Even though mobile, social and e-Commerce sales are booming, JDA’s latest Consumer Survey revealed that more than half of consumers still prefer to and enjoy shopping in stores… as long as it’s convenient. Furthermore, experiences don’t top the list — respondents said they do not expect an “experience” when shopping in stores.
Retailers, instead, should focus on convenience over experience, including buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in store (BORIS). While 46% of respondents said they prefer to shop online, 50% said they used BOPIS in the last 12 months, up from 35% since the first JDA Consumer Survey in 2015.
“Our 2017 Consumer Survey highlights the changing role of retail stores,” said Jim Prewitt, VP of Retail Industry Strategy at JDA in a statement. “While there has been speculation of a ‘retail apocalypse,’ that doesn’t seem to hold true for consumers. No longer the only channel for shopping, brick-and-mortar stores are still a key cornerstone for a quick and easy shopping experience and the facilitator for popular fulfillment options, like BOPIS and buy online return in store (BORIS).”
Those who said they prefer to shop in-store said they do so because they want their purchases immediately. With BOPIS, consumers can easily search and buy products online and get that instant gratification of getting their purchases almost immediately.
The survey also revealed other key perks of BOPIS for consumers:
- 40% of respondents said they used BOPIS to avoid home delivery charges;
- 33% said they use it to get their merchandise sooner;
- 12% noted convenience as the reason;
- 8% want to see an actual item; and
- 7% feel more confident they will receive their purchases versus home delivery.
BOPIS And BORIS Promise More In-Store Purchases
Retailers that offer BOPIS, but haven’t seen an uptick in shoppers taking advantage of the offering, should consider incentives. As many as 88% of consumers would be more likely to use BOPIS if they received a discount.
“While some retailers are already testing out ways to incentivize consumers to choose BOPIS services over home delivery, our research found that this could be a successful way to capture shopper attention in today’s competitive marketplace and further validate the role that BOPIS will play in the success of retail stores,” said Prewitt.
By offering incentives to shoppers to use BOPIS, such as discounts, retailers can drive more foot traffic into stores. Once inside the store, shoppers are likely to buy more than they intended to.
One way Walmart has been driving more foot traffic to stores is by offering discounts to consumers who ship their purchases to a store. In one example, the retailer offered a $50 discount on a $1,698 television, Business Insider reported.
Additionally, BORIS alleviates consumers’ frustrations with returns and is quickly becoming a core consumer preference, according to the survey. As many as 70% of respondents said they used the service in the last 12 months for reasons such as:
- Not wanting to deal with the hassle of returning (33%);
- Wishing to receive a refund sooner (17%); and
- Wanting to speak with a store associate because of poor customer support (5%).
BOPIS Is Convenient, But Not Convenient Enough
While most consumers said they were on board with BOPIS, a majority highlighted some issues with it that retailers should work on, including:
- No dedicated staff (17%); and
- A long wait to uncover the order in the system (24%).
Walmart also is at the forefront here. The retailer began testing pickup kiosks in 2016 and has now expanded the “pickup towers” in 80 stores. The tower has a digital interface where the customer scans their receipt to receive their package — all without having to engage a store associate.
While many retailers look to enhance the in-store experience with unique and “Instagram-able” experiences, those experiences actually may not be what customers want. The strategies that work respond to consumer wants and needs; and to retailers’ surprise, it just might be something as simple as BOPIS or BORIS.