Promoting Pickup, Return Convenience Could Save the Store, Survey Finds

Shoppers say they prefer a quick and easy shopping experience over personalized service
July 20, 2017Joanne Friedrick

JDA Survey Brick and MorterSCOTTSDALE, Ariz.— With nearly half (46 percent) of consumers saying they’d rather skip the store and shop through digital channels, buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) services may be the answer to saving the brick-and-mortar channel, according to results from a JDA Software Group Inc. survey.

Although 54 percent of the 1,058 U.S. consumers surveyed by JDA said they prefer the in-store shopping experience, three out of four respondents wanted a quick and easy shopping experience rather than a personalized one, which could be a signal that BOPIS is an answer that works for many.

Calling talk of a “retail apocalypse” unlikely, Jim Prewitt, vice president of retail industry strategy at JDA, said, “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).”

Half of those surveyed had used BOPIS services within the past 12 months, which was a 44 percent increase over JDA’s 2015 survey. Incentives, such as price discounts, could increase the use of BOPIS, the survey found, with 80 percent of shoppers saying they would consider the service if incentives were offered.

“By offering incentives to shoppers to use BOPIS, like discounting, retailers are driving more foot traffic into stores,” said Prewitt, “and, potentially, buying more than they intended to once they arrive at the store, boosting store sales.”

Of the survey respondents who used BOPIS services, 40 percent said they sometimes made additional in-store purchases.

The main reasons for using BOPIS services included avoiding home delivery (40 percent) and wanting the product sooner (33 percent). On the return side, 44 percent of respondents used BORIS because an item purchased online wasn’t what they expected it to be. More than 30 percent preferred BORIS because they didn’t want to deal with return deliveries and 17 percent believed an in-store transaction would get them a refund or exchange more quickly.

About one-quarter of those surveyed said they have used social media for online purchases. Not surprisingly, shoppers 18 to 29 were more likely to do so (35 percent) than other age groups. The most popular platforms were Facebook (81 percent) and Instagram (26 percent).

Looking at the upcoming holiday season, 57 percent of survey participants said they prefer to shop in-store and online throughout they year, rather than wait for the holiday rush. But among holiday-related shopping dates, 25 percent preferred Cyber Monday shopping vs. 12 percent for Black Friday and 6 percent for Amazon Prime Day.

Joanne FriedrickJoanne Friedrick | Contributing Editor

Joanne Friedrick is a contributing editor for HFN with more than 20 years of retail and housewares business reporting, writing and editing. For the past 15 years she has been operating her own business with clients that include Convenience Distribution, Seafood Source and Zest, a Maine-focused consumer food and lifestyle magazine.

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