In 2020, BOPIS is the new black. Well, at least the new Black Friday.
BOPIS – buy-online, pickup in-store – has been a retail trend that has been picking up momentum in the past several years. Enter the coronavirus pandemic and that trend became a rapid spike and promises to account for a higher percentage of Black Friday sales than ever before.
In years past, an average of about 30% of all annual retail sales have taken place from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day. In 2019, even though overall sales were high for the Black Friday-Christmas window, sales at retail stores were actually down 6.2% from the same period in 2018.
The coronavirus pandemic has made planning anything but a science, and continual adjustment is the new normal. Still, there is one thing tied to retail in 2020 of which you can be certain: there will be a seismic drop in brick & mortar foot traffic and sales this Back Friday.
There will also be a surge in BOPIS transactions. In fact, BigCommerce.com estimates that as many as 40% of all shoppers will take advantage of BOPIS for all or a portion of their holiday shopping.
BOPIS shopping involves online browsing of products through a website or app. Purchase and payment information is sent directly to the retailer, which typically has staff dedicated to pulling the products from retail stock and preparing them for customer pickup.
For items that are not in stock, they are usually drop-shipped to a store location from a local warehouse or distribution center.
While direct online sales continue to grow steadily, BOPIS shopping is also gaining momentum among shoppers who prefer the immediate product availability and the lack of delivery fees. Retailers like the volumes they get from online sales, but they also know that in-store shopping opens the door to unplanned purchases that can help move inventory and boost the bottom line.
Pickup in store also provides an opportunity for quick impulse purchases if the customer feels comfortable and safe.
“If a store is properly prepared, they may be able to hold that customer longer than their planned in-and-out to collect an item they ordered online,” said Joe Crum, Director of Marketing and e-Commerce for Commercial Zone. “If the store can make them feel safe, it’s possible to keep customers in the store and help them to feel comfortable to browse beyond the pickup counter.”
Retailers can take advantage of the in-store pickup by conveniently providing sanitizing items like hand sanitizers and wipes near entrances and in high-trafficked areas throughout the store.
Replacing hastily placed hand sanitizer pumps and sanitary wipes dispensers with more permanent fixtures, like those on the Clean Solutions line of trash cans from Commercial Zone, makes a strong statement to customers that the store cares about their safety.
Clean Solutions PolyTec™ trash containers integrate dispensers for hand sanitizers, hygienic wipes and disposable gloves into attractive, functional and durable waste containers. The Precision Series® trash can integrates a pop-up wipes dispenser into its attractive design.
“The events of 2020 have made planning difficult for virtually all aspects of life and business,” Crum said. “But with all the changes and uncertainty, we can all be sure that this Black Friday will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. We also know that there’s a strong chance it will be those retailers who do the best job at helping their customers feel safe that experience the most in-store sales.”