The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on the retail sector. In this difficult last year, e-commerce has proven to be crucial for the continuation of economic activities in Europe. Consumers have turned to e-commerce to continue safely accessing products while their countries implemented very strict, vital lockdown measures.

The crisis has accelerated the digital transformation of many businesses. During the lockdown measures across Europe, many retailers had to close their physical stores and developed an online presence to stay afloat, often making use of seamless commerce solutions such as click & collect to accommodate consumer needs. Ecommerce Europe expects this trend to continue to accelerate and sees the lines between online and offline commerce becoming increasingly blurred, moving towards an omnichannel, seamless commerce sector.

In this context, click & collect provides businesses with an opportunity to continue their operations while keeping staff and customers safe and respecting local social distancing requirements. Unfortunately, businesses across Europe have experienced difficulties in developing and offering consumers click & collect services due to a fragmented approach to click & collect by authorities. With this guide, Ecommerce Europe aims to identify the key challenges businesses have experienced due to fragmentation, offer national and local authorities a clear understanding of the various forms of safe click & collect and recommend European governments to align their approaches to click & collect as much as possible. Finally, several best practices examples are included in this guide to demonstrate the variety of click & collect solutions available to businesses.

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