To the ubiquitous BOPIS, Verizon is now adding BOPIL, aka buy online, pickup at locker, at 250 of its retail locations, adding a layer of convenience and checkout optionality while citing consumer data showing consumer interest is growing.
Verizon said it has offered store pickup of online orders for years, and recently added curbside pickup and same-day delivery. Some of the locations give customers 24-hour access to their order, and more lockers overall are being added each month.
“Time is precious, which is why we want to give our customers options that work for their busy lives,” said Kelley Kurtzman, Senior Vice President of Consumer Field Sales at Verizon in a release. “Our lockers are a new and innovative way Verizon is bridging the gap between traditional retail and ecommerce, giving our customers more ways than ever to get what they need and get on with their day.”
According to survey data released in conjunction with the locker announcement, Verizon said 42% of Americans have used curbside pickup at a retailer, but only 17% have taken advantage of an express pickup locker – likely due to the dearth of options.
That said, there does seem to be an appetite for lockers, with 75% of survey respondents saying they’d use them if offered by a retailer. Over half (55%) said it would help them avoid lines and crowds, and 48% said it would mean keeping their own schedule, including pickup after store hours. About 40% said it would help them avoid longer shipping times – although orders still need to be trucked to a location, not just magically appearing at a locker – while 38% expressed concern for porch pirates.
Retailers that have offered smart locker pickup include competitors Home Depot and Lowe’s and grocer Albertson’s, and of course Amazon. Last year, Pitney Bowes expanded its smart locker program for use at apartment complexes, college campuses and at retail locations. To date, lockers have typically seen stronger adoption in other markets like Europe and Asia.