Walmart and Sam’s Club Best Retailers for BOPIS & Curbside Grocery

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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The report found 27% of BOPIS locations were poorly marked or difficult to find. Photo credit: Walmart.

Walmart topped the list when it comes to best retailer for buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) in the grocery category, while Sam’s Club ranked first for curbside pickup groceries in global research firm Ipsos’inaugural E-Commerce Experience Report.

The mystery shopping study unveiled which retailers have best adapted to BOPIS, curbside, and delivery offerings. With consumers still anxious about leaving their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many are opting for more contactless shopping experiences. The report evaluates how retailers are shifting to a stronger e-commerce business model, while offering consumers safe means of shopping.

Ipsos conducted a two-pronged study, first surveying 2,000 Americans to understand usage, attitudes, and perceptions of consumers regarding pickup and first-party delivery of products from retailers, followed by thousands of mystery shops that measured the performance of brands nationwide and regionally on pickup and delivery attributes. Mystery shoppers audited retailers’ performances through all phases of the experience, from account creation to ordering to pickup and delivery.

The strongest drivers of curbside and in-store pickup were having a designated pickup location, easy online account creation, providing contactless order pickup, and that orders were ready when promised, Ipsos found through the consumer portion of the research.

“Use of BOPIS and curbside pickup has increased for 78% of shoppers since COVID-19 began, and 69% expect to continue using it at the same or higher levels after the pandemic subsides,” said Carlos Aragon, VP of U.S. Channel Performance at Ipsos. “As we continue to see the adoption and usage of these new digital offers rise and continue to stick, it is important that brands have the mechanism to ensure they deliver a seamless and safe customer experience for these new users.”

While several retailers have started shifting to meet consumer demand, there is still a tremendous growth opportunity for all brands offering BOPIS, curbside, and delivery. Across the board, customers look for clear communication, but more than a quarter of all pickup and delivery shoppers say there is room for improvement with communication. 

Retailers providing pickup need to denote designated locations and visible signage and make it easy for consumers, but 27% of BOPIS locations were poorly marked or difficult to find. 

Sam’s Club came in number one for curbside pickup in the grocery category with a near perfect performance. Photo credit: Walmart.

Walmart Tops BOPIS

The top retailer for BOPIS in the grocery category was found to be Walmart, which performed the strongest across all measured attributes. Walmart excelled at posting visible signage directing consumers to the grocery pickup area in 86% of locations audited. Target also performed exceptionally well against the categories surveyed and had grocery orders ready when promised at 98% of visited locations.

Walmart-owned club retailer Sam’s Club came in number one for curbside pickup in the grocery category with a near perfect performance. Sam’s Club notably provided designated curbside parking at 100% of locations audited. The retailer rolled out same-day curbside pickup to stores earlier this year. Pickup is free to shoppers with Plus membership and to Club members for a limited time.

For curbside, Kroger closely followed in the categories customers noted caring about most, and had orders ready when promised at 97% of locations.

For delivery in the grocery category, H-E-B ranked first for their 99% accuracy rate on delivery orders, but Whole Foods closely followed, with a 95% order accuracy rate.ALDI performed well across the board, and predominantly excelled at providing delivery notifications on 95% of orders. When it comes to brands offering delivery, order accuracy is critical, and 9% of shoppers say their order was not accurate.

Target led the pack in the apparel category, and posted clear, visible signage directing consumers to the in-store pickup area at 83% of locations.Nordstrom offered a contactless pickup experience at 65% of locations, making them one of the best in the category for contactless pickup.

Ipsos will be conducting Wave 2 of the E-Commerce Experience Report, looking into curbside retail shopping in time for the holiday season and 3rd party delivery fulfillment for grocery and food and beverage. For more information on Ipsos’ E-Commerce Experience Report, visit here.

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