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Growth Of BOPIS: The Future Of Ecommerce?

July 17, 2020 Carolyn Harding

While a large portion of the world is cautiously re-opening, many consumers still find themselves working from home, social distancing and hesitant to re-enter the world of in-store shopping. According to Digital Commerce 360, online sales are continuing to grow year-over-year (YOY), proving that consumers are still seeking convenient, yet safe, alternatives to traditional shopping, spurring increased demand for the buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) model.  

The Pandemic Propelled BOPIS To Unprecedented Growth

Shutterstock _ ID:459168040 Summer Beach Holiday Online Shopping Concept

While BOPIS was experiencing success prior to the pandemic, the ecommerce model has reached new heights in the past several months, becoming the saving grace for many major retailers, with the numbers to back it up:

  • For more than two-thirds of consumers, the recent spike in BOPIS options has led to their first ever online purchases.
  • Brands are seeing customers selecting the BOPIS option four times more than they were before the pandemic began.
  • Almost 70% of consumers have made multiple BOPIS purchases. 
  • More than half of shoppers have selected a brand because they had a BOPIS option.
  • April showed the highest spike in BOPIS sales, with an increase of 563% YOY.
  • Throughout the month of May, BOPIS sales rose 554%, totaling almost 900,000 purchases.
  • Most recently, in June, BOPIS saw record growth of 130% YOY.

Major Brands Embrace The BOPIS Option

BOPIS has positioned itself as a win-win for brands and customers alike, leading many major companies to hop on the bandwagon in hopes of expanding their customer reach and increasing revenue, especially during a time when so much of the retail industry is on shaky ground.

“Retailers who have buy online pick up in store capabilities are using them to keep consumers coming to their storefronts, maintain engagement with their brands and give their customers an experience that even 1-day shipping cannot replicate,” said Taylor Schreiner, Adobe Digital Insights Director.

Shutterstock _ ID:1737617189 Drive up parking area at Super Target stores has become very popular for picking up goods outside during COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of the increased visibility surrounding BOPIS’ popularity, major brands – from Home Depot to Nordstrom – have added the BOPIS model to drive increased ecommerce sales. Most recently, Rite Aid announced its plans to launch BOPIS services in response to the brand’s explosive digital growth. Target, on the other hand, responded to the increased BOPIS demand – as a result of the ongoing pandemic and the company’s previous 500% spike in BOPIS sales last year – by adding 750 new items to its BOPIS offerings. “The speed and convenience of our fulfillment options are unmatched across the country, and they’ve become even more critical for our guests searching for easy and safe ways to shop during the pandemic,” said John Mulligan, Target COO.

The trend of brands launching or expanding their BOPIS offerings isn’t going away anytime soon, with Digital Commerce 360 predicting that 90% of traditional retailers will launch BOPIS options by next year.

BOPIS Can Strengthen Consumer Relationships In The Long Term

While BOPIS has proven beneficial for many brands, especially during these unprecedented times, there are a number of crucial factors to keep in mind that go into an effective BOPIS model. 

First, a seamless and quick shopping experience matters. Consumers demand their items at a faster rate than ever before, with 71% of shoppers stating they expect to receive their order in no more than a week. Personalized experience is the next major player in the BOPIS game. This personalization should be evident from the start – whether through text and email or push notifications sent to shoppers – to keep a steady stream of communication. With that personalization through messaging comes the importance of an efficient mobile experience for customers. According to a recent BOPIS study, retailers are showing signs of improved mobile capabilities, leading to a large number of customers now preferring a mobile shopping experience as opposed to a traditional desktop experience.

Each of these essential key contributors, when implemented correctly, allows for the “click and collect” option, leading to long-term customer loyalty for brands. In the words of Schreiner, BOPIS lets customers “get the goods they need quickly and from the retailers they know, while also letting retailers shift their retail footprint into a distribution system and hold on to their place in people’s lives. BOPIS has been a win for everyone in this extremely challenging time.”

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About the Author

Carolyn Harding

Carolyn Harding is an Associate Manager of Communications at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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