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CORDER’S COLUMN: You can’t buy a MoonSwatch online but Swatch should offer click and collect service

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WATCHPRO co-founder Rob Corder.

Click and collect may be a term most associated with supermarket shopping during the pandemic, but it is a service jewelers have been offering for years.

Even Rolex and its authorixed dealers, which do not sell online, offer a version of click and collect because they take details from customers who are making an inquiry about a potential purchase.

The fact that these inquiries can take years to turn into a sale does not diminish the value of the service because retailers can communicate with customers and learn as much as possible about their wishes.

If their name comes to the top of a waiting list, customers get the call to come into store and collect their Rolex.

Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek has said he wants the popularity of MoonSwatch to revive shopping in physical stores. No problem. Having paid online, customers would be more than willing to travel in the certain knowledge they would be collecting their watch.

A comment on a previous WATCHPRO story about MoonSwatches pleaded with Swatch to offer a click and collect service, which makes such perfect sense to me. I am struggling to see any downside.

The two greatest criticisms around the way MoonSwatches are sold is that ordinary customers cannot buy the watches because professional flippers are first in line when any new stock appears.

This is related to the second comment criticism, which is that people do not want to travel across the country to one of just 14 Swatch showrooms across the United States that sell MoonSwatches, only to find out there are none in stock.

Click and collect would solve this, which would be great for customers and even better for Swatch.

Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek has said he wants the popularity of MoonSwatch to revive shopping in physical stores.

No problem. Having paid online, customers would be more than willing to travel in the certain knowledge they would be collecting their watch.

If Swatch wants to limit the number of MoonSwatches per customer? Taking details online would help here too, particularly once a credit card transaction has been made.

It would not be foolproof, but better than the scrum outside Swatch stores we have seen in the past 10 months.

Swatch would need accurate oversight over its stock levels, but watches being delivered in the future could be pre-allocated to customers who had bought online.

Swatch stores could even offer click and collect in store so that, if a walk-in customer cannot buy a watch that day, they can pay for a piece that they can pick up in the future.

I cannot help feeling that if MoonSwatches were sold through authorized dealers, click and collect would already be happening. It is hard to imagine the likes of Reeds, Mayors or Ben Bridge not developing it as a service.

But Swatch Group is, at heart, a manufacturer not a retailer, so perhaps this is why they have missed this particular trick.

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