Buy online, pickup in-store increasing in popularity

Buying products online and picking them up in-store is becoming increasingly popular as retailers head into the holiday season. New research by parago shows that consumers like when retailers combine digital options with brick-and-mortar service.

Many retailers ranging from Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) and Peapod to UPS and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) are now offering an in-store pickup option as consumer demand increases.

"Online retail is growing, but not as fast as offline brick-and-mortar is contracting," said Rodney Mason, CMO of parago, a global incentives and engagement company. "Many customers who shop online don't come [into the] store much, and they tend to expect greater selection, cheaper prices and free shipping, which erode margins already battered by price-match strategies.The good news for retailers is that shoppers are willing to change their behaviors in ways that are more advantageous to the industry. Shoppers just need—and in most cases are not being offered—the right incentives to do so."

The 2014 study, titled, "BOPIS and BISBO Will Propel Retail Into Orbit" reports that consumers are driven by convenience, price and incentives. It also reveals shopping habits.

Incentives are a key driver, as 63 percent of shoppers buy online and pick up in-store at least a few times a year. And as many as 82 percent of consumers would consider shopping this way if they received a $10 rebate on a $50 item.

The study also revealed that convenience and price are moving customers to online platforms. While last year the study showed that online sales were primarily driven by price, brick-and-mortars have since adjusted offline models to accommodate and gain market share. However, improved digital experiences, particularly in mobile, have become a significant deciding factor for purchasing online.

Another finding reported in the study is that motivated shoppers purchase more. Incentives such as prepaid rewards cards branded with the store's name, coupled with an offer, drive double-digit spending in-store.

Finally, in-store experiences are found to drive immediate conversions online. Of adults aged 18 to 48, 80 percent have smartphones and more than 70 percent regularly compare prices on websites such as Google and Amazon and make purchases on their phones while in the store.

The study reinforces the importance of an omnichannel strategy for retailers. Another recent study revealed that 70 percent of retailers said they have adopted an omnichannel strategy to link shoppers' in-store experiences with e-commerce, mobile and social media platforms.

For more:
-See this parago press release

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