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ChaseDesign, which describes itself as a "human-centered design agency," is out with a study suggesting that while "about 50% of grocery shoppers began buying online and picking up in store during the pandemic … only half of those customers will continue this behavior in the future."

The survey reflects that at least in part, people's resistance to BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store) may be a function of how some retailers delivered the service.

According to the survey results, "shoppers want to be in control - 54% prefer to pick items out in person and 40% want the experience of shopping in a physical store. These customers also encountered a degree of frustration with the BOPIS experience, citing product availability, quality, items missing from order and wait times as the leading challenges they faced."

In addition, the ChaseDesign survey says that "when shoppers buy products online for pick up at store or delivery to home, shoppers tend to avoid some of the most profitable categories due to concerns over freshness and selection. Nearly half BOPIS shoppers won’t buy meat / seafood, about 40% avoid dairy, produce and frozen products, about 35% won’t order deli or bakery and 31% get t heir healthcare/personal care items through another channel."

Joe Lampertius, president at ChaseDesign, says that "retailers devoted most of their resources during the last 15 months on accommodating shoppers who wanted to avoid the store for safety reasons by upgrading their digital presence and installing new systems for store pickup and delivery. As those shoppers return to physical stores in droves, and as restaurants start competing for more of the food dollar,  successful retailers will turn their attention to making their real estate more engaging than ever before."

KC's View:

That's an important distinction, I think -  successful retailers will make their stores more engaging, but there will be a bunch of stores that will go back to business-as-usual, not understanding or appreciating the degree to which shoppers have changed in the past 18 months.

I would also argue that successful retailers - you know, the ones that want to be relevant - will also improve their BOPIS offerings, taking the time to make them more customer-centric.  They'll look to expand their online offerings.  They'll do things like offer automatic replenishment.  And they'll recalibrate their stores so that they are exciting and ambitious when it comes to selling the things for which coming to the store makes a difference, and find new ways to sell products for which the store does not really matter.