Globally, browsing the web via a smartphone overtook browsing on more traditional devices (like a desktop PC) around start of November 2016.

Though the same cannot be said of the UK (Mobile 38.65% vs Desktop 48.77%*) , the countdown has definitely begun and, being brave, I'll say it will happen in November this year.

Either way, the switch to mobile as the dominant web browsing experience really highlighted a sea change in how people are choosing to interact with media, consume content, utilise services and, perhaps most importantly for you as a retailer, purchase goods.

Years before the shift in November 2016 (and before Omnichannel was even a thing), Citrus-Lime began discussing the introduction of integrated Click & Collect to Citrus-Lime's Cloud POS and Ecommerce products because we were confident that it would become an essential part of the shopping experience.

Watching the major retailers invest heavily in the ability to expose their available stock online (and placing customer convenience at the top of the list of their To Do List) was going to shape the future of all retail because it would set a precedent with the consumer that, let's face it, would ultimately become an expectation.

There are many examples of fad technologies and processes that cause confidence to dip but Click & Collect is now fully established in your customer's mind. A recent study by leading delivery management company, Metapack, revealed that "Click & Collect again topped the list of alternatives to home delivery, and proved most popular with UK Consumers (68%)".

"The customer demands this service from you".

James Steel - Operations Director, coining an over-used expression ...

I've said it before but it certainly bears repeating :

Everyday, "Who Cares Where?" purchases to one side, I cannot remember the last time I was actively considering a purchase and the research did not start with the web and, more tellingly, I can only think of using my iPhone to start the process.

That's not to say that I don't use my desktop to browse the web. I definitely do that. A lot. But it tends to be more for work-related or utilitarian purposes. I definitely do not shop the web during work hours. Ever. And I only use Social Media because work requires me to.

I think that's me covered.

What I'm saying (labouring, even) is that, if I'm in your shop and browsing your wares, it's almost guaranteed that I know why I'm there, I know that you have what I'm looking for and I know that you have it in stock today. Which means you must be exposing your local stock position online.

Offering Click & Collect can have a transformative effect on the volume of visits to your shop. Citrus-Lime offers one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-integrate features available.

The UK will join the world and become a "mobile first" market in a very short period of time.

We want to make sure you are not left behind.

* — Mobile vs Desktop vs Tablet Browse Statistics (Last 365).