By now, it’s no secret that the retail industry is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation. More and more, shoppers are taking their buying habits online. In JDA’s third annual Consumer Survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, 54 percent said they prefer to shop in-store. While this shows that the store is preferred by the majority, it is only by a slim margin. Retailers must find ways to boost foot traffic in their stores to remain competitive against online marketplaces. Luckily, they have myriad tools at their disposal to do just that.

Getting online shoppers into the store

So how do retailers increase the number of shoppers coming into their stores? A good place to start is with the 46 percent who say they prefer to shop online. How? By incentivizing them to utilize buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) services. More than half of survey respondents said they used BOPIS services in the previous 12 months – up 43 percent since the first Consumer Survey in 2015. And 80 percent said they would be more likely to use BOPIS if they receive a discount.

But getting them into the store is just the beginning. Once there, nearly half of respondents said they make additional purchases when picking up their online orders. If done right, BOPIS could be a key to maintaining the margin in favor of the store.

Making the most of returns

One of the main perks of buying in-store is that the shopper can see and feel the item before making the decision to buy. When online shoppers opt for home delivery – instead of BOPIS – they may not always be satisfied with the product and want to return it; and that can lead to consumer dissatisfaction. When asked about returning an online purchase, nearly half said that having to pay for return packaging and postage was the most frustrating part, while 16 percent cited an inability to return an item to the store.

Offering BORIS – buy online, return in store – services to shoppers can improve customer loyalty, and convert an online shopper to an in-store shopper. Much like BOPIS, if a customer can return an item to the store, he or she may buy more merchandise, offsetting the cost of the return.

Predicting the 2017 holiday shopping season

More than half of this year’s survey respondents say that they prefer to do their holiday shopping during ongoing sales throughout the year. For those that do shop during the holidays, 25 percent favor online, Cyber Monday deals. Retailers who offer BOPIS and BORIS services during these sales will create an opportunity to not only grow customer loyalty, but also drive traffic to their stores and potentially increase in-store sales!

Check out the results from the JDA Consumer Survey and learn how BOPIS and BORIS can be the cure for the store!