What Do Shoppers Want from BOPUS?

Globally, “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPUS) is considered the most valuable aspect of the retail shopping experience for more than four in 10 consumers, according to a February 2019 report from iVend Retail.

Last year, 81.4% of internet users worldwide reported ordering items online for in-store pickup (up nearly 30 percentage points from the year prior) as more consumers are drawn to the service’s convenience and speed. Nearly half said they used click-and-collect services (the phrase more commonly used in Europe) to avoid shipping fees, followed by roughly 45% who used it to save time by not having to shop in-store.

But the service doesn’t just benefit consumers. “BOPUS provides tangible benefits to both consumers and retailers," eMarketer's vice president of forecasting Martín Utreras said. "Consumers get convenience, instant gratification and avoid shipping costs. Retailers reduce operational costs, and it gives them the opportunity to bring customers back to physical stores for additional purchase opportunities.”

And customers are open to an omnichannel retail experience. Half of shoppers recently surveyed by Doddle said that they decide where to make online purchases based on BOPUS availability. Once in-store, 85% make additional purchases when picking up an online order.

But timing matters, too. iVend Retail found that same-day item retrieval was the third-most important feature of BOPUS. But only about one-third of retailers worldwide said they were able to fulfill BOPUS in 24 hours or less, according to an October 2018 survey from OrderDynamics.

Europe has recently made significant strides in fulfillment, as more consumers expect their items to be shipped immediately following a purchase and want to be able to check product quality at pickup.

“Click-and-collect tends to become a self-fulfilling project if retailers get the essentials right," eMarketer principal analyst Karin von Abrams said. "That helps to explain its success in urban areas like London and Paris, and in many cities across Germany where the population density ensures high ROI and processes can be fine-tuned based on real-time experiences.”

Diversified pickup options also attract consumers who might worry about product quality. “In France, for example, retailers have had more success with the 'drive' concept," von Abrams said. "With this approach, shoppers order and pay online but collect from a store or other distribution point in person. That means products can arrive when it suits the customer, and they can also check their purchases and rectify errors before driving away.”

And as pickup options grow, so does their appeal. According to a January 2019 study from the NRF, 63% of US consumers said they would like to use curbside pickup; 56% want merchandise delivered to the trunk of their cars, and half want to retrieve purchases from a pickup locker.

Interested in learning more about click-and-collect services and other ecommerce trends in Western Europe? eMarketer PRO subscribers can read our recent report now: "Western Europe Ecommerce Trends in 2019: Holiday Shopping Patterns, Digital Grocery and the Rise of Amazon and Alibaba."

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