Buy-online-pickup-in-store, better known as BOPIS, was already becoming a staple of modern retail when RIS first ran this feature last January. Then the retail world exploded as the health crisis unfolded. Some retailers adapted by rolling out curbside pickup programs so fast it showcased new standards for what’s possible when it comes to technological implementations.
Now in 2021, it looks like curbside is here to stay. Shoppers have quickly adopted the parking lot fulfillment option and new standards have been set for the BOPIS experience. Sixty-five percent of retailers offer either BOPIS or curbside compared to 52% in 2019, the latest Holiday Shipping study from Accenture Strategy found.
“Retailers, like every other industry, are hard at work trying to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Carlos Aragon, VP of U.S. Channel Performance at global research firm Ipsos. “Those that prioritize curbside pickup while making their customers feel safe, will subsequently continue to see more loyalty down the line. They recognize the gravity of this moment and are rising to meet the challenge.”
Yet despite the level of safety order pickup is expected to offer shoppers, many still reported an inability to purchase goods without coming into contact with a store employee, Ipsos found. Only 51% of pickup encounters were contactless.
Nonetheless, BOPIS and curbside tout many shopper benefits, such as convenience, immediate gratification in some cases, and increased safety. Additionally, as the future of the brick-and-mortar store remains in question, retailers are beginning to see the value in doubling stores as fulfillment centers for e-commerce orders. Heading into the holidays, retailers expanded curbside services and added features like curbside customer alert notifications, updated signage, and dedicated parking. On Black Friday, +62% more retailers messaged click-collect-services like BOPIS and curbside in offers YoY, according to RetailMeNot findings.
So which retailers are making the most of this fairly recent retail technology? In our second annual look at order pickup, we examine the retailers ruling curbside and BOPIS fulfillment, and setting the industry standard as we forge ahead.