SmartEtailing Blog

Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store Trend

By Ryan Atkinson

The shift in consumer spending to the online channel has been steady in recent years. For brick-and-mortar independent bicycle retailers, this means providing online shopping as an option for consumers is almost a requirement to maintain or grow local market share.

Current research quantifies the number of consumers who opt to shop online and pick up their purchases in-store. At SmartEtailing we consider this a positive for our clients, the majority of whom have primarily brick-and-mortar business models.

In a survey conducted by Internet Retailer last August, 57.0% of respondents reported having made a purchase online that they opted to pick up in-store. The most common reasons for their choice? To avoid shipping charges and for convenience.

A similar survey conducted by iVend Retail last fall also reported that 57.5% of the 1,000 shoppers they polled use the omnichannel shopping service of buying online and picking up in-store.

This trend makes sense when compared to the results of a BigCommerce study on the top three factors influencing a purchase decision. In order of importance, the top influences were price, shipping cost/speed, and discount offers.

So it makes sense that the option to shop online and pick up at a local store combines the always-touted convenience of shopping online with the gratification of collecting a purchase quickly. Why wait days for shipping when an in-stock item could be collected in as little as a few hours? Add that to the option of saving on shipping and many consumers count that as a serious win.

Now, aside from appealing to more consumers, are there additional benefits to retailers taking advantage of the buy online pick up in-store trend?

Major retailer J.C. Penney thinks so. After seeing a major jump in the percentage of their online orders that were picked up in a local store, executives at the chain reported that 40% of those online shoppers buy more while visiting the physical local store to pick up their purchase. When customers visit J.C. Penney to pick up their order, these customers shop at the store and buy more items.

If this trend carries over to the cycling industry, it could have a major impact on your bottom line. You can capture a portion of online buying in your market and capture a greater share of customer spending by increasing transaction sizes when customers see your physical selection and gain exposure to your trained sales team.

How is SmartEtailing helping?

The SmartEtailing catalog is the star of that show. By allowing consumers to filter SmartEtailing catalogs by in-stock merchandise, we’re enabling those shoppers to fulfill their desire for efficient and convenient shopping. Their instant education on what merchandise is available in their local bike shop allows them to shop online in the comfort of their home or office knowing that their purchase will be available to them shortly.

Additionally, the catalog also shows inventory available in supplier warehouses. This can help retailers leverage an expanded inventory available for in-store pick-up. Shoppers are given a greater variety of product choices in addition to saving on shipping costs.

SmartEtailing Pro Website client Spokes, Etc has seen great success after embracing the capabilities of their online catalog. Their internet business has blossomed, bringing them to the point that they consider it to be similar to an additional store location.

Steve Beheler from Spokes, Etc shared that, “The majority of our ecommerce business is coming through as in-store pick-up. We think that the easier it is for customers to buy from us, the more relevant we’ll be in our market. After all, buying online and picking up in-store is just another way to get people through the door - a challenge all brick-and-mortar bicycle shops face.”

“Quite honestly,” continues Beheler, “our biggest dollar growth for our online store is selling on-sale bikes from supplier warehouses for in-store pick-up. This is a great business to be in because we don’t have to carry the inventory, we capture an online bike purchase, and our sales team gains an opportunity to upsell accessories and the quality of our business when the customer picks up the product.”

To help our independent bicycle retailers continue to find success and capitalize on the power of the internet to help grow sales, SmartEtailing is laser-focused on enhancing our website platform, product catalog, marketing, and integrations.

We believe that, for the majority of our clients, sales growth will come from in-store purchasing. But, if we can help you capture online sales as well, that’s a win - especially if online orders are for in-store pickup.

If you have questions about how SmartEtailing can help your local bike shop compete in this area feel free to contact us any time. We are here to help.

Topics: Client Updates