More retailers are offering buy online, pick up in store (BOPUS) options to compete with Amazon. But they’ll need to iron out some wrinkles.
On my way home from work one evening, I stopped by my local Target to pick up a few things. Normally, the prospect of going to any big-box store — especially after a long day at work — is hellish. But this time was different. Earlier that day, I placed my order for conditioner, a new shower caddy and some coconut oil, among other things, on the Target app, and selected the “pick up at store” option, hoping for an expedited experience. When I arrived, not a single other customer was in line to pick up their order. Still, I had to wait because the order pick-up counter is the same as the customer service counter and someone was making a return. Once I gave them my name, they had to radio an employee to retrieve it from storage, which took about five minutes. The experience was much faster than a normal shopping trip, but overall, not nearly as quick or convenient as I would like.
Despite evidence to the contrary at my local Target that evening, the option to buy online and pick up in store (BOPUS) is becoming increasingly popular throughout the U.S. More and more American retailers are turning to BOPUS options to pull customers away from Amazon, saving them the hassle of physically shopping while still getting them their order within a few hours. It’s far from a fail-safe cure for companies and customers, yet both are buying into it.