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How Reducing Shipping Costs is a Win-Win for Consumers and Retailers

Consumers are shopping online now more than ever. According to Pew Research, nearly 80 percent of U.S. consumers shop online, and 62 percent of them make online purchases every week. But when it comes to shopping online, consumers aren’t just mindlessly clicking away. They’re taking a close look at shipping costs before completing their online purchases.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of shoppers look at shipping costs before adding items to their online shopping carts. What’s more is that nearly 40% of consumers now expect brands to offer free two-day shipping (especially on purchases of $50 or more), and 29% will back out of a purchase if the retailer does not offer free two-day shipping. Along the same lines, 70% of consumers abandon their cart 70% of the time with 56% of consumers doing so due to unexpected costs, and 16% doing so due to unsuitable delivery options.

As a result, retailers are offering more choices in terms of how and when shoppers receive their orders. And consumers are actively embracing these new fulfillment options, particularly those that are free.

One new fulfillment option is Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS). BOPIS will be integral to the customer experience in 2019. In fact, more than half of shoppers are now aware of BOPIS, and of those, 70% have used it recently. Overall, shoppers are embracing BOPIS for a number of reasons, including:

  • Avoiding paying extra for shipping (64%)
  • Needing products right away (37%)
  • The customer is already going to store (31%)
  • BOPIS is more secure than having items delivered to their home (23%)
  • To see the item in person (20%)

That said, consumers aren’t the only ones embracing BOPIS. Retailers are too because BOPIS helps to cut down costs in regard to the last mile. “If we can get their purchase to the store, they’ll come to pick it up if that’s what it takes to avoid a delivery charge,” stated Mark Mathews, NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis at Casinot.org.

One of the newest disruptive technologies poised to shake up the retail world is Buy Online, Pick Up in Locker (BOPIL). BOPIL is more than just a smart, BOPIS retail locker system. BOPIL is the engine that keeps the BOPIS experience running smoothly. In today’s competitive landscape, retailers need their BOPIS process to be on point, and BOPIL helps them achieve this. Some of the top benefits of BOPIL include:

  1. Revving up revenue. By bringing a customer into the store and delivering a convenient and quick experience, customers are more likely to impulsively purchase additional items. In fact, 61 percent of shoppers and 75 percent of millennials who come into the store to collect their online order make an unplanned purchase. Moreover, with BOPIL, stale merchandise is back on store floors faster improving the potential for sales. You can also drive additional in-store purchases by rewarding customers to utilize BOPIS via product coupons or samples in the lockers.
  2. Driving in-store traffic. More foot traffic equates to more opportunities to market to and encourage customers to buy something. Kohl’s is just one example of a retailer that has experienced a boost in foot traffic thanks to electronic parcel lockers. In fact, the retailer had a 12% increase in foot traffic after installing return centers.
  3. Elevating the customer experience. BOPIL locker solutions enhance the customer experience by making it quick, easy and convenient for customers to retrieve their online orders/goods. As a premium customer experience, BOPIL can help retailers build their brand loyalty
  4. Improving Staff Efficiencies. BOPIL locker solutions boost retail staff efficiencies by providing fewer distractions and streamlining inventory audits allowing retail staff to focus more on in-store customers and brand engagement.
  5. Reducing fulfillment costs. BOPIL locker solutions provide fast order fulfillment via a chain of custody and accountability. Retail lockers like those offered by Parcel Pending provide a fast and easy way for retailers to pull an inventory audit report allowing staff to quickly identify existing orders pending customer pickup in the locker. Store management can quickly audit current BOPIS orders in a locker (compared to a bin or storage shelf), and the lockers provide a list of current orders waiting for pickup. The process of retrieving stale items is also very efficient since Parcel Pending technology allows order numbers to be scanned or a customer order to be selected at the kiosk.
  6. Boosting marketing opportunities. Macy’s offers its customers a 20% in-store discount as a reward for utilizing their electronic parcel lockers. This type of incentive helps to get their customers into Macy’s twice – once to pick up the online order and then again to make use of the 20% savings coupon. There are countless ways that BOPIL can help retailers market to their customers and providing a 20% discount coupon is just one effective example.

Parcel Pending is a leading provider of BOPIL solutions designed to simplify the BOPIS and BORIS (Buy Online, Return in Store) processes. The way it works is simple. Once an online retail order is fulfilled – be it groceries, clothing, electronics, cosmetics and more – the items are placed into one of the Parcel Pending lockers located at the retail store. Customers are then instantly notified by text or email and provided with a unique numerical code that they can type or scan at the locker kiosk. They can then quickly and easily pick up their order at their convenience by going to the retail store and simply entering their personal code into the locker.
What else would you like to learn about BOPIL? Comment below.