Retail Created The Armchair Shopper And Now It Wishes It Hadn’t

by MR Magazine Staff

Retailers trained us to order holiday gifts from the comfort of our couches by dangling free home delivery. Now they’re trying to convince us to get out of our pajamas and drive to the store after all. It’s not an easy sell. Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and other merchants have built their e-commerce businesses on the shaky foundation of free shipping, which wreaks havoc on their already-thin profit margins. They did so to match Inc.’s vaunted fulfillment network, but have come to realize that coaxing shoppers to pick those orders up in the store or at curbside is much more economical. That process, dubbed “BOPIS” for buy-online-pickup-in-store, is certainly faster and easier nowadays than it used to be. Still, nothing quite beats the appeal of free shipping. Read more at Bloomberg.