The Rise of BOPIS: How Buy Online Pickup in Store is Transforming Retail
Last updated on January 10th, 2024 at 02:53 pm
If convenience is king, BOPIS is the crown jewel of retail strategy, transforming the shopping experience with a simple click and collect approach.
Imagine slashing wait times and sidestepping shipping fees — that’s the reality for businesses adopting BOPIS, a move that’s seen a staggering 500% growth in the last few years.
Embracing Buy Online, Pickup In Store means stepping into the fast lane of commerce, where customer satisfaction and streamlined operations drive success.
Check out the details and learn how to use the power of BOPIS for your company.
Unpacking the BOPIS Phenomenon
In the current retail landscape, “BOPIS” is a term that’s becoming increasingly familiar.
It stands for Buy Online, Pickup In Store, and it’s changing the way people think about shopping.
This approach combines the ease of online browsing with the speed of picking up items directly from a store.
The Definition and Process of BOPIS
In simple terms, BOPIS allows customers to select and purchase items online and then collect them at a physical store location. This process typically happens in a few key steps:
1. A customer visits your website, selects products, and adds them to their online shopping cart.
2. During checkout, they choose the option to pick up their purchase at a nearby store rather than have it shipped.
3. Your inventory system identifies the nearest store with the items in stock and tells the staff.
4. Store workers gather the items, package them, and set them aside for pickup.
5. Once the order is ready, the customer is told via text, app notice, or email.
6. The customer visits the store, shows their ID, and collects their items, often the same day they ordered.
Through these steps, BOPIS meets the customer’s want for immediate product access while saving on shipping costs and delivery time.
The Shift Towards Omnichannel Fulfillment
The growth of online shopping has raised customer expectations for fast, convenient delivery. With more people buying online, they also expect to receive their purchases quickly without high fees.
BOPIS fits this new expectation well, offering a solution that skips traditional delivery issues.
Additionally, BOPIS is part of a broader omnichannel plan that retailers are adopting.
This plan includes other services like BOPAC (Buy Online, Pickup At Curbside), which provides an even more convenient choice for customers who don’t want to leave their car.
Similar services include ROPIS (Reserve Online, Pickup In Store), allowing customers to hold items for later pickup; BORIS (Buy Online, Return In Store), which streamlines returns; and BOPIL (Buy Online, Pickup In Locker), offering automated pickup points.
Each of these services integrates with BOPIS to create a complete shopping experience that merges online and in-person interactions.
They rely on correct store inventory counts, efficient order preparation, and prompt customer notifications.
When you bring these pieces together, you create a retail setting that meets modern consumers’ needs for convenience and speed.
Why BOPIS Appeals to the Modern Consumer
Today’s customers are clear about what they want – when they shop: speed, ease, and options that fit their lives. BOPIS, or Buy Online Pickup In Store, nails these demands by letting shoppers grab their goods on their own time without extra costs.
The Importance of Convenience and Personalization
Recent surveys reveal that a big chunk – over 80% – of shoppers are now hunting for convenience more than ever before. They’re after choices that allow them to shop how and when they want, without being tied to a delivery schedule.
The remarkable increase in the popularity of BOPIS, a 500% jump from 2016 to 2021, is a solid testament to its appeal.
It’s not just a trend; it’s a shift in consumer behavior, with more than half of shoppers recently choosing BOPIS for their buying needs.
BOPIS is not just about picking up an order; it’s about personalization.
It’s about the freedom to browse online catalogs at leisure, make selections, and then swing by the store to pick up an order at a convenient time – maybe even on the same day.
Addressing Economic and Security Concerns
Money pressures, like the spike in shipping costs – which soared by more than 50% last year – have pushed shoppers to look for smarter ways to get their items without paying extra for shipping.
BOPIS avoids those delivery charges, offering a cheaper alternative.
Package theft is another real concern. Think about the nearly 26 million Americans who’ve had a package stolen right from their doorstep.
BOPIS offers a secure solution, allowing customers to pick up their online purchases at the store, which can be a relief for those worried about their items being taken.
In essence, BOPIS matches the rhythms of modern life by getting rid of wait times, reducing costs, and providing a secure way to shop that puts control back in the hands of the consumer.
BOPIS Benefits for Retailers and Brands
BOPIS, isn’t just a win for shoppers; it’s a strategic advantage for retailers and brands. The numbers paint a clear picture: BOPIS boosts customer satisfaction, encourages repeat business, and drives up the average order value.
Enhancing Customer Experience and Sales
Customers who use BOPIS often end up spending more than they intended.
The statistics are compelling: users spend over 20% more per order, and about 85% of them add more to their carts when they arrive for pickup.
This isn’t a rare occurrence; it’s the norm. Retailers see a direct link between BOPIS and increased sales.
It’s not just about the initial transaction either.
BOPIS has a ripple effect on customer loyalty. With retention rates soaring over 30% higher among BOPIS users compared to non-users, it’s evident that the convenience of BOPIS keeps customers coming back.
Gaining Competitive Edge and Simplifying Returns
In the retail tug-of-war with giants like Amazon, BOPIS is a strong competitive tactic.
It provides an experience that online-only retailers can’t—the immediate satisfaction of picking up a product in person.
This draws customers into brick-and-mortar stores, providing retailers with opportunities to showcase their brand and offer additional products.
BOPIS also addresses the challenge of product returns. It simplifies the process by allowing customers to return items directly to the store, avoiding the complexities and costs associated with returns via shipping.
This not only reduces the retailer’s expenses but also offers the chance to keep that sale by turning a return into an exchange.
Moreover, BOPIS eliminates the cost-intensive last leg of delivery, as customers take on the responsibility of picking up their purchases. This reduction in shipping and delivery costs is a significant benefit for retailers, allowing them to allocate resources more effectively.
Executing an Effective BOPIS Strategy
To properly execute a BOPIS strategy, retailers must focus on several operational must-haves. These essentials set the stage for a streamlined process that meets customer expectations and strengthens business operations.
Critical Components of a BOPIS System
A successful BOPIS system is built on a foundation of clear operational requirements.
Key among these is inventory visibility, which involves maintaining a precise view of stock levels in real time.
This accuracy ensures that when a customer places an order online, the system reflects the true availability of the item, thus preventing the sale of items that are not in stock.
Real-time updates are crucial, as they allow the inventory system to adjust automatically when a purchase is made, whether online or in-store. This synchronization prevents the risk of selling the same item twice and keeps the data consistent across all channels.
Dedicated areas for BOPIS order storage and pickup are also vital. These spaces in the store should be clearly marked and organized, enabling customers to quickly and efficiently collect their purchases without disrupting the shopping experience of other patrons.
To facilitate these components, retailers should employ robust software and integrations.
This technology acts as the glue that binds online shopping carts to physical inventory and point-of-sale systems.
It routes online orders to the appropriate store, updates inventory counts, and communicates with customers regarding the status of their order.
Overcoming BOPIS Implementation Challenges
Retailers often face challenges when implementing BOPIS, with two common issues being store labor management and inventory accuracy.
Effective labor management involves scheduling enough staff to handle both in-store customers and online orders, particularly during peak times. Retailers can address this by analyzing traffic patterns to predict busy periods and by having staff trained to handle multiple roles within the store.
Achieving inventory accuracy across multiple selling channels is another obstacle.
To maintain precise counts, retailers should integrate their inventory management systems with real-time updates that reflect changes across both online and physical storefronts.
If differences continue, implementing more advanced tracking methods, such as RFID technology, can provide a higher level of detail down to the individual product level.
For specific operational challenges, it’s beneficial to conduct a thorough evaluation of the current system to pinpoint areas for improvement. This might include upgrading to more sophisticated platforms, enhancing employee training, or redesigning the store layout to accommodate BOPIS more effectively.
Leveraging Technology to Transform BOPIS
For retailers aiming to refine their Buy Online Pickup In Store system, technology plays a crucial role. Advanced software is the backbone of a strong BOPIS strategy, acting as the central hub for a retailer’s inventory, orders, and fulfillment operations.
The Role of eCommerce Platforms and Inventory Systems
Platforms like Flxpoint empower retailers by centralizing the management of inventory and orders.
This technology ensures that product listings are synchronized across all sales channels, providing real-time updates to stock levels.
When a customer purchases an item online, the system instantly reflects the change, eliminating the risk of overselling and maintaining customer trust.
Automation is another key feature of these platforms. It takes over tasks such as updating inventory counts and processing orders, enabling staff to dedicate more time to customer interactions.
In practice, a retailer using Flxpoint might find that previously manual and time-consuming tasks are now handled by the software, freeing up resources and reducing the potential for human error.
Enhancing Customer Service and Marketing for BOPIS
Customer service training tailored to BOPIS is essential.
Retailers should ensure their staff are well-versed in the process, from receiving online orders to preparing them for pickup.
This includes familiarizing them with the software tools and teaching best practices for interacting with customers who come to collect their purchases.
Marketing plays a significant role in the success of a BOPIS service.
Retailers should make their BOPIS option prominent on their website, using banners and product page notices to inform customers of the availability of in-store pickup.
Email campaigns can highlight the convenience and immediate availability of BOPIS, and social media posts can share customer stories and positive experiences to build interest.
After a purchase, it’s important to stay engaged with the customer.
A follow-up email could include a feedback request, and exclusive offers or loyalty rewards might encourage repeat visits.
These tactics not only promote the BOPIS service but also enhance customer relationships and drive ongoing engagement.
Evolving Retail Trends and the Future of BOPIS
The retail environment is quickly changing, and BOPIS is at the center of this transformation.
With eCommerce now making up around 20% of total retail sales and mobile shopping becoming standard for 90% of consumers, we’re seeing a big shift in how people shop.
Customers expect a shopping experience that is immediate, flexible, and fits their busy schedules.
Consumer Behavior and the Demand for Convenience
Customers today are focusing on convenience. They want shopping experiences that let them smoothly switch between online browsing and physical buying.
BOPIS meets this need by offering a handy solution that gets rid of the wait for shipping and the chance of missing deliveries. It’s a service that respects the customer’s time and adapts to their want for instant satisfaction.
As smartphone use continues to increase, it’s clear that consumers are shopping when it works for them – whether it’s during a commute or in the extra minutes between meetings. BOPIS naturally fits this behavior by providing a service that matches the spontaneous and mobile nature of modern life.
BOPIS as a Stepping Stone to Future Retail Innovations
BOPIS is more than a current trend; it’s the base for future retail improvements.
As retailers explore the possibilities of same-day delivery, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation, BOPIS will likely play a main role.
These technologies could improve BOPIS by offering real-time inventory updates, personalized shopping help, and even faster order handling.
Looking ahead, the path for BOPIS and retail is one of more innovation.
Retailers who invest in these technologies and blend them with BOPIS services are getting ready to meet and pass consumer expectations.
As customer preferences change, so will the abilities of BOPIS, making it an increasingly key part of the shopping experience and a driver for new developments in the retail industry.
Adopt BOPIS to satisfy what customers want: fast, handy shopping. This move is vital for retailers aiming to stay ahead of the curve.
Key steps involve keeping stock numbers correct, getting orders done quick, and making customer service a priority. Leave out the fancy talk; if you want to increase sales and smooth operations, it’s go time.
Start by checking out Flxpoint’s platform to seamlessly bring BOPIS into your biz, making sure you meet customer needs and your company stays in the game.