Holiday Analysis Shows Retailers Have Improved BOPIS and Shipping Performance

As the holiday shopping period nears its end, a new study has analyzed shipping performance for Black Friday and Cyber Monday — and its findings show that retailers have improved from 2018.

Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, tested e-commerce orders across 137 retailers — measuring shipping speed, order accuracy and delivery costs.

The average length of time to fulfill an order, across the top 10 retailers, was 1.7 days. This was an improvement of 18% from 2018’s performance. Progress was also seen more widely, with 64% of all retailers surveyed delivering an entire order within one week; rates were at 63% in 2018 and 50% in 2017.

This faster shipping speed comes at an important time; in a corresponding survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers, Kurt Salmon found that consumers now expect an average shipping time of 3.1 days. They also expect free shipping, and expect it to be 20% faster than during non-holiday times. Just last year, consumers were willing to wait nearly an additional day, 3.9 days for their packages.

One way that many retailers responded to this demand was to roll out buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) measures. The study found that Nordstrom and Dick’s Sporting Goods were among the top four performers in this area.

Across the board, retailers improved on 2018 when it came to BOPIS fulfillment. The average processing time was reduced by 30% to 2.5 hours. In addition, 88% of orders were processed on time, compared with 72% in 2018.

Issues with orders were only reported at 27% of retailers, versus 60% in 2018. This suggests that the shopping channel has had time to mature in the market and become a more popular and efficient alternative to shipping.

“Historically BOPIS was a difficult transaction for the customer, whereas now retailers have built ease and convenience into the experience by placing kiosks at the front of the store and allocating parking spaces,” said Steve Osburn, managing director at Kurt Salmon. “We are seeing many retailers honing their competitive agility and excelling in terms of speed, visibility into inventory and the ability to fulfil last minute orders.”

Osburn also noted that retailers with an established BOPIS strategy could stand to gain additional sales in the coming weeks, as shoppers buy more last-minute items. The average wait time in-store to collect a BOPIS package was 4 minutes.

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