New retail trend alert: buy online, pick up in-store


With summer wrapped up and school back in session, consumers balancing the business of fall are looking for a fast, convenient way to shop while avoiding shipping costs and wait time. Luckily, retailers have thought of a solution that combines the ease of online shopping with the instant gratification of shopping in-store. Often called BOPIS— buy online, pick up in-store— this new style of shopping is opening up new opportunities for a time-saving shopping experience tailored to consumers on the go.

Many stores have begun offering BIOPS options in recent years. Some studies say more than 85% of all retailers will be implementing this service by the end of 2018. We’ll explain why the new trend works and if you should consider implementing it in your own store.

Why it works

Though a major draw of BOPIS is the faster shopping experience, it’s only one of many reasons why consumers enjoy this method. Internet Retailer found that of shoppers surveyed…

  • 73% wanted to avoid shipping fees
  • 32% participated because the store was nearby (ease of pickup)
  • 30% explain they didn’t want to wait for delivery
  • 22 % were already on their way to shop at the store
  • 9% were afraid of their delivery being stolen
  • 7 % wanted to use a coupon that allowed them pick up in-store

The same way customers have differing reasons for shopping online for groceries versus picking them out in-store, so will they have differing reasons why BIOP might be the option they choose. Your job is to consider not only how it might draw new customers into your shop, but also how it could make the life of your dedicated shoppers easier.

A win-win

The good news for retailers is that BIOPS makes store owners’ jobs easier as well. By implementing BIOPS, you draw customers into the store to pick up their items rather than shipping it straight to their doorstep. Picking up items in-store could influence other purchase decisions and gives your staff face-to-face time to let customers know about any upcoming sales. Retailers such as Sam’s Club, Kmart, Best Buy and The Home Depot have seen an increase in sales since adding BIOPS to their stores.

Being able to see the items in-store also could help raise customer trust and confidence in their purchases. They can test the items right in-store and either take them home satisfied or easily return them.

The target market

It’s an easy mistake to make: thinking that Gen Z and younger millennials would be the consumer base making BOPIS the next big thing, since they are the most digitally connected. Think again. A survey by JDA said that more than 80% of shoppers who have used BOPIS were ages 30 and up. This could be because that demographic is more likely to have a busy career and social life or maybe because they have families to manage and a budget to keep.

As with any new trend, you’ll want to carefully evaluate if BIOPIS is right for your company before implementing. Do your research and make sure it is a viable option.

How do you think this trend will change the retail market? Comment below!

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