When shelter-in-place orders mandated the closures of non-essential businesses and encouraged physical distancing, the retail landscape changed almost overnight. Many quick-thinking retailers launched online versions of their physical stores and transitioned to ecommerce to combat the effects of COVID-19. As a result, ShopifyeBayEtsy, and other shopping carts and marketplaces saw unprecedented growth that has bolstered the ecommerce industry as a whole. 

Now we are transitioning again into a “new normal” that allows for shopping in brick-and-mortar locations with lowered capacity and extra sanitation. Some shoppers are eager to visit their favorite stores while others remain concerned and will continue to make the majority of their purchases online. This is why many retailers are turning to BOPIS: buy online, pick up in store. In-store shoppers can place orders ahead of time and stay to browse the shelves, and those who are self-isolating can collect their orders and leave. It’s the best of both worlds and an easy way to incorporate ecommerce into your total business strategy

This is what you need to know about BOPIS in the post-coronavirus retail landscape. 

40% of shoppers consider BOPIS a necessity.

Per eMarketer, click-and-collect is the most valuable aspect of retail shopping for four in ten consumers, and half of them use BOPIS availability to decide where to shop. This has only increased during the global pandemic. While Business Insider found that 62% of US consumers had used BOPIS in the last year, its popularity exploded in the last three months. Specifically, BOPIS orders increased by 208% in April 2020 as compared to April 2019.

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Shoppers use BOPIS to avoid shipping fees.

The same eMarketer report stated that avoiding shipping costs is the top reason why consumers opt for BOPIS. It’s followed closely by “saving time by not having to shop in store” and “picking up my purchase on the same day.”  Buying online and picking up in store helps shoppers save time and money while still giving them the instant gratification they seek.  

BOPIS benefits retailers, too.  

Consumers get to avoid the shipping costs and wait times associated with online shopping when they use the BOPIS method. Retailers reap the benefits as well. They save on shipping and operational costs, and they bring customers into the stores, which might prompt them to stay and shop. The connection they make with the brick-and-mortar location also may motivate them to return in the future. Additionally, customers who were previously unfamiliar with digital commerce can ease into it with BOPIS, leading to omnichannel growth. 

62% of shoppers plan to increase their usage of BOPIS.

A recent Qudini survey found that more than half of consumers are embracing BOPIS to avoid exposure to the coronavirus. Roughly three-quarters (76%) had tried it in the past, but only 14% had used it regularly before the outbreak. Now, however, half of Boomers and more than 60% of Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z all plan to increase their usage. 

There’s still time to offer BOPIS.

Retail Info Systems polled its audience and discovered that only 47% of retailers were offering BOPIS services prior to the coronavirus pandemic. It is being added to more stores with 16% in a rush to add it as soon as possible and 16% hoping to get it up and running in the next year. That means there is still time to implement this strategy and attract more customers to your store.

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