On the 24th of September, Argos and eBay started a partnership called “click & collect”. The plan is to make it possible for eBay consumers to collect their purchases thorough any of the 150 Argos stores in the UK. According to The Guardian, they were hoping to start the experiment with 6-months trial, to see whether this collaboration will work for both of the retailers.
What we discovered
Given the buzz around this collaboration, it was interesting to see the consequences for the UK retailer of joining the Auction giant. That is why I decided to dig deeper and find out if this partnership is benefiting Argos from a site traffic standpoint.
According to SimilarWeb PRO, there was a 28% increase in referral traffic coming from eBay to Argos in November 2013.
This is significant because 25% of Argos traffic comes from referrals. The most of it coming from price comparison websites. I found that eBay contributed to over 11% of this in November 2013. So in terms of traffic, the auction website sent around 600K people to Argos website. Given the extent, to which Argos relies on referral traffic, it is vital to see the importance of eBay in driving a part of it. It is interesting, to what degree “click & collect” contributed to this success.
Clash of Titans?
As an online auction seller, eBay was planning to win the competitive position over Amazon. In a recent interview the president of eBay, stated that the idea behind it was to “offer a seamless shopping experience”. According to Econsultancy Online Shopping Survey, in August over 60% of consumer preferred to collect the online purchased products at stores. They offered consumers the convenience of collecting their parcels when they prefer to do it, instead of waiting a whole day for the postman. Timing was also crucial, due to the shopping craze around Christmas time.
Is it the right move for Argos?
Before the launch of “click & collect”, the Daily Mail raised the concern whether Argos is putting itself under risk of becoming a “warehouse for its rivals”. Another risk mentioned in this BBC article, is that eBay may “cannibalize” certain Argos sales.
We cannot make statements about the effect of this collaboration on sales and revenue. What we can do is to look at this situation from the perspective of web traffic. With the help of SimilarWeb PRO, I found that “click & collect” collaboration is successful in bringing an increase in referral traffic to Argos.
It would be interesting to monitor the results of “click & collect after Christmas. This industry is constantly changing. As the president of eBay himself puts it the difference between online and offline shopping experiences “continues to blur”.