Why Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) is the need of the hour for retailers

Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store

By 2021, 90% of retailers will offer BOPIS, and 75% of them will be able to identify and customize their customers visits. – Retail Touchpoints Report

The COVID-19 pandemic has made consumers move towards an omni-channel service like Buy Online and Pick up In-Store. Today, retailers in the US are trying to perfect the BOPIS experience as it supports social distancing, and gets orders to consumers faster than the typical E-commerce delivery.  

62% of consumers are accepting the BOPIS option to reduce exposure to the global coronavirus pandemic.- Qudini Survey of US Consumers, Apr 2020. 

Retailers are working towards creating a seamless shopping experience by combining physical stores and E-commerce websites for consumers. Buy Online and Pick up In-Store (BOPIS) is a transformational step towards it. 

BOPIS has opened up new doors to give retailers a fighting chance against their online-only rivals. 

What is BOPIS (Buy Online and Pick up In-Store)? 

80% of customers research their purchases online, and 75% of consumers prefer buying products in physical stores.- AT Kearney and PricewaterhouseCoopers Research.

BOPIS enables customers to shop their products online and collect them from brick and mortar stores nearby. It increases foot traffic in stores and also customer satisfaction by enabling quick delivery.  

How Does Buy Online and Pick Up In-Store benefits retailers?

Buy Online and Pick up in-store has increased to 43% of US adult online shoppers- Forrester’s technographic data. 

Multiple choices to keep consumers engaged 

Whether it is shopping online or at physical stores, customers want to choose their mode of delivery. 

Buy Online and Pick up in-store helps retailers cater to different customer demands without isolating anyone. Using an omnichannel order fulfillment strategy like BOPIS enables retailers achieve better sales. 

Reduces shipping costs 

Retailers have started to use their brick and mortar shops to fulfill their E-commerce orders. As the stores are closer to the consumers, they attract lesser shipping costs than fulfillment from a centralized distribution center. 

Buy Online and Pick up In-Store reduces last-mile delivery costs as consumers directly pick their products from stores. Retailers only have freight costs associated with refilling the store stocks.  

Eliminates last-mile delivery risks 

Consumers hate delays in the arrival of packages. Providing pick-up services in secure locations like retail outlets eliminates delivery delays. 

Several retail outlets that have not established an in-store pick-up can provide a physical location for consumers to pick-up orders for free.

Reduction in shipping time 

16% of e-commerce shoppers have quit their carts at checkout due to slow shipping times.- Baymard Institute Study, 2018

Consumers want same-day or next-day deliveries without paying for any shipping costs. But fulfilling these deliveries is a highly expensive exercise for retailers.

Buy Online and Pick up In-Store enables a customer to avail same-day or next-day delivery free of charge, by picking their order from the store close to them. Those who don’t prefer this can wait for direct shipping. 

BOPIS helps retailers retain their customer loyalty cost-effectively and compete with bigger E-commerce giants.

Encourages impulse shopping opportunities 

85% of shoppers said that they had made additional in-store purchases when they visited stores to pick up what they have bought online.- Doddle Press Release to Retail Dive, 2019

Online shopping has reduced the impulse shopping of a typical consumer. Rather than browsing through many products, consumers zero in only on the items they need. They prefer multiple smaller orders rather than one large order, which increases costs for retailers.

With Buy Online and Pick up In-Store, retailers can get their shoppers into the store. Once they get their customers into the store, it becomes easier to upsell.

Lesser returns to manage

Returns are a significant burden for E-commerce retailers as it involves the cost of shipping back to the distribution center and also the cost of repackaging. 

Buy Online and Pick up In-Store enables consumers to inspect their products before leaving the store, thereby reducing the return rates. 

Challenges in implementing BOPIS

Challenges in implementing BOPIS

60% of online orders placed for pick-up remained problematic.- Cyber Monday, 2015

Most failures in BOPIS are due to poor strategic implementation and non-optimization of the process. Here are some of the challenges in implementing BOPIS for retailers:

Delays in the adoption of technology

Retailers tend to be slow to adopt tech advancements like BOPIS in their retail operations. BOPIS involves a lot of layers, and getting them right is a tough task. 

Marketing issues

Retailers need to make sure that their customers know that they support BOPIS. A lot of the success is dependent on spreading the word. 

Lack of employees to process BOPIS orders

Dedicated employees are necessary to enable BOPIS orders. They need to understand  customers’ needs and tailor their service accordingly. 

Handling logistical issues

As BOPIS involves moving pieces, retailers need to equip themselves with contingencies for logistics issues that could possibly arise. Sometimes customers may want to change elements in their order before the scheduled pick-up. 

The lack of a framework for redressal makes it tough to implement BOPIS. 

Real-time tracking: A technology that helps retailers  solve logistical challenges while adopting BOPIS.  

Consumers prefer BOPIS orders, thanks to  its quick and convenient online shopping experience. As retailers, it is necessary to ensure that everything you sell online is available for BOPIS. You should promote and add filters that can help shoppers  know if they can pick-up the orders in-store. 

The crucial aspect is communication. Retailers should send their consumers an immediate confirmation of orders. A real-time tracking system enables your consumers to track their order details and gives clear directions to the pick-up store.

Real-time tracking technology automatically updates the order details if consumers make changes in their purchase. It enables flexible buying and keeps your E-commerce operations transparent, thereby fostering an excellent customer experience. 

Conclusion

The retail industry is still at the nascent stages of using in-store pick-up. Lower barriers to entry for small and midsize retailers can make BOPIS increasingly cost-efficient. More brands and retailers will adopt BOPIS facilities to enable cross-channel fulfillment in the coming years. 

Live tracking and notification software from Locus enable retailers to manage their BOPIS orders. This ensures end-to-end visibility for all orders, thereby improving customer experience with limited resources.

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