Omnichannel features like curbside pickup and store stock status grew in 2021, but BOPIS and store returns fell slightly.

Omnichannel ballooned in importance in the past couple years, with pandemic purchases shifting to online routes while retailers push to ease fulfillment bottlenecks with their stores. Store locators remain the most popular option for omnichannel features among the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 retail chains. Among the Top 1000, nearly all retail chains offering the ability to find all a retailer’s stores.

Store returns also remain high, though there is dip from previous years. Retailers don’t want to deal with returns from online orders piling up at stores. Another slight, and surprising, omnichannel dip comes from the in-store pickup option. Buy online, pick up in store  (BOPIS) dropped just a bit to 71.3% from 71.5% the prior year.

Curbside pickups rose, though. They’re up to 55.2% of Top 1000 retail chains from 54.2% last year for one of the newest omnichannel trends. That’s a huge growth from pre-pandemic times when just 8.4% of retail chains offered the option.

60.2% of retail chains in the Top 1000 show shoppers the in-store stock status of items. Other omnichannel features only available for retailers with stores include in-store appointments (available at 22.7% of Top 1000 retail chains) and reserve online, pick up in store (8.4% of retail chains offer it). Both are growing in recent years but remain rare, mostly concentrated among apparel retailers.

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