Why Your Retail Business Needs to Deploy BOPIS

Customer expectations have changed a lot over the past decade. We live in a digital age where nearly everything is conveniently accessible online. That’s why today 83% of consumers agree that convenience while shopping is more important than it was 5 years ago.

So how can retailers keep up with increasing demand from customers to provide a fast and convenient shopping experience? Enter BOPIS.

BOPIS is a service model that allows consumers to order online from the comfort of their own home, and pick up their purchases in-store at a time that suits them. It’s proving so popular that by 2025 90% of retailers are expected to offer BOPIS.

The BOPIS model meets customer expectations for fast service and allows retailers to compete against fast delivery brands like Amazon. It bridges the gap between online and offline and has many benefits for retailers and consumers, facilitating a customer-focused shopping experience.

BOPIS is the ideal way to combine online and offline worlds, drive in-store traffic, and provide customers with a convenient shopping experience. That’s why 61% of surveyed retailers say BOPIS and BORIS are at the top of their omnichannel plans and investments.

In this article, we’ll dive into what makes BOPIS great, and explain how small-mid weight businesses can benefit from adding the model to their customer service sector.

What is BOPIS?

Let’s start with the basics. BOPIS (aka click and collect) stands for buy online, pick up in-store. Nowadays, retailers have taken to offering BOPIS to reflect the lifestyles of busy customers.

Nowadays, shoppers don’t have time to traipse around a mall or up and down a high street. They want cheap options that fulfill their demands quickly.

The solution? BOPIS.

BOPIS and it’s counterpart BORIS (buy online, return in-store) brings together online and traditional in-store customer experience, providing an efficient and convenient way to shop.

How does it work?

It’s all in the acronym. You buy online, and pick-up in store!

You can choose a convenient time to pick up your purchase, and from which store. The choice and flexibility are all yours. You can also make returns quickly and efficiently once you see the items in store, taking the hassle out of sending things back via post.

What are the advantages of BOPIS for retailers?

When looked at from a retailer’s perspective, BOPIS is a no-brainer.

One of the main reasons online retailers offer BOPIS is to remain competitive with other big-boss retail companies like Amazon.

If you can offer a smooth UX, fill your site with killer sales proposals targeted towards your audience, and provide leading customer service, then you’re ready to add BOPIS to enhance your sales strategy.

BOPIS appeals to the millennial market. Millennials shop differently to generations before them. Growing up in an instant gratification world has changed expectations of customer experience from digital transactions. Studies found that click and collect services were used by 51% of the 35-44 age bracket, and 45% in the 25-34 age group in 2019.

Measurable benefits of offering BOPIS include:

Increases revenue by driving in-store purchases upon item pickup. This study found that as many as 49% of customers make extra purchases when picking up their item in-store.
Reduces delivery costs and cart abandonment. Around 60% of abandoned online shopping carts are left because of high shipping costs.
Improves customer experience and increases satisfaction; allows shoppers to retrieve online orders when it’s convenient for them
77% percent of retailers agree that with BOPIS they have reduced return volumes, and saved on the cost of processing refunds and restocking goods.

BOPIS in time for the holiday season

Over 40% of holiday shoppers take advantage of BOPIS.

The holiday season is exhausting, so it’s no wonder that consumers prefer to take the stress out of holiday shopping with a click and collect service. No queues, no crowded shopping centers, and no awful Christmas music – when it comes to the holidays, BOPIS is a hit.

So how can you make sure it works for you this holiday season?

Plan your year with a 2020 retail calendar. You won’t miss out on any special occasions and you’ll get a good idea of how your business is performing throughout the year.

What’s more, you can leverage the holiday potential by using omnichannel retail software to market your brand across different platforms and boost your sales. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out some brands that have got omnichannel marketing down to an art.

You’ve probably already started planning your 2020 holiday marketing; it goes without saying that this year’s going to be a bit different.

2020 brought about unexpected challenges for brands and retailers across industries, and many companies have had to think of quick solutions that allow them to adapt to an online retail world.

At the height of global pandemic restrictions from March until early June 2020, BOPIS orders rose by a staggering 367.2%. What’s more, a survey conducted by da Vinci Payments found that 71% of adults said that they planned to do most of their holiday shopping digitally in 2020.

Why are customers opting for click and collect?

BOPIS hands control back to the customer.

One study found that 73% of participants who had opted to use BOPIS did so to avoid shipping costs. What’s more, a study found that 90% of online shoppers stated high shipping fees and home delivery that takes longer than two days is the main reason preventing them from completing a purchase online.

This is the most common reason why consumers choose to pick up in-store, rather than have it delivered to their door. BOPIS eliminates expensive shipping costs.

With BOPIS, customers ensure that the product they want is available in-store. This saves taking a trip to your favorite shop only to leave disappointed when your size is no longer in stock. When you’re ready, you simply pick up your order from a designated spot in-store or curbside. Some shops are taking it to the next level and taking the delivery right to your car!

Many environmentally-conscious shoppers also use BOPIS to reduce carbon emissions and wasteful packaging.

Getting started with BOPIS

With all the advantages in mind, let’s dive right into how you can begin offering BOPIS to your customers.

You’ll need a website or app where customers can place orders. It should be totally user friendly; you shouldn’t lose out on customers due to bad design or user experience. Luckily, the internet is a treasure trove of fantastic resources. Here are some pointers:

Your website needs to be mobile-friendly and well-designed with a clean interface; don’t put customers off before they’ve had the chance to click around.
Top-notch customer service
Implement a content strategy to drive engagement and boost conversions with valuable content that speaks to your brand identity.
It should provide real-time available inventory visibility

Another thing you need is a physical location. This will be the point your customers go to to find their items.

You’re almost there.

You’ll also need real-time inventory capabilities. As a retailer, you should provide your customers with real-time updates analytics on order statuses, workflows, and customer engagement. Implementing successful inventory management methods yields numerous benefits including:

Increased sales
Improved delivery performance
Increased customer loyalty

If a customer has a great experience with your business, where they’re kept informed and up to date with transparent information, they’re more likely to purchase from you in the future.

Tips for deploying BOPIS

There are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re doing BOPIS the right way.

An outreach strategy can make a huge difference in your sales. If a customer buys from your website once they’re 25% more likely to buy from you again. What’s more, when they buy from your website twice, they’re more than 45% more likely to make a third one.

Keeping customers is all about building trust and nurturing the customer relationship.

Email

Email outreach is a great way to nurture the customer relationship even after the initial purchase transaction. Don’t be overbearing and annoying; remember with email outreach: less is more.

A simple thank you note, monthly newsletter, or a link to any special offers will keep you on their radar. Ensuring your email content is valuable and relevant is key here, or you’ll be heading directly for the spam folder.

You can provide more targeted emails to boost sales.

Cross-selling can help you to boost sales. In your email, provide the customer with products related to their initial purchase. For example, if they purchased a rug – perhaps they are interested in other household decoration items.

Upselling by share information regarding extra deals on upgrades, add-ons, more expensive items than what the customer wanted to purchase at the beginning of their customer journey.

A post-purchase email is a good time to provide customers with offers and discounts. In-store coupons, invitations to try in-store services, or shopping alerts are great ideas. This works to hold their attention and improve their shopping experience with you.

Feedback

FeedbackUse your customers’ feedback to manage the user experience and retain their loyalty. One way to do this is with a post-purchase survey. The survey allows you to discover the ups and downs of their customer’s journey with you. You can then use the information to reduce friction during the buying process and improve user experience on your website.

Be mobile-friendly

Mobile apps are another great way to boost customer engagement. Smartphones are basically part of the human body now, and they play a crucial role in the modern shopping experience. That’s why 57% of US smartphone owners make multiple monthly purchases with their mobile devices.

As a retailer, you can use your mobile app to communicate with the customer through their buyer’s journey using push notifications. This way you can let them know when the order is prepared and ready to be picked up.

Your mobile retail site should tick the following boxes:

Items are easy to find in the online store
It provides a low-friction checkout process
Inventory availability is communicated clearly
Purchase status communication

What challenges does BOPIS pose for retailers?

Bopis is a useful service that has endless benefits for customers and retailers. But it doesn’t come without its challenges.

Some of the biggest challenges posed by BOPIS, especially in the early stages, include inventory accuracy, training, staffing, and ROI.

However, the biggest concern for retailers is fraud. In fact, 40.4% of retailers agree that buy-online-pick-up-in-store introduces extra fraud concerns. With BOPIS, staff need to keep a keener eye on fraud, as the middle ground between online and in-store orders is compromised.

BOPIS doesn’t require a delivery address, which allows retailers to determine whether customers are legitimate buyers or frauds. Fraud systems are able to match billing and delivery addresses as a reassurance of the customer’s legitimacy, but with BOPIS – there’s no address.

In a real in-store transaction there’s a credit card present. With BOPIS, the financial liability for fraud shifts from the card issuer to the retailer. Most retailers have procedures in place to combat fraud during BOPIS transactions, however many are concerned about whether employees follow the procedures set in place.

BOPIS is the future of retail

Yes, BOPIS has many benefits and challenges, but the bottom line is that in 2020 businesses need BOPIS to satisfy customers.

Most retail giants like Target, Walmart, and Zara already take advantage of BOPIS. Through bridging the gap between online and offline retail worlds, businesses are digitally empowering customers and providing a convenient shopping experience.

With so much competition out there, it’s essential that the shopping experience your business offers stands up to the competition.

If you want to keep customers you’ll need to provide them with all the options and resources they need for great CX. BOPIS is proven to increase revenue, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction leading to better ROI and loyal customers.

2020 is the year of BOPIS. With restrictions on retail operations in place across most of the globe, it’s essential that businesses find ways around this. Click and collect is the ideal solution.

So, where can your business go with BOPIS?