What is BOPIS and why should you care?

3 Min READ

So, what exactly is BOPIS?

Right now, retailers are getting on board with a trend that allows them to leverage their networks of brick-and-mortar stores to gain one key advantage over online-only retailers — while reducing one of their greatest handicaps.

This buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) trend is gaining immense popularity. With this being hugely popular with consumers, BOPIS offers stores both customer satisfaction and supply chain benefits, experts say. It allows stores to satisfy shoppers’ urge for instant gratification — something many online-only stores, with their days-long delivery lag times, struggle with. At the same time, BOPIS allows traditional retailers to turn their stores into distribution hubs to which consumers are happy to travel.

Another effect of BOPIS is preventing fraud. This has been one of the challenges at the retail return desk. BOPIS means you are able to offer new services like “frictionless” returns. Having the ability to offer more flexible and lenient returns, while still mitigating the risk of fraud and abuse, and improving the customer experience, is ever more critical.

So what now? Here are five areas for retailers to focus on when it comes to BOPIS:

1.   Convenience: In this world of instant gratification, today’s consumers expect a new kind of convenience when shopping. So progressive omnichannel retailers must adopt BOPIS to accommodate changing demands. A recent study shows two-thirds of shoppers say multiple fulfillment options influence their willingness to complete a purchase.

2.   Cost Savings:  BOPIS gives the retailer and consumer a means to save in shipping costs. Avoiding shipping fees was listed as the top reason customers like BOPIS, so it’s vital for retailers to offer a more frictionless path for their consumers with also helps them save money.

3.   Additional Foot Traffic: Retailers with brick-and-mortar stores need to give the consumers a means if aligning their online experiences with the in-store experience. By offering in-store pickup merchants can tailor their in-store experiences for consumers using their mobile apps.

4.   Aid in Fulfillment: BOPIS doesn’t work if retailers don’t have a clearly stated fulfillment promise that they can consistently deliver on. Many retailers are meeting the expectation of availability within two hours for items in stock. Retailers must make their BOPIS process convenient AND quick. BOPIS falls short if consumers experience friction with fulfillment — standing in line to retrieve an order is a satisfaction killer.

5.   Simple and Secure: Fulfillment can ensure a positive BOPIS experience for consumers and retailers. Retail certainly has it's busy seasons (back-to-school, Cyber Monday, etc), so it’s crucial that retailers capitalize on the increased traffic by giving consumers a seamless and pleasant transaction process. Research shows nearly 80 percent of BOPIS shoppers will make an additional purchase while at the store, and a happy customer buys more.

How should you start implementing a BOPIS strategy?

You can start by creating a BOPIS environment for the consumer. With smartphones now playing the role of supporting actor in all aspects of consumers’ lives, it’s no surprise that consumers expect their phones to assist in the shopping experience, especially when it comes to BOPIS (buy online and pickup in-store).

In fact, according to a recent study by The National Retail Federation:

• 70% of consumers opted to use BOPIS to avoid paying for shipping fees,

• 83% of consumers who utilized BOPIS opted to pick up their merchandise at

the cash register within the physical store,

• 63% of consumers sought the ability to utilize curbside pickup,

• 50% of consumers asked to retrieve their purchases from a locker.

The Shopgate advantage is the ability for retailers to remove the complexity and risk from large and elaborate IT intersection and operational assumptions. With Shopgate, retailers can seamlessly create remarkable mobile experiences in-store. Download our free guide on "Surviving the Retail Apocalypse

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