The retail industry is at a crossroads where on one side, there's the familiar comfort of traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and on the other, there's the convenient, fast-paced world of online shopping.
But what if there was a way to marry the two?
With BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) — a market that's expected to reach more than $700 billion by 2027 — that's a reality.
In this blog, we'll cover how can you get started with BOPIS, what benefits this method can bring to your brand, and why it's ideal for customers and brands alike:
10 Ways Brands Can Benefit From BOPIS
In the fast-paced digital era, one might expect brick-and-mortar stores to fade into obsolescence.
However, BOPIS is proving this isn't the case, as over half of online shoppers are using click-and-collect methods. Why? Because while BOPIS caters to the modern consumer's demand for efficiency and instant gratification, it also fulfills the age-old enjoyment of physically picking out and taking home new items.
BOPIS isn't just benefiting consumers, either. It's also transforming the way brands connect with their customers. Take leading retailer Target, for instance: In 2020, Target's same-day services, which include BOPIS, grew by 235%, leading to increased sales, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.
So, what are some of the benefits to brands? Let's explore:
- Greater Brand Recognition. When your customers use BOPIS, they interact with your brand in a way that's both physical and digital. They see your logo online when they make a purchase, then again in-store when they pick up their order. This constant reinforcement boosts brand recognition, strengthening customer relationships and fostering loyalty.
- Cross-Channel Engagement. BOPIS is a critical component of a successful omnichannel retail strategy. It blurs the line between online and offline shopping, allowing customers to transition seamlessly between these channels. This integration meets customers where they are, providing a consistent and convenient experience that encourages repeat business.
- Convenience for Customers. The beauty of BOPIS lies in its simplicity. Customers can browse and select items online at their leisure, then pick them up in-store at their convenience — often on the same day. This blend of online convenience with in-store immediacy is a winning formula that keeps customers coming back.
- Instant Gratification. With BOPIS, the wait for delivery becomes a thing of the past. Customers can get their hands on their purchases immediately, satisfying their desire for instant gratification. This can be particularly appealing for time-sensitive purchases or for those who enjoy the thrill of in-store shopping.
- Enhanced Data Analytics. Every BOPIS transaction yields valuable data that can help you refine your retail strategy. Information about customer preferences, buying habits, and pickup times can inform supply chain adjustments, more accurate customer segmentation, and personalized marketing campaigns. The result? A more targeted approach that resonates with your customers.
- Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities. BOPIS is an effective way to increase basket size and boost revenue, especially considering that studies show 47% of customers purchase additional products inside the store when they go to pick up their order. When customers come in to pick up their purchases, it's easier for them to be enticed by complementary products or special in-store promotions.
- Reducing Returns. BOPIS offers customers the chance to inspect their purchases before leaving the store. This immediate feedback can help reduce return rates, saving you the cost and hassle of handling unwanted items.
- Sustainability Benefits. BOPIS is not only good for business; it's better for the planet, too. By using existing store locations as pickup points, you can reduce the carbon footprint associated with last-mile delivery. Plus, BOPIS often requires less packaging than traditional home delivery, which means less waste and a more sustainable future.
- Improved Customer Loyalty. A positive BOPIS experience can foster customer loyalty, encouraging repeat business. By offering a service that is both convenient and efficient, you're showing your customers that you value their time and business.
- Inventory Optimization. By fulfilling online orders from existing store stock, you can avoid overstocking and understocking issues. BOPIS allows you to manage inventory more effectively, improving financial performance and reducing waste.
How to Build a Winning BOPIS Strategy
To implement BOPIS effectively, it's crucial to invest in the right technology, ensure your physical stores are adequately staffed and prepared, and create a seamless experience for customers.
Streamline the Online Shopping Experience
Your ecommerce platform should be as welcoming and navigable as your physical store.
The key to this is a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for customers to find what they need, regardless of the device they are on. Providing clear product descriptions, high-quality images, and a simple checkout process can help customers make confident decisions, reducing the chances of returns, exchanges, or abandoned carts.
Another crucial factor is real-time inventory visibility. There's nothing more frustrating for a customer than finding out an item they've selected for BOPIS isn't available. Real-time inventory updates can prevent this disappointment and build trust in your brand.
Provide Consistent, Clear Communication
Once a customer has placed an order, communicate early and often. Confirmation emails and text notifications should be sent immediately, keeping the customer informed about the status of their order.
Reminders are also valuable, especially as more people embrace BOPIS. A simple nudge can prompt customers to collect their orders promptly, enhancing the effectiveness of your BOPIS service.
Finally, provide clear instructions for picking up orders and contact information for any questions or issues. This step reassures customers that support is available, further strengthening their relationship with your brand.
Efficient In-Store Operations
When it comes to the in-store part of BOPIS, efficiency is vital. Reserved parking spots for curbside pickup, dedicated BOPIS pickup areas, and even outdoor lockers are great ways to make sure customers get their orders quickly and efficiently.
Staff should also be well-trained to handle BOPIS orders, ensuring quick processing and accurate order verification. The faster your customers can get in and out, the more likely they are to use the service again.
Prioritize Customer Convenience
Not all customers can make it to your store during regular business hours. Offering extended pick-up times, such as early morning or late evening slots, can accommodate a wider range of customer schedules. Implement a system that allows customers to select a convenient pick-up time when placing their order.
Additionally, make it easy for customers to process returns and exchanges by having a dedicated counter or staff member. This not only enhances the customer experience but also reduces wait times and risks of losing sales.
Collect & Analyze Data & Feedback
Data is your best friend. Be diligent about capturing feedback from your customers, whether it's in the form of surveys, comment boxes, direct conversations, or a combination of all.
Once you have this valuable information, retail analytics software can help you sift through the feedback, identify patterns, and unveil trends, connecting the dots between ground-level data and sales performance. This will provide valuable insights into what's working and what's not, and continuous iteration will keep your BOPIS strategy fresh and effective.
Marketing and Promotion
Promote your BOPIS service through targeted marketing like email campaigns, social media ads, and even in-store signage. Offer exclusive discounts to BOPIS customers to encourage more people to try out the service, or use cross-promotions with other products or services to drive up BOPIS usage.
ThirdChannel: Your Partner in BOPIS and Brand Growth
BOPIS isn't just about meeting customers' demands for efficiency and convenience; it's also a pathway to brand growth, loyalty, and sustainability. But making it work requires a partner like ThirdChannel, who knows your brand, your customers, and understands the intricate dynamics of omnichannel retail.
At ThirdChannel, we help you see your business from a fresh perspective. From our best-in-class retail software to our vast network of vetted brand reps, we can help you enhance your online shopping experience, streamline in-store operations, and use data analytics to drive decisions — schedule a demo to learn how.