According to a recent survey, a majority of online consumers rate 'buy online/pickup in store' programs as important. Consumer advantages include the ability to avoid shipping fees, the opportunity to see and touch products before taking them home, as well as satisfaction over products being in stock. However, retailers often face obstacles in implementing various shop online, pick up in-store services, such as managing inventories and devoting space to products that have been purchased.
"Cross-channel services are gaining ground with consumers," said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, "Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store." "This and other multichannel services (e.g., buy online, return to store; check local store inventory online; and Web ordering from in-store) tie together some of the best attributes of e‑commerce and store shopping."
As of August 2009, approximately 34% of retailers offered some type of buy online, pick up in-store program, according to a Retail Info Systems (RIS) News survey conducted by AMR Research. Another 44% of respondents expected to implement this service by the end of 2010.
Buy online, pick up in-store is not as important to consumers as returning items to a store that were bought online or via a call center. Nevertheless, the number of respondents who said buy online, pick up in-store is "very important" doubled in January 2009 (35%) compared with a year earlier (17%), according to Sterling Commerce. All together 67% of respondents in 2009 said the ability to pick up items at a store after purchasing them online was either "important" or "very important."
"Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store," compiled by eMarketer, January 4, 2010. Website: www.emarketer.com.