During the 2016 holiday season, nearly a third of shoppers purchased products online and subsequently picked them up at a store. This practice is known as click-and-collect or “buy online pick up in store” (BOPUS), according to a new study conducted by Bell and Howell.  

“Currently, a small portion of total purchases are completed through click-and-collect, but it is growing in use, with 49 % of Americans trying it for the first time in 2016,” says Bell and Howell senior director Haroon Abu, who led this research. “Implementing click-and-collect makes sense for retailers, as they are providing a service that is increasing in popularity, and that can help drive more impulse purchases when customers pick up their items. However, retailers should focus on creating a winning in-store experience by enabling what matters most to click-and-collect consumers: speed, convenience and timely communication.”

As part of the study, Bell and Howell randomly selected more than 530 consumers from across the U.S.to report on their click-and-collect experiences and participants also shared what’s important to them during a click-and-collect experience.

Key Findings

  • More than 70 % of respondents identified themselves as experienced click-and-collect shoppers (i.e., had used this option in the previous 12 months).
  • When asked to select the most important attribute of a click-and-collect experience, respondents replied with the following:
    • Quick in-and-out experience – 56%
    • No waiting in line –22%
    • Ease of locating pickup location – 14%
    • Dedicated pickup counter – 9%
    • Designated parking spots – 5%
  • Saving on shipping charges was the key driver (76%) when selecting click-and-collect. However, needing the item that day (54%) and proximity to another store the respondents were going to (50%) were also important.
  • Speed was once again the consistent theme, as 83% expected to hear back within 24 hours after placing an order online that their item is ready for pickup. Nearly 60% expected to hear within the first four hours.
  • When asked where they preferred to pick up their purchases, 56% indicated inside at the front of the store, 21% preferred curbside pickup, and only eight percent selected the back of the store.
  • Eighty percent expected to be able to pick up their item in under 10 minutes from the time they enter the store, with 27% expecting it to be less than four minutes.
  • Of note to retailers, 49% of respondents said they were likely to purchase an additional item some of the time when picking up their online order.
  • When asked to rate specific attributes of an excellent click-and-collect experience, respondents gave their highest marks to the following:
  1. Filling the order accurately and in time
  2. Items ready at the pickup counter
  3. Store associates know how to process orders quickly
  4. Clear signage for pickup location
  5. Dedicated pickup counter.