Is In-Store the Future of Online Shopping?

Most of us have probably heard at one time or another that ecommerce is going to be the death of traditional brick-and-mortar retail, putting small businesses out of commission and leaving us with nothing more than the occasional convenience store here and there.

Surprisingly, like most extreme predictions made in the heat of a rapidly growing trend, it proved to be mostly inaccurate. And while ecommerce has undeniably had an impact on the retail industry, much of it has been in accord with brick-and-mortar shopping, not opposed to it.

A recently released infographic from ecommerce solution provider Shopatron shows that the majority of customers actually love in-store pickup tied to their ecommerce experience, calling it "the new retail requirement" and touting the benefits for retailers.

According to Shopatron, 80 percent of customers use the Internet to research their purchases, while 75 percent still prefer to buy their products at a store. And, in terms of measurable add-on sales justifications for the implementation of an in-store pickup option, the infographic shows that over 30 percent of Shopatron merchants that offer it saw additional in-store sales during the pickup, Ace Hardware had a 33 percent lift, and REI noted a 35 percent of in-store pickup orders result in additional in-store sales.

By offering this option, businesses are able to drastically broaden the range of products that they are able to sell online, as logistically some items were nearly impossible to offer with delivery. In-store pickup allows customers to receive their items while being assisted by experts that "can handle complicated licensing requirements, assemble, install, train and answer questions about the purchase."

Of course, it doesn't hurt that a pickup option also increases online conversions, in addition to improving add-on sales figures and allowing businesses to sell more on their websites. It's also useful for consumers, as it does away with shipping fees, makes in-store returns easier and fulfills their orders faster.

Businesses have two ways that they can provide in-store pickups. One is to fulfill an order from store inventory, which greatly expedites the pickup process, but limits what can be sold to only those items available in the store. The other is a ship-to-store method, in which items are shipped from a vendor or distribution center directly to a merchant's brick-and-mortar location.

So the question is, are you offering an in-store pickup on your ecommerce site yet?

To view the full infographic, click here.