BOPUS

The retail landscape used to be segmented by the type of shopping activity: convenience vs comparison. However, as the landscape evolves, the better conceptual division might come in the purpose of the store: convenience remains on one side of the equation, but experience now sits on the other. For an example of the latter, see Target’s recently announced strategic partnership with Disney in the US to bring some excitement into its stores. For convenience read: pretty much everything else. Convenience will be a driving factor in selling all goods moving forwards, including the ones that you need to compare. Increasingly this comes through integration with the online channel, especially among younger shoppers. A US study reported by eMarketer this week states that two thirds of Gen Zers had used ‘buy online, pick up in-store’ (‘BOPUS’, aka click and collect) in the past month. Why? …Convenience. More specifically: (1) it is quicker than online delivery, 59%, (2) to make sure that the product was available, 44%, and from a different survey, (3) to avoid shipping charges, 47%, and (4) to save time in store, 44%. These young people will grow into the main consumer group of tomorrow, and there is no reason to suspect that their habits will change. The division of new retail hence comes in whether the product browsing and selection takes place in the store, or remotely. If the former, then you need to offer the consumer a reason to do so despite the inconvenience (i.e. an experience that they can’t get at home). If the latter, then you need to offer a really slick in-store fulfilment service that is more convenience than online delivery.