TECHNOLOGY

This initiative is still slow to gain traction, especially in the United States

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Retailers are still missing opportunities to bridge their online and offline experiences, especially when it comes to order fulfillment.

A mere 37.6% of retailers offer click and collect — or buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) — services. Even fewer (34.8%) BOPIS retailers commit to having orders ready within 24 hours, according to “Omni-2000 Research: Global,” a study from Order Dynamics. (The study analyzes the omnichannel service offerings of more than 2,000 retailers in the United States, U.K., Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Austria.)

According to data, retailers in the U.S are farthest behind in the initiative, and rank lowest among the countries assessed, with only 27.5% of retailers providing BOPIS. This is a big blow for the 69% of consumers that acknowledge having tried omnichannel retailing and who would like to see more BOPIS services.

By failing to offer BOPIS, retailers are also missing an opportunity for promotion. Further, only 57.1% of retailers offering the service advertise it on their website’s front page.

Retailers are lagging in other areas as well. For example, a mere 38.1% of companies show basic inventory visibility on product pages. Worse, a strict year-over-year comparison revealed a 30.7% drop in active online inventory visibility.

This is a concerning drop in an industry experiencing so much change. Passive inventory visibility is a factor in this drop. Unlike active inventory visibility, a passive approach only signals when a good is out of stock, according to the study.

Omnichannel retailers also struggle with how to deliver a mobile experience. In fact, only 11.4% of omnichannel merchants have a site optimized for mobile commerce.

One area where companies excel is in their buy online return in store (BORIS) offering. Currently, a whopping 72.6% of omnichannel retailers offer BORIS.

“To increase sales and retain customers, omnichannel retailers today need to provide customers with clarity,” said Nick McLean, CEO, OrderDynamics. “Whether it is low stock visibility or general service awareness about cross-channel fulfillment, these are opportunities to get closer to what drives customer demand.”

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