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A new study released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) says that “consumers increasingly expect free delivery of items they buy online and are also embracing new options like picking up their online purchases at a local store … The report found that 75 percent of consumers surveyed expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50, up from 68 percent a year ago.”

The study goes on:

“Many consumers now consider shipping costs even before getting to the checkout page, with 65 percent saying they look up free-shipping thresholds before adding items to their online shopping carts. Consumers also want their products fast, with 39 percent expecting two-day shipping to be free, and 29 percent have backed out of a purchase because two-day shipping wasn’t free.

“The survey found that 70 percent of consumers who are aware of buying online and picking up in store had tried it, and the top reason for doing so was to avoid paying for shipping. Picking up at the cash register is still the most frequent practice, done by 83 percent of those who have bought online and picked up in-store. But as options grow, 63 percent would like to be able to use curbside pickup (tried so far by only 27 percent), 56 percent want merchandise delivered to the trunk of their cars (tried by 19 percent) and 50 percent want to retrieve purchases from a locker (tried by 16 percent).”
KC's View:
Earlier this week, while the NRF Show was taking place in New York City, I had the chance to take part in a concurrent event at Google headquarters just a few blocks to the south … and the focus was on BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store). The event was co-hosted by WD Partners, and we spent a lot of time talking about the fact that consumers overwhelmingly want BOPIS when they’re engaging in e-commerce, and yet - despite the fact that it generally results in a larger basket size and makes the store relevant - a startlingly small number of retailers actually offer it, and even fewer do it right.

The conversation - which followed a fascinating presentation - endeavored to address some of the stats raised in the NRF study and figure out what the obstacles are, and how to overcome them … and I’m happy to say that we recorded it for a brand new “Retail Tomorrow” podcast that will drop next week. Our panelists were terrific, from a wide range of companies and with broad skill sets.

I hope you’ll listen. Stay tuned.