The retail industry was hit hard by COVID-19. Some retailers, particularly those with robust ecommerce solutions already in place, adapted and served their customers through digital channels and click-and-collect options like BOPIS (buy online pickup in store) and curbside pickup.
Retailers who responded to the shift with speed-to-market were rewarded for their agility. Though many faced difficult layoffs and closures. Roughly 9.6 million Americans lost their jobs in 2020, and the unemployment rate increased from 3.8% in 2019, to 8.6% in 2020. As well, 12,200 stores closed their doors for good.
On the other hand, ecommerce sales surged. Online retailers enjoyed an increase of $244.2 billion or 43% in 2020, rising from $571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion in 2020. But even digital brands were challenged with supply chain interruptions and inventory issues. One survey revealed only 2% of brands felt completely ready for the pandemic, where 57% of companies said they had serious interruptions, and 72% reported a negative effect.
Omnichannel brands were faced with the task of turning around effective BOPIS and curbside pickup solutions, practically overnight in some cases. Learn how Staples Canada implemented a curbside pickup solution in just 72 hours.
Some challenges retailers faced in implementing click-and-collect solutions included:
- Technological - Implementing the technology stack necessary to support a seamless click-and-collect offering.
- Marketing - Effectively communicating the solution to customers and achieving customer uptake.
- Training - Getting employees up-to-speed within the click-and-collect ecosystem with limited resources.
Despite these challenges, BOPIS boasted a 106.9% increase in 2020, with the expectation it would continue to increase over 15% annually. Reports also indicate more than 50% of consumers plan on using BOPIS frequently in the future, even with eased restrictions. According to one survey 56% of shoppers have used click-and-collect services six or more times in recent months, with 8.2% using them 20+ times.
Among reasons shoppers continue to choose click-and-collect options, Fit Small Business cites convenience as the leading reason (50%), avoiding going to a store (47%) and saving time (46%) as the top reasons, with safety only accounting for (35%).
These numbers suggest regardless of COVID-19, click-and-collect could be here to stay—that people find options like BOPIS and curbside pickup convenient alternatives to traditional brick-and-mortar retail.
Disrupted revenue streams
Even for retailers who have made the shift to click-and collect, new challenges have arisen within this model. One significant revenue stream that has been affected for brick-and-mortar retailers is impulse purchasing, both in-store and at the checkout.
One scenario involves a customer entering a store with a purchase in mind, but as they browse, other items pique their interest and they end up filling a larger cart. Then, while waiting in the checkout line, they are presented with an assortment of high-margin items geared towards impulse purchasing — from drinks and candy bars, to magazines and batteries.
Over 87% of US shoppers make impulse buys, and more than 50% of all grocery is sold because of impulsiveness. Concurrently, More than half of US shoppers admit to spending more than $100 on an impulse buy, and 8/10 impulse purchases are at brick and mortar stores.
This has created a new challenge for retailers: How can they create valuable impulse purchase opportunities, and provide added customer convenience, for customers who aren’t even leaving their vehicle to come into the store?
We have a solution.
Accelerate incremental revenue
Bold Commerce and Knit agency have teamed up to create a solution for retailers to drive impulse purchases before and during the checkout phase of curb-side pickup orders.
Curb-Up enables retailers to show upsell and cross-sell offers to customers during the pick-up phase of their order — a drink, a snack, a pack of batteries or other accessory. Once the customer accepts the offer, it is delivered to them along with their initial purchase.
Recapture the high-margin impulse purchases lost with the growth of curbside checkout while adding customer convenience.
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