Out of all the predictions about how ecommerce and the rise of online shopping would impact retailing, this is one that nobody saw coming. In fact, more people predicted just the opposite.
It’s called BOPIS, and if you’re scratching your head trying to decipher this one, a little literary license has been taken with the acronym in the spirit of verbal communication. BOPIS stands for “Buy Online, Pick Up In Store.” It’s also known as “Click and Collect,” and as 2018 progressed, it turned into one of the fastest growing trends in retail and a strategic tool for physical retailers trying to compete with pure play online sellers.
The irony of all of this is that at the dawn of the era of the internet and buying online (remember back when people still called it the World Wide Web?) many experts predicted that the biggest change in how people shopped would be the showrooming model: Going to a physical store, checking out the purchasing options and then going home and ordering online with the product being delivered to your doorstep. That still happens in many cases, though you don’t hear many people talking about showrooming much anymore. Instead, it’s all about BOPIS: Making your purchase online (often on your phone) and then going to the store, as quickly as later that day, and picking it up.
For retailers big and small alike, this became an increasingly popular purchasing pattern as 2018 progressed, and as we enter the new year, it is likely to become even more prevalent. Retailers across the merchandising spectrum, including those selling home furnishings and décor products such as lighting, need to make sure they have their BOPIS acts together.
The numbers supporting this trend are already pretty staggering. A study by the research company Signifyd conducted before the 2018 holiday shopping season cites statistics that show just under half of all American retailers offered Click and Collect or Buy Online, Pick Up In Store service. More than four out of every 10 consumers purchased online and picked up in store over the past year, a huge 43% increase over the year before.
Market share statistics for individual retailers are no less impressive. Of particular interest to those in the lighting business, the two big home improvement chains are at the top of this trend. Lowe’s reports that 60% of its online orders are picked up in its stores while Home Depot is a little further behind with 43% of its e-commerce business being collected at its physical stores.
Anyone who has watched TV commercials over the past few months knows that major national retailers like Walmart, Target and Kroger are all advertising their BOPIS capabilities. National chain Kohl’s reports that 36% of its online orders were picked up in its stores.
Retailers’ ability to service the Buy Online, Pick Up In Store customer is turning into a critical component of any company’s strategy—and that’s going to be more so in 2019. Says retailing consultant Carl Boutet, “If you can’t do this, you shouldn’t be in ecommerce. And if you’re not in ecommerce, you shouldn’t be in retail.”