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Survey: Retailers see BOPIS as gaining importance

Buying and returning online purchases in physical stores is becoming a routine retail offering.

According to a recent survey of global retailers from RSR Research, close to half (45%) of respondents say buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) orders drive 11 to 40% of their revenue. Another 22% say BOPIS is responsible for 40 to 65% of revenue, while 18% say it drives 10% or less and 15% credit BOPIS orders for 65% of their revenue.

Respondents generally see a positive future for BOPIS, as 42% think it will drive 11 to 40% of their revenue in three years. However, only 8% think it will create 10% or less of their revenue in three years, while 26% think it will generate 40 to 65% and 25% think BOPIS will drive 65% or more of their revenue in that time period.

Interestingly, U.S. retailers showed different patterns in how they fulfill BOPIS orders than retailers from the U.K. and E.U. Two-thirds (67%) of U.K./E.U. respondents most frequently plan on filling a BOPIS order from central inventory, compared to 50% of U.S. respondents. U.S. respondents were more likely than their non-U.S. counterparts to fill BOPIS orders directly from the store (34% vs. 24%) or from one store to another (16% vs. 10%).

Results also show discrepancies in how retail winners (retailers with better-than-average year-over-year sales growth rates) and other retailers with average or below-average year-over-year sales growth rates view many aspects of BOPIS and buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS).

Winners are more likely than other retailers to see frequent BORIS shoppers as more profitable (55% vs. 33%) and to think of a BOPIS order of having a higher transaction value (72% vs. 60%). Winners (96%) and other retailers (93%) view the ability to offer BOPIS as a differentiator at about the same rate. However, winners (85%) are much more likely than other retailers (67%) to agree with the statement, “Providing customers the ability to buy goods online and return them to stores (BORIS) is a logistical nightmare, but we have to do it.”

The survey also found that overall, respondents saw increasing sales (58%) as the most important opportunity for BOPIS/BORIS; followed by driving more store traffic (44%), providing the best of stores and online (44%), and increasing profits (43%).

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