Ebay has announced plans to expand its click & collect service with Argos to more than 65,000 sellers by the end of this year.

Following an “incredibly popular” trial period involving 50 eBay sellers and 150 Argos stores, click & collect will now be a delivery option from ‘eligible sellers’ at around 650 Argos stores.

By the end of 2015 eBay plans to extend the scheme to include 80,000 sellers.

The deal has a number of benefits for eBay, not least that it extends the brand’s presence on the high street following its experiments with Christmas pop-up shops in the centre of London.

Furthermore, Argos’ own click & collect service has already proven to be hugely popular among shoppers. The company’s 2014 Operational Review reported that ‘Check & Reserve’ now accounts for 31% of total sales.

And a survey run by Econsultancy in August found that almost two-thirds of consumers (63%) have bought products online before collecting them in-store at least once in the past 12 months, while 16% use reserve-and-collect at least once a month.

It’s not immediately clear what Argos stands to gain from the deal, though presumably there will be some fees involved plus the bonus of additional footfall.

New delivery options

The announcement is part of a growing trend for ecommerce retailers to use new delivery options that offer greater convenience for customers.

In June Amazon announced that it would be installing collection lockers at UK railway stations and in two London tube stations.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda also offer van deliveries to tube station car parks, while Waitrose is working with TfL to install click & collect lockers at stations.

Waitrose’s click & collect service

There are some doubting voices however, as a survey of 2,300 adults in May this year found that almost three quarters (73%) of people in the UK have yet to use an alternative delivery method such as Amazon Locker and Collect+.

However, 62% of those who have used alternative delivery methods said they would use it again, with almost half (48%) adding that they found the services to be fast and convenient. 

In fact, only 6% of consumers that have tried one of these new methods said they would never want to use it again.

Collect+ will also be unconcerned, as it delivered 13.6m packages in the last financial year, resulting in a 92% increase in revenue.