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Order Online, Pick Up In-Store Services Bring Consumers Best of Both Worlds

Retailers experiment with innovative options

NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2012)—Buy online, pick up in-store services are highly popular with online consumers because they combine the convenience of ecommerce with the pleasure of shopping in stores. Yet retailers have generally been slow to offer this service because it is difficult and costly to implement, according to a new report by eMarketer.

“As stores lose customers to Amazon, traditional retailers are coming to see pickup programs as a powerful way to win back customers,” eMarketer notes in its new report, “Innovation in Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Services.” “People who pick up orders at a store often make additional purchases. And converting a single-channel shopper into a multichannel shopper results in a significantly more profitable customer.”

This report explores some of the increasingly innovative ways brick-and-mortar retailers enhance the online shopping experience with in-store pickup options, such as Wal-Mart’s Pay with Cash service launched earlier this year, or the UK’s House of Fraser department store, which has opened click-and-collect locations that are designed as a space for placing and picking up online orders.

Key Takeaways from the full report, “Innovation in Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Services,” available exclusively to eMarketer corporate subscribers:

  • Online consumers have embraced retailers’ buy online, pick up in-store services, because they merge the best of digital commerce and in-store shopping
  • Retailers benefit significantly, both in terms of profit and customer service, from multichannel shoppers who pick up in-store
  • Despite popularity with consumers, retailers have been slow to embrace in-store pickup, but that is changing
  • A push to offer in-store pickup is driving some web-only retailers to establish physical pickup points

As the popularity of order online, pick up in-store increases among consumers, retailers are going to have to follow suit. While some big chains are creating in-house pickup solutions, other retailers are looking to a growing number of third-party pickup services that can provide a nationwide network of pickup points overnight.

eMarketer evaluated executive interviews and hundreds of third-party research findings for the report, eventually selecting data from several vetted sources, including Retail Systems Research, Boston Retail Partners, Argos, the e-tailing group, Home Retail Group, The Property Network, Mondial Relay, Shopping Centers Today, Javelin, eNova Partnership, Ace Hardware, Best Buy, ShopRunner, Simpson Carpenter, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, McMillan|Doolittle, Shopatron, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Shopatron, and Newegg.

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Media Contact:
Clark Fredricksen
Vice President, Communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6056
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Posted on June 28, 2012.