To meet the expectations of modern customers, retailers are adopting a contemporary approach. The Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) model provides an excellent opportunity for retailers to boost their in-store foot traffic and bridge the gap between their online and offline shopping experiences. In this article, Kyanon Digital will help you understand two concerns: What is BOPIS and how can BOPIS benefit your retail strategy?
1. What is BOPIS?
According to IBM, BOPIS is a retail sales strategy that has developed with the growth of eCommerce. It is an omnichannel retail tactic that offers shoppers the convenience of ordering and buying online or on their mobile device, and the ability to quickly pick up their purchase at a local store.
2. How does BOPIS strategy work?
Modern shoppers crave options, convenience, and flexibility in how their orders are fulfilled, as well as quick and efficient purchase and return processes. BOPIS is essential to provide such convenience by allowing customers to choose which items they want to purchase immediately and which ones they are willing to wait for.
Here is how the BOPIS process works.
2.1. Customers buy online
To provide convenience, retailers must allow customers to make purchases online or through an app while selecting a pickup time and location for their items.
By providing real-time local inventory information, customers can easily select the most convenient time and location to pick up their products.
2.2. The store fulfills the order
The BOPIS ordering process can occur in two scenarios.
If the item is available at the selected local store, a store associate can quickly locate, pack, and hold the order for the customer, notifying them via email when it is ready for pickup. This saves time for customers who would otherwise have to search the store aisles and removes obstacles to fulfilling their orders.
Alternatively, if the item is not in stock at the store, the associate will need to order it from a nearby store or warehouse. Once it arrives, the customer is notified and can pick it up at their convenience.
2.3. The customer picks up the order
Customers have two options to pick up their orders. They can go to the designated online pickup area inside the store, where a store associate will hand over their items. Alternatively, stores are offering curbside pickup, where customers can stay in their cars and receive their orders with minimal documentation, such as their photo ID or driver’s license.
Regardless of the pickup method, customers should be guided seamlessly through the process, receiving instructions through a text message, push notification, or order confirmation email that includes a receipt or QR code.
3. How can BOPIS benefit your retail strategy?
The integration of BOPIS into a modern omnichannel retail strategy has become crucial. Below, we will examine some of the advantages in detail.
3.1. Customer satisfaction and convenience
It is clear that shoppers highly value the BOPIS option. According to a recent study, 62% of respondents now expect retailers to offer curbside pickup permanently, and 71% expect BOPIS to always be available. Shoppers spend a significant amount of time browsing and researching products online, whether during a break from work or while sitting on their couch at home with a tablet, before making a purchase in-store. For those who want to have their purchases immediately, BOPIS is an excellent choice. It not only provides shoppers with greater flexibility, but it also helps maintain their relationships with their preferred retailers.
3.2. Faster fulfillment
Assuming the retailer has the required technology in place, BOPIS offers faster and simpler order fulfillment. When a customer chooses BOPIS, they have greater control over the time and location of product pickup or delivery, which often allows for immediate pickup. This is preferable to the average 2-3 day delivery time for most online orders.
3.3. Eliminate shipping costs
BOPIS enables customers and retailers to avoid shipping costs associated with an order. For some customers, the elimination of shipping costs is a motivator to use BOPIS. For retailers, BOPIS reduces the time, cost, and manual labor associated with picking, packing, and shipping an order. When customers pick up their purchases in-store, companies save on last-mile delivery, packaging, and overall logistics expenses. The last mile from the distribution center or warehouse can often be one of the most significant costs for a retailer.
3.4. Reduced, agile inventory
By utilizing an effective order management or inventory visibility system, BOPIS orders can be fulfilled from multiple channels, such as a distribution center or retail location(s). With real-time inventory visibility, retailers can decide the best way to fulfill an order and leverage various inventory locations for replenishment and fulfillment. This allows them to reduce their overall inventory carrying costs.
3.5. Reduce costs, increase profits
BOPIS not only decreases shipping and fulfillment expenses, but also lowers inventory carrying costs. It has been demonstrated that BOPIS reduces returns, resulting in savings in processing expenses and higher purchases, which boosts overall profitability. Additionally, 60% of online shopping carts are abandoned due to unexpected fees, specifically shipping fees. BOPIS can convert dissatisfied online shoppers into buyers, thereby increasing revenue.
4. What are BOPIS best practices?
4.1. Customer satisfaction
Making sure customers have a positive experience is paramount when implementing a BOPIS strategy. This means providing a seamless online experience that includes clear instructions for in-store pickup. Since BOPIS is a feature that consumers value, it’s important not to hinder their experience. Instead, retailers should strive to make it easy and enjoyable for the shopper.
4.2. In-store experience
When implementing a BOPIS strategy, it’s crucial to prioritize exceptional in-store experiences. In-store pickup should be made as simple and quick as possible, with a dedicated and visible space for pick-up. To maximize the potential for additional purchases, BOPIS pickup locations should be located at the front of the store, and potentially offer pickup lockers. However, it’s important to avoid trying to force BOPIS into an in-store selling opportunity. Also, make sure that store associates are well-trained in BOPIS protocols to provide a smooth experience for customers.
4.3. Customer confidence
To succeed in an omnichannel strategy, it’s essential to offer customers various fulfillment options and make them aware of these options throughout the buying process. Customers expect to have options like standard shipping, same-day delivery, in-store shopping, or curbside pickup, so it’s crucial to make these options clear to them. Meeting customers at the point of purchase is essential to a successful omnichannel strategy.
4.4. Real-time inventory visibility
For a successful BOPIS strategy, it is crucial to have real-time visibility into inventory throughout the entire network. Without such visibility, BOPIS can lead to issues, such as a customer ordering online to pick up in store, only to find upon arrival that the item is sold out. Real-time inventory visibility not only eliminates such problems, but it also allows for flexibility to move and replenish inventory from different channels to support BOPIS and overall sales.
4.5. Modern technology
One way to achieve real-time inventory visibility is through a dedicated solution that focuses solely on BOPIS and its related benefits. However, for businesses aiming to be top-tier in omnichannel retail, it is advisable to utilize a combination of modern order management technology and inventory visibility solutions to optimize the entire order management process and information flow. By using a modern, unified platform for order management, businesses can speed up transformation by simplifying technology and implementation complexities, ultimately providing omnichannel order fulfillment capabilities, ranging from BOPIS and curbside pickup to ship from store (SFS).
5. Examples of BOPIS
Walmart is a very famous retailer in America and is considered the top retailer with BOPIS according to Risnews.com. Customers may shop Walmart’s extensive grocery variety online and have their items prepared and ready for pick up whenever they feel convenient. Walmart’s grocery pickup combines the simplicity of online shopping with the comfort of never having to leave the car, all at no extra charge.
Nordstrom has found success with their Nordstrom Local model, launched in 2017 and specifically tailored to BOPIS orders. In Q1 of 2022, 39% of total Nordstrom sales were digital, a success that their CEO attributed towards BOPIS.
According to Erik Nordstrom, BOPIS comprised 10% of Nordstrom.com demand — a 2% increase from the year prior.
In the mist of the COVID-19 outbreak, Nike has successfully implemented their BOPIS strategy which provides customers with a flexible shopping experience. Here’s how it works:
- Shop at Nike.com as usual, choose your items, and head to checkout.
- Click “PICK UP” in the shipping section to see if your items are available to pick up at a nearby Nike store.
- If your items are eligible, select your preferred store and confirm your contact information.
- The order will be ready, usually within two hours, and they will email you a QR code when it’s ready for pickup.
- No-contact Curbside Pickup: Call the store when you arrive (you’ll receive an email with the store’s phone number). A Nike Store employee will talk you through the pickup process, check your ID, and facilitate the pickup.
- Store Pickup: Go to the store’s pickup desk, provide the code to scan, and take the handoff.
Results: Nike’s digital and direct sales are up. The company announced its results for its third financial quarter for 2019. Total revenue was up 7% to $9.6 billion, while digital sales were up 36%, making it Nike Digital’s first billion-dollar quarter.
BOPIS strategy has grown rapidly in recent years as more and more consumers seek out the convenience and flexibility of BOPIS, and retailers recognize the potential for increased sales and reduced costs associated with the fulfillment of online orders. If you are looking for a reliable technology partner that offers solutions to enable BOPIS capabilities, Kyanon Digital is here to help. Contact us to learn more about BOPIS and how to optimize your retail strategy.