The State of BOPIS Report 2021
BOPIS is proving to be a win-win for consumers and retail organizations alike.
Consumers today demand convenience, which means they don’t want to wait in line or spend valuable time wandering through a store. They want to pay digitally, avoid crowds, and be certain that your stores have their items before they hop in their vehicle.
Retailers are catering to these consumers through an option that’s faster than shipping or delivery. The offering makes brick and mortar locations attractive to convenience- and safety-driven customers while reducing shipping costs and helping move products like hot cakes. It’s called BOPIS.
BOPIS is shorthand for Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. It’s the process of a consumer purchasing their items online or through an app and picking those items up from the store at a designated time. In some cases, the store may alert the consumer when their order is ready, allowing the consumer to pick them up at their convenience.
Some brands offer curbside pickup for BOPIS orders, while others may have a dedicated area inside their store for BOPIS order fulfillment. Organizations are increasingly offering both options.
Consumers are drawn to BOPIS because:
It is faster than waiting for an item to be shipped
It reduces the total time spent in-store
It reduces in-person contacts by making payments digital
It accommodates impulse buys
Retailers see a clear benefit from BOPIS too.
Adobe found that consumers are 20% more likely to purchase from retailers that offer BOPIS than those that don’t. Business Insider found that half of shoppers differentiate retailers based on whether they offer BOPIS.
Our State of BOPIS Report – 2021 dives even further into how consumers feel about BOPIS, providing valuable insights for your organization.
We surveyed 1,000 American consumers, asking them questions that reveal their attitudes towards BOPIS.
Respondents work in vastly-diverse professional fields, including retail, education, finance, software, healthcare, and a host of other fields. Some are self-employed, others work as salaried employees, a handful are homemakers, and others are not currently employed.
Respondents also differ in their respective levels of education. Respondents’ income levels ranged from less than $25,000 to more than $150,000 per year. Our goal was to create a respondent pool that accurately reflects the diversity—in all respects—of the American consumer population.
Respondents were given equal opportunity to respond to each question based on a host of provided answers.
Most consumers have used BOPIS. 75.4% of respondents have used BOPIS at least once.
Consumers are using BOPIS repeatedly. More than 56% of respondents have used BOPIS 6 or more times in the past year, with 8.2% of them using BOPIS 20 times or more.
COVID-19 is driving BOPIS use. 35.4% of respondents cited COVID-19 as the leading reason why they use BOPIS offerings.
Curbside pickup could enhance your BOPIS offerings. 34.3% of respondents said they’d use BOPIS options more frequently if the retailer brought items to their vehicle.
BOPIS has to be efficient. Waiting in line to pick up items is a leading turn-off for consumers who buy items online and pick them up in-store.
Digging Deeper into the Data
Most consumers are aware of BOPIS
Even consumers who do not regularly use BOPIS have had the seed planted. 86.2% of survey respondents said that they’ve heard of retailers offering buy online, pickup in store options.
This high rate of BOPIS awareness could be a strong indicator of future adoption. Those who are aware of BOPIS options might wonder what they’re missing, give BOPIS a try, and never (or rarely) go back to their former methods of shopping.
On a day when a consumer simply doesn’t have the patience or courage to go into a store, they might decide it’s the right time to try your company’s BOPIS offering. Being aware that you offer BOPIS is the first step in that consumer utilizing your in-store or curbside pickup options.
Consumers use BOPIS repeatedly
Consumers don’t just use BOPIS once. It appears that consumers willing to try BOPIS once are almost certain to try BOPIS again in the future, showing that the appeal of the hyper-convenient shopping experience is magnetic.
75.4% of consumers have used BOPIS at least once.
Consumers who use BOPIS like what they find. 28.3% of respondents have used BOPIS between 6 and 10 times in the past year. A combined 19.6% of shoppers are using BOPIS even more frequently, having paid online and picked up in-store or curbside between 11 and 20 times in the past 12 months.
8.2% of consumers have used BOPIS 20 times or more in the past year, suggesting that it may have become their primary mode of shopping.
BOPIS consumers will buy more once they’re in the door
How many times do you go to the store with a list in hand (or items already purchased) only to realize that you forgot one, two, or ten other items?
Sometimes, you might even purchase that fancy espresso machine or take advantage of a two-for-one deal that you didn’t even know was available.
More than half (50.1%) of BOPIS consumers relate to this, stating that they have made an additional, unplanned purchase in a store where they were picking up already-purchased items.
BOPIS not only converts consumers before they enter your store, it increases retail traffic in a way that may also increase your in-store conversions.
COVID-19 is the leading driver of BOPIS
Businesses like Dick’s Sporting Goods introduced BOPIS as a direct response to the pandemic. Its leaders knew that some consumers weren’t willing to go into their stores due to health concerns, and weren’t willing to lose those customers’ business by failing to offer BOPIS.
Soon after offering curbside BOPIS, 75% of Dick’s online orders were being shipped by stores or purchased through BOPIS. Consumers will come to BOPIS for its safety appeal, and will stay for convenience.
“We anticipated originally that we would see a large drop-off [in BOPIS use] when the stores reopened, but that is not the case,” Dick’s president Lauren Hobart has said.
We confirmed that consumers are primarily drawn to BOPIS for safety reasons. 35.4% of respondents said that concerns related to COVID-19 are their primary reason for using BOPIS. Other leading reasons include avoidance of shipping fees (19.7%), avoidance of other humans as a general practice (11.8%), reduction in browsing time (9.9%), and reduction in checkout time (8.6%).
Consumers will avoid flawed BOPIS offerings
BOPIS has all the trappings of convenience, unless it doesn’t. When your BOPIS becomes eerily reminiscent of the traditional retail experience that consumers are hoping to avoid—checkout lines, close congregation of consumers, the disappointment of items being out of stock—then your BOPIS options become obsolete.
Some consumers (25.2% of them, to be exact) don’t want to travel at all to get their items. Others (11.8%) will utilize speedier shipping options when they are available. There may be little you can do to attract and retain these consumers through BOPIS.
However, consumers may avoid your BOPIS for reasons that are within your organization’s control, such as:
Items being unavailable at your stores (25.2%)
A long line at the pickup desk (11%)
General lack of convenience in your BOPIS offerings (10.5%)
Lack of safety measures in your BOPIS operations (6%)
Consumers have all the reasons in the world to use BOPIS, with health and convenience leading the list. That is, unless you give them reason not to use your stores’ BOPIS offerings.
Consumers want full-service curbside BOPIS
Some consumers might enjoy the semblance of normalcy that walking into a store to pick up their items provides. However, curbside pickup increased by 208% in the early months of the pandemic, and consumer interest in full-service, bring-my-items-to-my-vehicle-style curbside pickup hasn’t waned.
34.3% of consumers are more likely to use your BOPIS offerings if you bring the items to their vehicle. 17.3% of consumers ask even less, stating that they’re willing to pick up their items from (safe and efficient) dedicated pickup stations.
24.5% of consumers would be more likely to use BOPIS if local product offerings were more competitive with online retailers like Amazon. 20% of consumers will use BOPIS so long as the order prep time is reasonable.
Dynamic, speedy, and well-stocked BOPIS operations are the sort of BOPIS that consumers crave.
Consumers are prepared to use BOPIS more
If you’re able to keep your organization’s BOPIS operations consumer-friendly and efficient, consumers are willing to keep using them. Just shy of 52% of consumers anticipate using BOPIS more frequently in the coming year. Of course, this will be contingent on the value they receive from any given BOPIS offering.
32.9% of consumers expect no change in their BOPIS usage. That said, this could change if your organization finds ways to improve your BOPIS—faster order prep times, more efficient curbside fulfillment, and a continued commitment to health standards being features that consumers care deeply about.
The Don’ts of BOPIS
Consumers aren’t shy. They told us exactly why they’d forgo your BOPIS options in favor of a competitor’s. The leading BOPIS turn-offs for consumers today are:
Having to wait in line when picking up items (36%)
Items not being ready when they show up for pickup (25%)
Generally poor customer service within the BOPIS process (15%)
The consumers have spoken. They want BOPIS, but they don’t want to wait for other customers to checkout or for items that aren’t ready when they’re told they would be. Oh yeah, they still want to be treated like kings and queens.
Customers are more (or less) likely to use BOPIS for these products
Some products are more conducive to BOPIS than others. You may cater your organization’s BOPIS offerings based on the products that users are most likely to purchase via BOPIS.
38.1% of consumers said that they are “extremely likely” to use BOPIS for groceries. The next most-favored product types are household goods, medicine, and personal care products.
On the flipside, 20.8% of respondents said they were “not likely at all” to buy furniture or appliances using BOPIS. Clothing and footwear are products that consumers are similarly unlikely to purchase through BOPIS.
The point: your BOPIS budget may be better allocated towards groceries and household goods rather than appliances and clothing.
You will be hard-pressed to find a retailer, restaurant, or other brick-and-mortar organization that doesn’t offer BOPIS in some capacity. Dedicated curbside pickup spaces have become a staple of virtually every brick and mortar parking lot.
BOPIS is no fad. We found that consumers are already using BOPIS regularly, and the majority of them plan to increase their use in the coming year.
Many consumers remain concerned about their health and BOPIS is the sterile, contact-limiting way to shop. Other consumers are hooked on the convenience of pulling up, hopping out of their vehicle (or staying in their vehicle), grabbing their items (or having them dropped in the trunk or backseat), and heading right back home.
Efficient BOPIS systems allow your organization to attract consumers who want near-immediate order fulfillment without spending unnecessary time perusing, waiting in line, and checking out. The immediacy of order fulfillment remains a clear advantage over even the quickest digital retailers.
BOPIS customers are precisely the type any organization wants to attract. They might make impulse purchases when they reach the pickup desk and will be likely to return if they enjoy their BOPIS experiences.
Crucially, BOPIS also helps you save on shipping costs, one of the most costly features of doing business today.
Customers love it. Your organization will benefit from it through point-of-sale revenues, and fewer shipping costs. It’s BOPIS, and it’s here to stay.