A new study from Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, found that 31 percent of online buyers have used in-store pickup in the past year, while 13 percent said they considered abandoning a purchase because in-store pickup wasn’t offered.
Whether it’s on a Wall Street conference call, in a press release or in a meeting with investors, boosting omnichannel remains a recurring theme among brands and retailers seeking to grow their customer base.
In order to ensure seamless alignment across all distribution channels — which include the internet (desktop/mobile) and brick-and-mortar stores — companies are increasingly seeking out new and effective strategies.
Offering “Buy Online Pick-up in Store” or “Buy Online Ship to Store” has become one of the more popular and most rewarding tactics.
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Case in point: DSW Inc. credited the implementation of its “Buy Online Pick-up in Store” and “Buy Online Ship to Store” programs with helping to buffer slipping sales and profits in Q3.
There is certainly a compelling case to be made for adding the feature to a business, but how does a company ensure that the strategy reaps as many benefits as possible?
Determining why and how customers actually use the feature is a good starting place.
“Online buyers use in-store pickup for several expected reasons: to avoid shipping costs, to increase convenience and to get items quickly,” said Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights.
Specifically, 55 percent of shoppers use in-store pickup to avoid shipping charges; 43 percent use it for convenience; and 36 percent use the feature because they “need the order quickly.”
Meanwhile, more than a quarter (29 percent) of online buyers use in-store pickup so that they can ensure the items they want are available when they arrive.
“Retailers can support this desire to confirm item availability by enabling shoppers to check online if products are in stock, or reserve them in advance, ” Silver explained. “At a time when free shipping is highly desirable, retailers can offer free in-store pick-up to meet consumer needs at a lower cost.”