How to Fully Embrace BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store) & Bolster Your Bottom Line as a Midsized Retailer
BOPIS is more than an e-commerce trend, it’s a necessity in today’s retail world. Here’s how and why a midsized retailer should add the service to improve their profits.
What do such retailers like Walmart, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Petsmart have in common? They all offer BOPIS or Buy Online Pick Up in Store. No longer a popular trend, BOPIS is quickly becoming a standard service of retailers of every size and is poised to represent 10% of all sales in 2025. However, we might usher the revolution in earlier than expected, as BOPIS grew more than 500% during the pandemic.
BOPIS offers convenient and streamlined shopping for both retailers and customers. As the practice becomes more common, any midsized retailer should seize the opportunity to offer BOPIS to shoppers. Here’s everything to know about BOPIS including how to implement it and why.
BOPIS is a multi-step process and integrates with your online presence.
- The customer finds the item(s) they want on your website or app
- They purchase the item online
- A staff member either fulfills the order at the customer’s local store or requests it from another store or the retailer’s warehouse
- The customer is notified of a pick-up window
- Once they pick up their order, the customer either goes to a certain area in the store or parks for curbside pickup
Why Offer BOPIS?
One of the biggest reasons to offer BOPIS is to make shopping easier and safer for customers. However, as more shoppers use the service at various retail chains, they’re going to actually expect it when shopping with a small or midsized retailer. Speed, convenience, and lack of shipping fees are great features for customers who choose to buy online and pick up in-store. Customers love the experience, as 70% of shoppers say BOPIS improved their experience with a store, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). NRF also found over 9 in 10 shoppers are more likely to choose shopping with a retailer based on convenience.
You’ll have increased customer satisfaction, as customers will know that they don’t have to show up at the store and leave empty-handed due to being out of stock. They’ll appreciate that they don’t have to wait as long as they would for an online retailer and that they can buy without shipping charges. Offering BOPIS also fosters customer loyalty, with more than half of shoppers making online purchases based on whether a store offers the service. Best of all, you may improve your sales, as most customers (85%) make an additional purchase when they’re in the store.
Making BOPIS Work
Start with Your Website
You need a way for customers to actually purchase online, whether it be via your website or a mobile app. It’s crucial to have precise updated inventory. Customers aren’t buying anything from your website if it’s not updated and easy to use.
Once your customer can buy online with ease, you must communicate how and when they can pick up their order. The most common order notification method is email, and if your customers already participate in a loyalty program or receive marketing communications from you, you can integrate email marketing to include BOPIS alerts. However, don’t rule out text messages (SMS), they have an incredible 98% open rate, 5 times that of email.
Common order messages include the initial confirmation, ready for pickup notification, and order completion. Some retailers opt to send an order processing note as well for orders that may take more than a day to process.
Offer a Pickup Method
Next, you must choose a pickup method. Where will your customers retrieve their purchases? Will it be at the register, or will you offer curbside pickup? The best way to offer pickup is to look at the convenience you can offer to customers based on your store’s size, staffing capacity, and parking. If you have a dedicated parking lot, it can be easy to offer curbside pickup, but if you’re in a major metropolitan area, it could be harder. Look at the method you’re able to offer and choose the best one. Out of individuals surveyed about four pickup methods (at the register, curbside, trunk delivery, and locker code), results showed 9 in 10 shoppers rated each type of BOPIS as convenient. Use signage to indicate the pickup process and include directions in the order communications.
Train Staff on Pickup
Once the order is fulfilled, and the pickup is ready, make sure that your staff can get the order to the customer quickly without a problem. Train your staff on how to store, find, and deliver the order based on the pickup method you offer.
As you implement BOPIS in your store, remember it’s all about convenience. Focus on the convenience you can offer, and you will succeed. The pandemic changed the retail world drastically, but as we emerge into a new year, retailers have learned some valuable lessons about staying on top. This holiday shopping season and beyond, you need to make sure you’re running your retail store in a way that maximizes profits and meets customer needs. Magstar Total Retail will help you integrate BOPIS, ensure inventory precision, and have precise order fulfillment with our full suite of tools. If you’d like to discuss how you can reinvent your retail chain to match the “new normal,” Magstar President Steven Greenwood is happy to connect with you.
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