According to Retail TouchPoints, 90 percent of retailers plan to implement buy-online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) by 2021. And, for good reason: more than half of consumers nationwide have used BOPIS within the past year. 61 percent of shoppers that use this pickup tool end up buying more products when they visit the store to pick up their order.
BOPIS, also sometimes called click and collect, is when a customer places an order online and then picks up their purchase in-store. For many, BOPIS is the best of both the digital and physical world. Shoppers have the convenience of finding the product they want and buying online, and the convenience of physically seeing and touching a product before taking it home same-day.
The demand for this service is rising. But, there are a few things every retailer should keep in mind before offering BOPIS for their customers.
There’s a Lot That Can Go Wrong
Customers love the convenience of BOPIS. But, they don’t love the confusion or disappointment that happens when BOPIS goes wrong. BOPIS seems like an easy concept, but it requires a lot of precise communication and coordination between employees and an a super-targeted inventory management system. For example, if a customer buys the last of a certain item online for a BOPIS order, you need to be able to pull that item from the shelf right away to prevent an in-store shopper from purchasing that last item.
One of the big draws of BOPIS for customers is that they know for a fact the items they need will be waiting for them when they get to the store. If the products a BOPIS customer purchased are not available when they arrive, naturally that customer will be upset.
Technology Plays a Crucial Role
In order for BOPIS to run smoothly, you’ll need a powerful POS system that tracks inventory in real-time by location and can manage online orders. The order management aspect is crucial, as you or whoever is working in your store will need to be notified whenever a BOPIS order is placed, so that it can be packaged for pickup. The customer will also need to know when their order is ready. Having a POS that can automate this process will save a lot of time and help prevent human error.
BOPIS Will Alter Your Store’s Operations
In order for BOPIS to work, your store employees will need to take on additional tasks. When a BOPIS order is placed, someone will need to pick and pack that order, and have it ready in a designated pickup area, which you will need. A few shelves dedicated to pick up orders behind your register should work just fine. The most important thing is that you have a set strategy in place to see these orders through from the time they are placed online to when the customer walks out of your store with their order.
BOPIS Boosts the Bottom Line
If executed well, BOIS can be a real boost for any business. We know it will increase customer satisfaction since this order delivery method is used by more than 50% of customers. Happy customers are repeat customers. We also know customers that buy online and pickup in-store don’t just collect their items and leave. They browse the store and pick up other purchases along the way. So, BOPIS is a great tool for improving customer satisfaction and your average sale amount.
Plus, your business will save on shipping costs. It’s likely that many of your BOPIS customers used to have their orders delivered. Your store will save time and money since you will no longer need to pack and ship out those orders. With the right technology and an order management plan in place, BOPIS can expand your sales, increase customer satisfaction, and boost your store’s bottom line.