About two-thirds of shoppers buy online and pick up in store multiple times per year
The consumer benefits from greater flexibility and control as online purchases can be picked up in store at the shoppers’ convenience. The time-consuming search for goods in store is eliminated while hands-on ‘inspection’ is still ensured, combined with the option of instant in-store returns. On top, potential shipping costs can be avoided. The pandemic has further boosted the relevance of BOPIS as customers are either banned from in-person shopping or focus on avoiding contacts. According to a Shopify study, 64 % of pre-pandemic BOPIS shoppers use the service more often than before the ‘new normal’.
Almost half of the TOP 500 merchants already offer BOPIS
At first glance, there are a lot of benefits also to the merchant as delivery and packing costs are reduced while generating the opportunity of staying in touch with the customer face-to-face. However, some of the consumer benefits come at the expense of the retailer. BOPIS requires additional in-store storage capacity – leaving some retailers to re-invent their entire in-store set-up.
According to RetailWire quoting Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy, the company is ‘shrinking its sales floor in four locations in Minneapolis from 27,000-square-feet to 15,000-square-feet in order to make more space for the staging and fulfilment of the newly popular services’. That’s almost half the floor plan! While Best Buy is experiencing tremendous success, the ‘new normal’ is certainly leaving some merchants struggling for answers to adapt to the ultra-boosted omnichannel environment they are facing.
Some merchants are especially overwhelmed in handling ‘instant’ BOPIS orders as customers tend to show up in the store before the order has actually been processed by brick-and-mortar operations.
While these operational issues should not be underestimated, the potentially biggest merchant headache associated with BOPIS is fraud. Fraudsters are increasingly recognizing the weakness of some retailers’ BOPIS processes and are taking advantage of the short timeframe between order creation and in-store pick up.