10 Retailers That Get Buy Online, Pickup In-Store Right

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
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To meet consumers’ insatiable need-it-now demands and compete with the speed and efficiencies of online shopping many retailers have turned to buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) to level the playing field.

The service gives shoppers the instant gratification they desire, while simultaneously driving much-needed foot traffic to retailers’ physical locations. The service is a win-win for retailers and consumers, but only if it is done right. Do it wrong, and you run the risk of alienating shoppers and losing them forever.

To uncover which retailers are winning the increasingly important BOPIS game, Bell and Howell and OrderDynamics partnered with IHL Group to examine and rank the industry’s top performers.

The “BOPIS State of the Industry” report, is a collaborative research effort between the three companies and provides an in-depth look at the full BOPIS experience from the consumer’s perspective. 

The findings in the report are based on the feedback provided by 300 secret shoppers that explored the BOPIS shopping journey at 10 top retailers across the U.S. The secret shoppers rated their experience in the three phases of the BOPIS experience: online purchase, notification, and in-store pickup. 

“With this research, we found that almost all of these retailers have done a terrific job improving the online purchase experience,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. “However, there is great work to be done in the store level execution once the order is placed. This includes the time to pick the order, the time to notify the customer, and then the execution of the pickup at the physical store.”

The Results

More than 300 secret shoppers rated top retailers on three key aspects of the BOPIS experience: purchase, notification and pickup. Retailers were scored on a scale of 1-5, where 5 is extremely satisfied and 1 is extremely dissatisfied.


“Customers want a quick and convenient online shopping journey,” explained Larry Blue, president and CEO of Bell and Howell. “This report highlights the characteristics of the BOPIS process that customers want and how the leading retailers are doing towards creating a frictionless BOPIS experience.” 

Key report findings include:

  • Platforms. Consumers use a variety of technologies to make their online purchases. 61% of shoppers used a PC and 39% used a mobile device to make online purchases. Of the shoppers using mobile devices, only 29% used a retailer’s app. Desktop shoppers rated the Lowe’s experience a 4.79, while mobile customers gave Nordstrom a perfect 5.0, on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • Timeliness. Shoppers who were notified within 4 hours were 19% more likely to use the service again, and 15% more likely to recommend the service to others. Overall, the average pickup notification time was 5.9 hours.
  • Failing to Deliver. 24% of the time orders were not ready for pickup after the shopper received notification that they were.
  • Automation. Retailers using automated pickup saw a 28% improvement in pickup time speed. In Walmart’s case, there was a 60% improvement in speed.
  • Location, Location, Location. Shoppers in the western U.S. rated their BOPIS experience a full half a point higher (4.67) than their Northeast counterparts (4.1).
  • Store Design. According to study data customers over the age of 55 will generally not use BOPIS if the store pickup is in the back of the store. Retailers have listened, the pickup location was front and center in 80% of the stores examined.

“This research shows that store level execution can make or break a retailer who offers BOPIS,” said Nick McLean, president, OrderDynamics. “Effort, organization, staffing and automation can go a long way to not only help retailers take advantage of BOPIS growth, but to also improve customer experience while building greater loyalty.”

To access the full report and uncover the difference between BOPIS success and failure click here.