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Executives with their fingers on the consumer pulse have upped their investment in Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) options over the past year. Though BOPIS was gaining favor even prior to the pandemic, shoppers have habit-defining health concerns that have accelerated their use of BOPIS.

As of August, 75% of the nation's top 50 store-based retailers were offering curbside pickup of online orders. Adoption of BOPIS and curbside pickup may be even more widespread now.

Consumers are responding with their wallets.

Target saw a 700% increase in curbside BOPIS sales (also known as Buy Online, Pickup at Curbside, or BOPAC) during Q2 2020. Best Buy attributed 41% of its $5 billion bump in online revenues to BOPIS and BOPAC orders during the same quarter.

Customers have adapted to the pandemic by flocking to stores that offer BOPIS. Even before the pandemic became a thing, 68% of American consumers had purchased items using BOPIS or BOPAC.

You need a BOPIS strategy in 2021 — the findings from our State of BOPIS - 2021 report leave no room for doubt about that.

In surveying 1,000 American consumers about their attitudes toward BOPIS, we gathered insights to help strengthen the BOPIS strategy in the next year-plus. At least five of our consumer-provided insights reinforce why you need a strong BOPIS strategy in 2021 and beyond.

#1: BOPIS customers end up making additional purchases

Seasoned retailers know the power of impulse to drive revenue. There is good reason why you position products right at the point of sale — when the customer comes in close contact with an item, they may be liable to give into the temptation of an impulse buy.

Retailers are finding that once they get customers into the door with BOPIS, there is a good chance that those customers will leave the store toting more products than they bought through BOPIS.

More than 50% said they've made an additional purchase after entering a store to pick up pre-purchased items. 39% of respondents said that they purchase additional items between a quarter and half of the time that they shop with BOPIS.

Another 16% said they make impulse buys between half and three-quarters of the time when picking up items in-store. Getting customers in your doors is a crucial step in maximizing revenue, and BOPIS is a proven draw for retailers.

#2: Consumers have fond experiences with BOPIS

As brick and mortar retailers in an increasingly challenging marketplace, you've got to play a winning hand again and again. Stick with what works.

Consumers have reported overwhelmingly positive experiences when it comes to buying items online and picking them up in store or at curbside.

More than 42% of consumers said that they rate their BOPIS experiences as "very positive". Another 35% say that their experiences have been "extremely positive". Less than 3% of respondents have reported "not so positive" BOPIS experiences.

Whether they're floored at the immediacy with which store attendees have their order ready, or they're still in disbelief that shopping does not have to mean waiting in line to checkout, consumers are giving BOPIS rave reviews.

Who doesn't want their organization to be associated with terms like convenience, efficiency, and effortless shopping?

#3: COVID-19 concerns aren't going away

Those who hoped that the release of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines would mean a near-immediate return to normalcy were mistaken. In fact, at least 11 states continue to see a tightening of COVID-19 restrictions.

Even when (or if) restrictions ease up in most or all states, the public consciousness will reflect deep scarring. Consumers, and at-risk consumers in particular, will see little reason to risk returning to their shopping habits of yesteryear.

We know that COVID-19 is a primary reason why BOPIS usage has skyrocketed. 35.4% of respondents said it is the leading reason why they use BOPIS or curbside pickup, making COVID-19 the number one driver of BOPIS shopping.

BOPIS-style curbside grocery pickup is a primary factor in Walmart's recent revenue gains, and it is far from the only business seeing an uptick in business thanks to BOPIS offerings. You have to believe that COVID-related health concerns play a significant role in these sorts of tangible returns.

#4: BOPIS is a clear advantage over digital retail

Even if your company offers online, direct-to-consumer shipping, you want to get the most out of your brick-and-mortar locations. BOPIS represents one of the clearest differentiators between brick-and-mortar sales and traditional digital commerce.

Customers who order through BOPIS may:

● Want their items on the same day, and possibly within two hours or less.
● Want to avoid shipping costs.
● Choose a retailer offering BOPIS over one that does not.

Conversely, consumers may be willing to wait for items to ship, and pay the shipping costs, if brick-and-mortar retailers do not offer BOPIS or curbside pickup.

19.7% of respondents said they use BOPIS primarily because it allows them to avoid shipping fees while skipping checkout lines and other drawbacks of traditional in-store shopping. Brick-and-mortar retailers can exploit this advantage.

Customers also value BOPIS for the relative immediacy it provides when compared with waiting for items to be shipped. 20% of customers said they would use BOPIS more if the wait times for their items to be ready were shorter. 25% said items not being ready when they come to pick them up is a reason they may not use a store's BOPIS offerings in the future.

Speed of order fulfillment without compromising convenience or safety is a clear competitive advantage for brick-and-mortar retailers that offer BOPIS and curbside pickup. Consider this when formulating your BOPIS strategy.

#5: Customers aren't turning back the clock on convenience

Convenience is a powerful thing. Whether it's the ease of ordering freshly-cooked pasta through a phone-based app or taking care of your shopping list without having to do the actual shopping, consumers are completely inundated with convenience.

The clock isn't turning back. In fact, consumers will only demand more convenience as time goes on.

34.3% of consumers are more willing to use your BOPIS offerings if you'll bring the items to their vehicle. 10.5% of consumers won't buy through BOPIS if it's "not convenient," while another 11% won't do so if they have to wait in line when picking up their items.

You don't need statistics to know that customers will choose one competitor over another if their chosen retailer offers a more convenient experience. In today's brick-and-mortar marketplace, you can't claim to offer convenience if you don't offer BOPIS and curbside pickup.