More retailers are allowing online shoppers to pick up their orders in stores, a practice that appeals to consumers who want to avoid shipping costs.
Forty-one percent of retailers offer in-store pickup services, but the number is expected to almost double during the next three years, according to a recent survey by Boston Retail Partners.
“People are becoming more accustomed to purchasing online, and this additional buying option takes out a lot of the pain points for consumers,” industry consultant Ani Collum told The Christian Science Monitor recently.
“Pain points” include paying extra for shipping and worrying about being home to receive deliveries.
Although research shows in-store pickup is no more efficient than other shopping methods, customers say they like the convenience of browsing online while being able to get their items almost immediately.
Merchants note that in-store pickup draws shoppers into the stores, where they often add impulse purchases to their initial order.
Kohl’s — which recently introduced the service at its 1,164 locations — found that 20 percent of such customers made another purchase.
While big-box merchants have long offered in-store pick-up, others are entering the fray, including Macy’s and Lily Pulitzer’s boutique franchise, In the Pink.