The e-commerce boom is resulting in a high volume of shipments, leaving merchants to deal with the steep costs of getting orders to customers — or back to the store for a return. E-commerce accounted for almost 10% of all US retail sales in 2018, up from 8.9% a year prior. As e-commerce grows, so do the costs associated with last-mile delivery and e-commerce returns. Last-mile delivery, defined as the leg of a product’s journey in which it arrives at the buyer’s door, accounts for 53% of the total cost of shipping for retailers, per Honeywell. And we expect the cost of e-commerce returns to skyrocket from $143 billion in 2018 to $348 billion in 2023.
Retailers can slash these costs while boosting sales by offering buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and buy online, return in-store (BORIS) omnichannel services. BOPIS and BORIS strategies enable firms to eliminate both last-mile delivery and return-shipping costs while also increasing sales. Eighty-five percent of shoppers have made an additional in-store purchase when picking up an order they placed online, per Doddle, while 53% of consumers buy additional items when they return items in-store, according to a Bell and Howell study.
Consumers are also increasingly turning to — and expecting — BOPIS and BORIS services when shopping online.
BOPIS is seeing high adoption because it helps consumers avoid shipping fees, get items faster, and see items in person. Over half (56%) of all shoppers were aware of BOPIS in 2018, while 70% had already tried it, according to the NRF. And of those who’ve tried it, 64% say it’s because BOPIS eliminates delivery charges, while others say it’s due to faster fulfillment or the ability to see an item before taking it home.
Although consumer adoption of BORIS isn’t as high, we expect it to begin picking up. Only 13% of consumers have used BORIS, despite 40% thinking that using the service is easier than shipping returns, per Narvar. However, 40% of consumers say they wouldn’t buy an item online without the option to return in-store, according to a study by Foresee, so we believe BORIS is growing in importance and will see greater consumer adoption going forward.
The benefits BOPIS and BORIS provide to both retailers and consumers will spur retailer [...]