Is BOPIS a Cure for Retailers' Woes?

The Web continues to draw users away from the brick-and-mortar stores, but offline retailers aren't giving up just yet.

Findings from the third annual JDA Consumer Survey revealed that nearly 54 percent of consumers prefer to shop in-store over other channels, like online, mobile and social media. 

Almost half (46 percent) prefer to skip the store altogether in favor of digital channels. Survey findings confirm that services promoting convenience will be crucial in maintaining that majority of brick-and-mortar shopping. For instance, a quick and easy shopping experience was favored over a personalized experience by three in four respondents, and year over year data showed a steady 44 percent increase in convenient buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) adoption since 2015.

According to the survey, half of respondents used BOPIS services in the last 12 months, a 44 percent increase since the 2015 JDA Voice of the Consumer survey. By offering incentives, however, that uptick could rise significantly; 80 percent of shoppers would consider using the service if retailers offered price discounts or incentives. This would in turn add value to the consumer shopping experience, while pushing retailers to differentiate themselves among competitors through special offers.

"While some retailers are already testing out ways to incentivize consumers to choose BOPIS services over home delivery, our research found that this could be a successful way to capture shopper attention in today's competitive marketplace and further validate the role that BOPIS will play in the success of retail stores," said Jim Prewitt, vice president of retail industry strategy at JDA.

"By offering incentives to shoppers to use BOPIS, like discounting, retailers are driving more foot traffic into stores, and potentially, buying more than they intended to, once they arrive at the store, boosting store sales."

In addition to leveraging existing store inventory and streamlining shipping logistics, BOPIS provides another sales conversion opportunity for retailers. Of the respondents that use buy online pickup in store services, 40 percent "sometimes" made additional purchases in-store.

Of course, BOPIS adoption remains tied to consumers' desire for convenience. Of the respondents who have used BOPIS services, avoiding home delivery (39.61 percent) and wanting the product sooner (33.14 percent) remain the top reasons for selecting the fulfillment option, similar to findings in 2016 and 2015. And with more retailers successfully implementing the service, 58 percent of respondents did not experience a problem with the service over the last year.