Study: Convenience is key to buy-online-pickup-in-store success

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Study: Convenience is key to buy-online-pickup-in-store success

By Dan Berthiaume - 09/10/2019
A new secret shopper study reveals that simply letting customers pick up online purchases in-store is not enough.

According to the third installment of the “BOPIS State of the Industry” report from IHL Group and automated pickup solution provider Bell and Howell, there are several conveniences retailers can provide to make buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) offerings more engaging for customers.

The findings in the study are based on the feedback provided by 300 secret shoppers that explored the BOPIS shopping experience at 10 top retailers across the U.S. Several key findings include:

Signage Counts: Providing clear signage directing customers to their pickup location cuts the time it takes to complete the pickup process by 50%. It also increases the likelihood of shoppers using the BOPIS service again and recommending the service to others by 14%.

Presence Matters: When customers have to pick up their order from the service desk, keeping the employee in front of a customer during order pickup improves overall satisfaction rating of the BOPIS process by 23%, the likelihood to buy additional items by 24% and satisfaction of the interaction with that employee by 13%.

Automation Enhances: Adding automation can also improve a BOPIS program. In Walmart’s case, automation improved pickup times by 60%, order accuracy by 7%, and likelihood for impulse purchases by 12%.

"BOPIS is the fastest growing area of retail, but most retailers are not optimized for the process,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. “Whether the systems are not yet optimized for the process, or associates are not properly trained and engaged, there are many improvements that can be made. An engaged, friendly associate that has immediate access to the items for pickup order is critical to customer satisfaction. If retailers cannot provide this consistently across all their stores, automated pickup is a far superior solution to meet customer needs.”