Don’t fear the BOPIS

User Experience

Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store

The thought of going to the mall and wading through thousands of shoppers can make one cringe. Especially when you may fight through the crowds just to find out they’re out of the item you’re looking for. Or what if it’s not in the right size? These worries help explain the growing trend of major retailers adopting efficient Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store (BOPIS) options. This capability allows customers to take some uncertainty out of their already-stressful shopping experiences.

Benefits for the Consumer

In general, there are a lot of benefits to BOPIS, from both the retailer and the consumer side. For consumers, the first benefit is obvious: you get to avoid all of the shopping madness. No more zipping around a crowded store looking for what you need. No more “um, excuse me, sir, trying to get through!” Consumers also enjoy the following benefits of BOPIS:

  • Skip the shipping costs. An obvious benefit of buying online and picking up in-store is avoiding your order’s shipping costs. Depending on the company, shipping can get quite expensive. Anywhere from $6 to even $15 or above is certainly not out of the question. For the holiday season in particular, you could order everything online, and then pick up at a low-activity time.
  • Special discounts when you BOPIS. A lot of retailers will even offer specific discounts for when you buy their products online and opt to pick them up in-store. So, not only can you save on shipping costs, but you could also get up to 10% or more off of the product price.
  • Allowing more flexibility when shopping. Maybe your apartment complex is marked by 1/2 units, which can cause repetitive delivery issues, or maybe you live in a new apartment complex that isn't yet recognized as an address. Buying online gives you the benefit of getting exactly what you want from the comfort of your home, while also giving you the flexibility to pick it up whenever you need it.

Benefits for the Retailer

Of course, customers aren’t the only ones benefiting from this setup. Otherwise, why would companies invest in systems like OrderDynamics in the first place? Here are a few (of many) benefits that BOPIS capabilities will bring to your business:

  • Increased Average Order Value (AOV). Additional items are more likely to be bought while in store. Probably one of the most important items on this list is BOPIS’s effect on average order value. Think about it this way: what are the odds that after a customer buys something online, they’ll buy something else in the store when they come to pick it up? Apparently, pretty dang high; a whopping 51% to be exact.
  • Increase foot traffic to your stores. Along a similar vein, this increase in AOV is possible by, of course, bringing more people into the store through BOPIS. More foot traffic means more product exposure, and likely more revenue. This doesn’t necessarily help the Holiday shopping dilemma, but it’s still good to keep in mind year-round.
  • Increases overall shopping experience, and therefore brand loyalty. Your customers are going to appreciate the increased flexibility they get when shopping with your brand. With the ability to buy from your store however they want – whether it be in-store, online, or the hybrid BOPIS – they’ll know that they’ll be able to get what they want, when they want it. This will increase the overall shopping experience, making your customers more loyal to your brand than ever.

Don’t miss out on implementing BOPIS

As companies continue to strive for a completely unified eCommerce experience, more and more big retailers are starting to roll out their own BOPIS implementations. It’s crucial not to miss out on this trend; giving your customers more flexibility to buy from you than ever is only going to make your business stronger. Just recently, huge retailers such as Petco, Home Depot, and Nordstrom are embracing this new part of the online shopping experience. In Petco’s case, they’ve already experienced a 5% increase in the number of online customers.

It's important to highlight the benefit BOPIS has on a company’s online operations. BOPIS gives retailers the opportunity of having inventory efficiencies that were simply unavailable before. The catch is that you need to have sophisticated order management software in place to enjoy this benefit. Again, systems like OrderDynamics are great for accomplishing this.

This kind of software can seamlessly manage and order inventory across multiple stores so that customers are never disappointed by finding out what they ordered isn’t actually there when they come to pick it up. However, retailers must be careful not to rush too quickly into their BOPIS implementations, because this can actually cause the opposite effect in terms of efficiency. Namely, rushing too fast can cause problems with store visibility, lag in response time, and filling orders accurately.

With many benefits to offering BOPIS, it may just be something for your business to begin to consider as an offering to your customers.

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