Web shoppers and retailers alike are increasingly favoring in-store pickups, according to a recent study by Forrester Research Inc. Many retailers offer discounted, or no shipping fees, for items ordered online and retrieved at a local brick and mortar store.
The study called, "Multichannel: In-Store Pickup Gains Importance," says that offering a store pickup option helps promote cross channel shopping and also gives merchants more opportunities to interact with customers, as shoppers using such programs touch both the retailer's website and physical location. Retail websites help spur nearly $400 billion in U.S. store sales annually, Forrester researchers said.
That number will rise to $1 trillion in the next four years. Moreover, offering an additional and potentially less expensive way to purchase products online can help boost ecommerce conversion rates. It also just might spur the nine percent of consumers who've yet to make an online purchase to finally become web shoppers, the Forrester study suggests. Specifically, the study found that 88 percent of shoppers are familiar with in-store pickup offerings. It also found that 37 percent have used such programs, and 63 percent have not.
The study suggested that there may be a potential to tap the segment that has yet to try out a store pickup program. Thirty percent of respondents to the survey said that one of the reasons they do not shop online is because shipping charges are too high. That answer ranked third behind, "Prefer to see an item before purchase," at 53 percent, and, "Concerns about online payment security," at 52 percent. Some retailers, including Walmart Stores Inc., have noted this obstacle and offer free shipping for web orders shipped to a store.
The majority of survey respondents said they like to be notified by email when an item has arrived. In general, 77 percent said they are satisfied with their in-store pickup experience, and 69 percent said they become aggravated when the items are not ready for pickup. Sixty percent said the program makes their next trip to a store more convenient, and 47 percent said retrieving the item is typically part of a trip they would have made anyway.
These consumers also show little patience waiting for an item to ship to a store. More than one third said the product should be ready immediately; 28 percent want their product in the next 24 hours, and 20 percent want it within one to three days.
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