E-commerce continues to stake its claim in the retail market, as evidenced by Amazon growing its Prime membership base to 100 million U.S. users. But, the brick and mortar space continues to keep its head above water as consumers shop through multiple channels, making omnichannel shopping is the key to accommodating today’s shoppers.
While buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) is one of the most talked about forms of omnichannel fulfillment, the number of stores implementing this offering is relatively low. In fact, only 27.5% of U.S. retailers with a minimum of 10 physical stores actually offer the service.
The BOPIS gap is magnified on a global scale
The number of retail chains offering BOPIS in the U.S. isn’t necessarily indicative of how it’s fairing globally. Canada and Australia are in a similar position with just over 31% of retailers actively implementing BOPIS (also known as click and collect). However, in leading markets such as the UK, 64% of retailers currently offer the service. If you speak to any consumer in the UK, click and collect is a natural part of retail shopping. This being said, some markets are more advanced than others; but when looked at globally, only 37.6% of retailers provide customers with the in-store pickup capability. The same study showed that 60-70% of consumers like and consistently use the service when it’s presented to them. Clearly, there is a gap between consumer interest and the number of retailers offering BOPIS. The industry is falling short when it comes to meeting the desires of today’s shoppers. On the other hand, to the savvy retailer – this also signals a market opportunity.
Omnichannel options motivate consumers
Digital is infiltrating retail, and consumers are thrilled. Shoppers’ high-tech lifestyles also give them more options, and easier ways to shop. They want the convenience of clicking a single button to order a new pair of jeans. But sizing concerns and the fear of buyer’s remorse may hold them back. E-commerce is great, but you can’t replace actually feeling how a certain pair of jeans feel when you bend your knees. On the other hand, shopping in stores can take time that many consumers simply don’t have. This is exactly where BOPIS comes in.
When an omnichannel option is offered, consumers are motivated to purchase because they get the best of both worlds. They can browse and decide what they want from their phone or laptop. Then they can retrieve purchases in a store to make sure the product meets their expectations. It also gives them a chance to ask questions, see alternatives, and get a sense of the size, feel, weight, and even smell.
Without BOPIS, retailers are missing out on additional sales
Consumers aren’t the only ones benefitting from BOPIS. A recent ICSC survey found 67% of BOPIS users buy more goods when they pick up online orders. Stepping into a store to pick up an order, other products often catch a consumer’s eye. Naturally, that leads to more sales for the retailer, and a more satisfied customer. This is the key value proposition for retailers – regarding BOPIS orders and omnichannel overall. Satisfying customers’ immediate needs and, in turn, selling more items. What’s not to love?
As demonstrated, BOPIS gives retailers an ideal shopping experience for the consumer and retailer alike. Yet, given that less than a third of U.S. retailers currently offer the service, this should be a wake-up call. Outside a handful of European countries, retailers are still largely missing the opportunity. While there is still low uptake on click and collect, there is opportunity to differentiate your offering. Invest in the right technologies to make BOPIS a reality, and the 70% of consumers looking for the offering will come knocking.
-Charles Dimov, VP Marketing, OrderDynamics