New research from FitForCommerce gives insight on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted ecommerce trends and how retailers are reshaping their web sites in order to evolve with the new demands.
The FitForCommerce Omnichannel Retail Index benchmarks 125 retailers and brands across 300 digital and cross-channel criteria. The index finds Buy Online/Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) is now offered by 66 percent of retailers tracked, compared to just 33 percent in 2016, the first year of the study.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted buy online/pick up in-store services into an essential part of doing business. By some estimates, BOPIS orders have increased by as much as 200 percent in just the first half of 2020, and many retailers have extended basic BOPIS to include curbside pickup options,” said FitForCommerce in the report.
Buy Online/Return In-Store is now one of the most implemented cross-channel functionalities, offered by 83 percent, according to the report, which referred to it as “table stakes” in today’s ecommerce world.
“The ability to buy something online and return it in a local store quickly transitioned from a ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘must-have’ capability,” noted the report summary. “From the shopper perspective, if they can buy through any channel, they should also be able to return anywhere. Offering a seamless return process across channels drives loyalty and customer satisfaction. In a non-pandemic retail environment, it also provides a unique opportunity to encourage the shopper to make exchanges, substitutions, or impulse purchases while in the store.”
In-store product availability online is also now available from 67 percent, an increase from 39 percent in 2016.
Mobile and alternative payments on the rise
The report noted that while mobile payments did not take off at the speed that some industry experts initially expected, adoption is increasing. The acceptance of one or more forms of mobile payments in the store increased from 23 percent to 56 percent in 2019.
“The adoption, along with that of contactless payments, is expected to significantly accelerate in the near future,” the report stated.
The use of alternative payments during online checkout is also up.
“Paypal remains the most adopted payment method offered, while mobile payments are slowly gaining traction, according to the report, which found 80 percent of online merchants offered Paypal as a payment option, and 38 percent offered other payment forms, like Affirm.