About 58% of consumers say they’ll rely on the buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) fulfillment option this holiday shopping season, an increase of 25% over last year, according to Kibo’s Holiday Consumer Trends Report: 2017 Edition.
Consumers’ reasons for using BOPIS during the holidays include the ability to save on shipping costs (66%), to save time while in-store (53%) and getting the product when it’s convenient (39%), according to the report.
Shoppers are availing themselves of the online tools driving this trend, and getting shoppers to drive to a store. Roughly 54% of shoppers surveyed are accessing online inventory, and using this information to justify a store visit.
This increased interest in BOPIS is a pretty massive jump over last year at this time, although based on a message from the National Retail Federation's Consumer View last month at least 65% of shoppers are aware of BOPIS offerings, and a large percentage of those who have heard of these offerings already have tried them.
Of course, the whole reason that shoppers are more aware of these services is because retailers are more confident of the potential benefits of BOPIS — that it can generate foot traffic, lead shoppers toward other unplanned purchases once they have entered stores and generally lead to more positive customer experiences. That means retailers are promoting these services more too, and have gotten better at executing them efficiently.
The shift hasn't happened overnight. Even way back in early 2016, store operators like Sam's Club and Kmart were reporting growing percentages of their orders being of the BOPIS variety. What also has played into their growing popularity is the inclination of shoppers to sometimes start shopping searches online or on mobile before they visit a brick-and-mortar store. That may be especially evident during the holiday season as consumers look to be more efficient about getting in and out of stores with they gifts they need.
For example, 54% of shoppers surveyed for the Kibo report said they use online inventory information to justify a trip to a store during the holidays. But BOPIS potentially could be an even bigger deal if more retailers offered tie-ins to special deals and discounts. Case in point: About 46% of those surveyed indicated the top way to improve their experience is for retailers to provide offers and promotions that are relevant to their current gift search. Also, 70% of shoppers indicated a relevant discount will make them more likely to visit or shop on a website during the holidays.
And the next big thing after BOPIS could be BORIS — buy online, return in-store. About 65% of those surveyed said they expect to be able to return an online purchase to a store. Between BOPIS and BORIS, retailers could see some big changes in shopper behavior during the holiday rush.
The report from the provider of unified commerce platforms is based on responses from a survey of 3,000 U.S. consumers, and highlights a number of key findings and trends in fulfillment, inventory visibility, promotions, cart abandonment, gift returns, and more.