KEY POINTS

  • Retailer adoption of buy online, return in-store (BORIS) offerings is set to double by 2024. Business Insider Intelligence expects adoption of the service, which enables customers to return an item purchased online in-store, to grow from 40% of retailers in 2017 to 81% in 2024. Meanwhile, the convenience BORIS presents could spur adoption among consumers: 40% of consumers think using BORIS is easier than shipping returns, per Narvar.
  • BORIS can eliminate return shipping costs and boost sales, which should inspire retailer adoption. A resounding 53% of consumers buy additional items when they return items in-store, per a Bell and Howell study.
  • Consumers will likely adopt BORIS because it reduces hassle, removes shipping concerns, and enables faster refunds. The need to print return labels and find a container to return an unwanted item via shipping has led 31% of consumers to keep unwanted merchandise, likely causing dissatisfaction with the retailer they shopped with. BORIS not only removes these issues, but also eliminates shipping time and the risk of returns getting lost in the mail. This helps consumers get refunded more quickly since retailers receive returns faster.
  • These benefits, combined with consumers' rising expectations that the service will be provided, make it critical that retailers start preparing BORIS strategies. While the share of consumers who’ve used BORIS is currently low, offering the service is still important because 40% of consumers won’t make a purchase online without the option of in-store returns, per Foresee.
  • To outshine competitors, retailers should design their BORIS offerings with these best practices in mind:
    • Optimize returns through mobile. Allowing customers to handle the first few steps of the return process — for example, indicating the reason for the return and choosing to refund or exchange — on their mobile devices can streamline their BORIS process.
    • Work with a logistics solutions provider to set up a turnkey offering. Some logistics providers offer plug-and-play solutions for handling retailers’ returns. This allows retailers to offer BORIS without having to dedicate time and resources to developing a solution on their own.
    • Enable store employees to handle returns anywhere. Some retailers are already introducing mobile checkout, which allows employees to scan customers’ items and check them out anywhere in a store. Adapting this ability for returns would enable retailers to offer a [...]