Big Lots has launched a buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) pilot and expects to do a full rollout to its stores by the end of summer.
The pilot comes on the heels of the retailer making important updates to its e-commerce platform, including improving the overall shopping with intuitive navigation, additional functionality, and faster checkout.
“The BOPIS is another key element to increase convenience and accessibility,” CEO & president Bruce Thorn said on the company’s recent earnings call.
Thorn noted around 12,000 skews will be available for BOPIS, as well as furniture with vendor direct shipping, and that the retailer is “ahead of schedule” from what it was planning internally.
“What we've done here is exciting because it really offers our customers online access to double the skews they have today, that they could buy online and pickup in store,” he said. “It does not mean a skew increase in stores, it just means that we are able to offer more.”
Big Lots did research earlier in the year and found about 20% of the time its customers start their journey online to make a purchase in-store and over 50% have an Amazon Prime card.
“So it's important from an e-influence standpoint for us to be very competitive,” he followed. “Our e-commerce influence has resulted in the best quarter ever for e-commerce. So we're excited about what this is for us and the start of it.”
Big Lots' e-commerce has been less than 1% of its sales, but Thorn noted having record sales in the quarter is “optimistic” for the retailer and it believes e-commerce is going to get augmented by the BOPIS add.
“It's important for us to be an omnichannel retailer, predominantly obviously brick and mortar, that's where she finds the value,” said Thorn. “That's how we grow profitably. BOPIS is going to add to that, but e-commerce is an important part and we're starting to see nice growth in a more profitable manner.”