Is BOPIS  bupkis or a worthwhile investment for retailers?

BOPIS is the acronym for the buy-online, pick-up-in-store service that many stores have been rolling out over the last few years, and bupkis in Yiddish means having no value.

But according to a survey of 500 consumers, commissioned by Retale and conducted by SSI from March 3 to 5, a sufficient number of shoppers do take advantage of buy-online, pick-up-in-store services, though it’s not the majority and many feel there’s room for improvement. The 500 polled all previously bought online and picked up their orders in stores across the U.S.

“Shoppers are overwhelmingly positive about the experience,” said Pat Dermody, president of Retale. “They have a clear desire to navigate seamlessly across channels and are even picking retailers based off BOPIS availability. However, despite the great experience, the majority are still buying online and picking up in-store infrequently.”

Retale is a location-based mobile platform that enables shoppers to access ads and coupons from retailers and brands on their mobile devices. SSI provides data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research.

When they were asked how frequently they bought online and picked up in store, 44 percent replied, “every few months.” Twenty-five percent said they use the service monthly; 13 percent used it weekly, and 14 percent said they only bought online and picked up in store once.

In other findings:

  • 99 percent of those surveyed were pleased with buy-online, pick-up-in-store services; 70 percent were “very pleased,” and 29 percent were “somewhat pleased.”
  • Only 1 percent of those surveyed were disappointed.
  • Twenty-nine percent said they decided where to shop based on BOPIS.
  • 72 percent said they would pick up online orders more often in stores if they were rewarded additional discounts and deals.
  • 52 percent are interested in guaranteed same-day availability of their orders.
  • 36 percent want guarantees that the item will be in-stock.
  • 28 percent wanted more flexibility with who could pick up the order.
  • 21 percent wanted better information on which items are available for BOPIS in their area. Among the key complaints:
  • 24 percent said they did not immediately know where to find their orders at the store.
  • 21 percent discovered their order wasn’t ready when they arrived at the store.
  • 14 percent found items they ordered weren’t in stock at the requested store. Asked what motivated them to use the buy-online, pick-up-in-store service:
  • 59 percent said avoiding shipping expenses was crucial.
  • 37 percent cited the speed and convenience of the service.
  • 12 percent cited incentives, like store discounts. “The stark difference between the 72 percent who said incentives would drive higher BOPIS interest, and the 12 percent who said incentives actually led to their choice, indicates that there may be opportunity here for retailers,” Dermody added.Retailers like buy-online, pick-up-in-store because it raises the possibility of additional transactions once the consumer is in the store. Among those polled, 30 percent said they purchased additional items at the physical store when they completed their pickup. “Given the bottom-line value and the response to the experience from shoppers, it would seem logical to consider incentivizing more shoppers to use BOPIS,” said Dermody.