also notify buyers that their item is out for delivery even if they can’t give a specific time slot. Ensuring buyers could update their phone number for every sale would be a great new feature on eBay.
You do of course receive the normal confirmation email from eBay but with one slight difference – Click & Collect orders give you an “Available for collection by” date and advise that once you’ve been notified that your order is ready for collection you need to check back for further instructions.
The notification arrives!
Text, email, eBay app, eBay Messages, View Order page
If you check back on the order details page it’ll display the estimated delivery day in a blue bar. Then when your item has been delivered and booked into your chosen Argos store the bar changes green with your delivery pick up code.
For me the notifications was like all hell breaking loose! At 14.02pm I simultaneously got a text message (so my phone pinged), an email (so I got a different ping from my phone), and a notification in the eBay app (and yet a third type of ping from my phone)!
If there’s one thing for certain I knew something had happened and with my phone lighting up like a Christmas tree I knew my order was ready for collection. I can pretty safely say that it’s very unlikely that your customers won’t know that their item has arrived at their local Argos.
Collection turned out to be surprisingly easy. I simply waltzed into the local Newbury Store, went straight to the collection counter and said “I’ve got an item to collect” to the first guy available holding out my mobile phone with the eBay app open on the confirmation page.
There really was no fuss, no drama, no waiting. Argos staff are all using hand helds these days and they simply tapped my reference number in and found my package which was waiting on a shelf, downstairs in the Argos warehouse, just behind the counter. I was in and out in minutes.
I did stay to have a chat with the staff and they dashed my hopes of being the first in Newbury to use eBay’s new Click & Collect service. It was the second day of operations and they’d had a couple of collections the day before and one earlier that day.
The staff seemed genuinely excited about the new service though. Explaining it was only their second day they told me they thought it was a great offering and judging by the fact customers had started using it on day one, that by Christmas they expected to be pretty busy with eBay collections.
I haven’t a clue what deal eBay and Argos have agreed upon, but the team in the store already know how many shoppers will come through their doors buying Christmas presents and thought it fantastic that customers could collect their eBay purchases at the same time.
It’s worth remembering that Argos get more customers to their website than Tesco and a vast number of those customers will reserve and pick up in store. Argos is one of the busiest destinations on the high street and that’s what makes it such a great location to pick up eBay parcels… many of your customers are going to Argos anyway.
The one thing that did surprise me was that there was no eBay Signage in the Newbury Argos. I was expecting to find a prominent eBay collection point or at least some indication of where I should go to collect my package. In fairness they’ve only been running the service for two days and signs may be on the way, but the staff were all so helpful and up to speed – they all seemed to know everything there was to know about their eBay Click & Collect service.
Overall scores for eBay Click & Collect at Argos
eBay Site 10/10
Couldn’t be easier.
eBay Mobile App 5/10
Great for notifications, but I still haven’t figured out how to buy with Click & Collect.
I’m sure someone could figure out just one more method of notifying me my parcel is at Argos, but honestly I don’t think I could cope with any more mobile pings!
Argos instore experience 10/10
Staff all clued up and knew exactly what to do. All the tech is in place and barring signage they’re ready for action.