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‘BOPUS’ Might Not Reduce Wait Time

Click-and-collect vs. standard shipping may be a draw

Retailers offer the option to buy online, pick up in-store (BOPUS) to meet omnichannel shoppers’ demand for speed and convenience. These consumers expect their online orders to be ready for in-store pickup within hours. But for many retailers, a quick turnaround is hard to deliver. 

As a service, BOPUS is seen as convenient, and as a way to avoid shipping costs. It’s also optimal for shoppers who don’t want to wait at home for a package that has no set delivery time.

However, a recent OrderDynamics survey of 762 retailers offering BOPUS in select countries found there’s a good chance the wait time to pick up the order in-store might be just as long as using standard shipping.

While consumers may expect retailers to fill their order as soon as it’s placed, it’s more likely the items will be ready for pickup in two or more days (30.3%). Only about 15% said they’re able to fulfill BOPUS orders in one to two days, while even fewer can do so in 24 hours or less.

When the retailer confirms an exact time for pickup, the average delay—the time it takes to process the order, pick the items and package them for pickup—is just shy of two days (46.8 hours). Of the select countries examined, average turnaround was fastest in Germany/Austria (30.8 hours) and Australia (39.1 hours), while consumers in Canada could wait nearly three days (62.9 hours) for their order. Those in the US may wait for more than a day and a half (41.6 hours).

Meanwhile, the European countries polled had the highest penetration of BOPUS availability. Roughly two-thirds of retailers in the UK (64.0%) and half of those in France (50.5%) offer BOPUS, compared to 27.5% of retailers in the US.

Europe has made significant gains in fulfillment recently as more consumers expect their items to be shipped the second they purchase a product.

The US has lagged behind many countries in Western Europe in click-and-collect adoption, which is more mainstream in the UK and France due to its earlier rollout. In the US, retailers are making concerted catch-up efforts with offerings like Home Depot pickup lockers and Walmart using entire stores as fulfillment hubs with curbside pickup.