Online shopping has grown steadily over the past few years. One study found that “online sales grew by 15.1 percent in 2019 and accounted for 51.1 percent of all retail growth last year.” This year, more consumers than ever have shifted to online shopping as part of their regular routine. According to a recent report, “42 percent of consumers are using digital channels to engage in activities more often than they did before.” The U.S. Census Bureau also reported first quarter eCommerce sales to be up 2.4 percent ($160.3 billion) from the fourth quarter of 2019.
Doesn’t it feel like the rules of how to ‘win at retailretail’ are constantly changing and shifting their focus? First the key was to bring in people to the physical store and shape their customer experience- making it memorable in some way. Then retail seemed to shift its focus to rely heavily on online shopping, leading to several brick and mortar retailers struggling to stay afloat. Today, BOPIS, the latest in retail trends, is throwing a life preserver to the brick and mortar store.
Consumers love buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS). Retailers love the way BOPIS allows them to drive traffic to stores and leverage their physical footprint as a competitive advantage against online pure-plays. But consumers bring higher expectations to BOPIS than they do to simply shopping in a store: The retailer has explicitly told them the item is available, so the bar is set high.
Unfortunately, for many retailers, BOPIS failures are alienating the very customers they most want to please, hurting them in both the short- and long-term.