Deep Dive 21 minutes Premium

Buy Online, Return In Store: Assessing Strategies and Drivers of Adoption

Executive Summary

In this report, we explain the buy online, return in store (BORIS) model in detail and assess how some US retailers are using this service to enhance their omnichannel retailing.

  • Retailers can add BORIS returns to store inventory — or ship to another store or distribution center (DC) at additional cost.
  • When launching BORIS, most retailers integrate inventory systems and invest in technologies such as order management systems that align online and offline channels.
  • Only 42.1% of US retailers currently offer BORIS, compared to the international average of 46.7%, according to OrderDynamics – but the rate is much higher at 70.5% among US omnichannel retailers, almost in-line with the international average of 72.6%.
  • BORIS is gaining traction among US retailers as it supports faster returns and provides upselling opportunities. Most consumers choose the BORIS model (about 58%) to avoid shipping fees, according to a UPS study.
  • When managing BORIS, retailers may face challenges tracking logistics and inventory, managing higher product return rates and handling additional costs.

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