Utilizing BOPIS or ‘click and collect’ to boost customer purchases and satisfaction while improving your omnichannel retail
What is BOPIS?
BOPIS stands for Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. It’s also called ‘click and collect.’ It allows customers to pick out items online through an app or site and then pick up their items at a brick and mortar store near them. The concept is straightforward, but as we’ll explore, there are necessary steps to maximizing BOPIS efficiency to increase sales and customer satisfaction.
Why is BOPIS Important Right Now?
There’s a reason why we’re talking about BOPIS right now. Since the beginning of 2020 when COVID-19 impacted our daily activities, BOPIS has increased dramatically. One study found that 85% of shoppers have significantly increased their curbside pickup orders compared to before the pandemic. Nearly 80% say that a contactless store pickup has an influence on their shopping decisions.
A 2020 report said that 50% of survey respondents decided where to shop based on if the store provided in-store pickup.
Even before COVID-19, 73% of consumers were omnichannel customers.
Simply put, BOPIS is here and if you’re not maximizing your abilities, your competition is.
How BOPIS Works
The mechanics of BOPIS has multiple behind-the-scenes requirements (more on that below), but the customer-facing steps are straightforward:
Customers browse your app or site and load their digital cart with items available at a store near them. Instead of selecting a delivery option, they choose a “pick up in-store” option at check out. These items might be available immediately or shipped to the store from a distribution center.
An in-store employee receives the order and fulfills it by collecting the items and then notifying the customer when they can come to pick them up. Alternatively, if the store doesn’t have the item, a warehouse holding the inventory will fulfill the shipment to the store.
Once the customer has been notified, they go to pick up in-store or through curbside pickup. Ease of communication is key for a seamless BOPIS interaction. The customer needs to know when and where to go and what they need to show an employee to get their order. QR codes, text messages and emails are easy ways to communicate and confirm orders.
The Benefits of BOPIS
Beyond the safety measures of curbside pickup, BOPIS offers several advantages for both consumers and retailers.
Convenience & Costs
BOPIS takes the ease of online shopping and packages it with the immediacy of in-person shopping. The benefits of that combo are hard to overstate. You are reducing typical online shopping pain points like shipping costs, delivery times and loss or damage of shipped goods. At the same time, customers are able to handle the product immediately, ensuring it matches its description and increasing overall satisfaction.
This cuts down on returns. But even there, BOPIS has the advantage of in-store returns, instead of asking the customer to ship the item back themselves. That means fewer opportunities to lose or damage a package and less time that inventory spends in limbo.
Click and collect connects in-store and online experiences, which is a boost for both purchasing avenues. By moving purchasers from a digital realm into the physical store, you’ll get more foot traffic, which translates to browsing and upsells when they’re in the store. A 2020 infographic from invesp reported that 49% of shoppers made additional purchases while picking up items.
That connectivity also includes consolidated inventory management. The left hand knows what the right hand is doing in BOPIS. By integrating your online and in-store inventory, you optimize both systems and reduce miscommunication and redundancies and gain more insight into your overall performance.
What You Need to Implement a Strong BOPIS Strategy
From a consumer perspective, BOPIS combines the ease of online shopping with the convenience of in-person purchasing and same-day pickup. To get to that convenience, however, companies need alignment across systems and the entire supply chain.
BOPIS only works if your inventory management system is able to handle it. The minimum requirements include:
- A website or app that includes real-time inventory availability. If you don’t have a site, there is no BO of BOPIS.
- A customer needs to know that BOPIS is available and they need to understand the steps. We’re looking to assist people who are busy and on-the-go (metaphorically and actually), so be clear and concise in your explanations.
- This likely goes without saying that you need a store for BOPIS to work. Customers need a hub to access their orders, and you won’t attract many purchases if your location is just a warehouse loading dock.
- As we said above, technology is the big connection here. If your site or app can’t accurately show what’s available in-store or for shipping, you’re going to drive customers away with frustration. It goes beyond that, though. Your fulfillment system needs to be fully connected with accurate analytics so that you can keep high-demand items in stock and ready for pickup.
- This new service requires that your employees understand the system and how to efficiently fulfill orders for in-store pickup. If your process takes too long or your employees can’t execute the system, you’ll have customer dissatisfaction – eliminating the convenience of BOPIS and limiting sales. You will also need in-store employees to ensure that you can fulfill all online orders quickly without compromising your in-person shopping experience.
- A new feature requires new messaging. Make sure that your customers know about your BOPIS offering and the details of it. That means you need to include messaging throughout your site or app, from the homepage to product pages to checkout.
Victory Packaging Solutions
If you’re ready to integrate BOPIS into your offerings, Victory Packaging’s e-commerce and supply chain solutions are ready to help. Make sure your inventory is always in the right place so that your customers can seamlessly click and collect. To learn more about our solutions, check out our e-commerce and supply chain offerings.