How BOPIS is Contributing to the Omnichannel Experience
The full omnichannel experience is becoming increasingly important for retailers today. They feel the need to target consumers from every direction in hopes of appealing to their search for convenience and stress free shopping. There are many ways to fulfill a customer’s order, one of the most increasingly popular being “Buy Online Pick Up in Store” or BOPIS. This method of fulfillment may be the ultimate merge between online and brick and mortar store operations. Because of this, many retailers are making great efforts to offer such an option within their retail stores and to succeed at increasing sales with this method.
How is This Beneficial to Your Business?
There are many benefits to having the BOPIS option within your retail store. With this method of purchase, customers are able to quickly come in and grab their online orders from physical stores’ dedicated BOPIS counters. For those who are not looking to have a leisurely stroll around the aisles of a store searching for their product, this option speaks to their need for convenience. In addition, reducing shipping costs and time spent waiting for the package to arrive are advantages for the consumer.
This places you above your competition when a potential buyer is deciding where to shop for their desired product. If you offer this service and another retailer does not, that may be just enough to have the consumer choose you over the competitor. This also gives you the edge above online businesses that do not offer BOPIS, therefore requiring shipping charges and wait times for the consumer.
Many retailers who have been taking advantage of this fulfillment method are partnering with startups such as Curbside to provide curbside pickup services where the customer doesn’t even have to leave their car. For the business, there is a disadvantage in not having a customer walk around your store looking for a product because this will prevent any possibility of an impulse buy, but a happy customer is a returning customer- so it seems to be worth it.
A study was recently done in which a mystery shopper visited 30 retailers who offer the BOPIS service and recorded their satisfaction in different areas of the retailer services. Stats found that 90% of retailers visited had online orders ready and waiting for the shopper at the scheduled pick-up time and place. In 43% of the stores, associates were able to find the order in under a minute (while 50% took one to four minutes,) and 75% of locations had orders ready for pickup in 24 hours or less. If things are done the right way, this method of fulfillment can be beneficial to your customers and your business in many ways.
There are some things to pay attention to when deciding you’d like to begin offering Buy Online Pickup in Store services. First is to allow stock checks in local store on the product pages of your ecommerce site. This is useful information to the customer who wants to make sure they are ordering from a place which does have the product they are looking for. Another tip is to clearly explain the way the system works, both on your website and in stores. Keep people informed about which items are available and what to do when they head to a store. Once the customer arrives at the store, the clear communication should continue by making sure there are signs present to direct customers to the pickup location. Also, make the option to pick up in store clear on the shopping cart page of your site. A customer may not realize this is even an option until they are about to finalize their transaction. It will also prompt them to continue with the purchase if they feel the shipping charges are too high.
Encourage this method of fulfillment the best you can because many customers who would see its benefits just need to be made aware how convenient it really is. Things you can do to promote BOPIS include suggesting alternative stores when stock is unavailable. You can provide a list of all local retail stores, and when the customer’s pre-selected store isn’t currently in stock, another local outlet will be suggested. Suggesting similar products when the desires goods are out of stock is also a good idea. In addition, have the option to choose that fulfillment method via a mobile device. Mobile is a vital link in a retailer’s multichannel strategy, as people are increasingly using their phones for product searches and stock checking while shopping.
Making it a Positive Experience
It’s not a good idea to begin charging for the BOPIS service. The money you will make in delivery charges do not come close to the profit you will make in sales to happy customers if you keep it as a free service. The in-store pickup experience should be kept as positive as possible because a happy customer is a returning customer. This means promoting these services within stores, minimizing waiting times, and offering clear signage for customers coming to collect their orders.
Providing your customers with the omnichannel experience is something that can take your business to the next level, but it’s important to keep things organized and running smoothly as you begin exploring BOPIS services. Keeping your inventory managed as well as keeping the flow between customers placing orders to customers receiving orders running smoothly is essential. Unfortunately, a lot of legacy software options do not have the capability for pickup in store or in store fulfillment.
The SkuNexus Solution
Luckily, there is a software out there which bridges this gap. SkuNexus is the world’s most customizable commerce operations system, and we have the capability to differentiate between orders being picked up, shipped, or drop shipped. Within our order management flow, we are automatically able to detect if an order was selected for pickup and get that order pushed into the correct workflow. Because of this process, the order will be ready for the customer to pick up in record time. At SkuNexus, we work with you to build out the features you need, making sure your BOPIS processes along with all the aspects of your inventory management are running smoothly.
Get in touch with SkuNexus, our fully customizable order/inventory/warehouse management system by clicking HERE. We will work with you to build out a software to keep things running seamlessly and lead you to success.