BOPIS: How Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store is Boosting Revenue for Retailers

Today, retailers utilize the BOPIS model to meet customers’ demands during the pandemic and create a new way for customers to safely shop at their favorite stores. BOPIS, or Buy Online and Pick-Up in Store, is the perfect way for retailers to drive footfall to their stores and connect their offline and online experiences. 

The option has picked up steam during the pandemic. In fact, a survey from August 2020 found that 43.7% of the top 500 retailers with physical stores are now offering BOPIS — up from 6.9% before the pandemic, especially when retailers are looking to provide safer ways for customers to visit their stores and eliminate the chances of being infected during the pandemic. 

As a retailer, if you are also looking to adopt BOPIS into your omnichannel marketing strategy, it’s important to understand what BOPIS is and why customers expect it to be necessary today. In this article, we are going to answer the following — 

  1. What is BOPIS?
  2. How does BOPIS work?
  3. What are the requirements to offer the BOPIS option to your customers?
  4. How does it benefit retailers and customers?

What is BOPIS?

BOPIS stands for Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store. The practice of offering BOPIS has grown as shoppers have embraced omnichannel means to interact with their favorite retailers. It adds a layer of convenience for shoppers as they can browse your shelves online, place orders and visit a store to pick it up. BOPIS allows retailers to blend online and at-store experiences to engage with customers while offering a convenient way to shop. 

Multiple variations have been adopted due to BOPIS like —

  • Curbside Pickups – Many retailers offer customers to receive their online orders outside the store, on the “curb,” often without the need to leave their cars. 
  • Buy Online, Return in Store – Like picking up, BOPIS has also made it convenient for consumers to return their online orders to physical stores. Apple is one of the leading brands that allows customers to return their online orders at their physical stores. 
  • Reserve Online, Pick up at Store – This allows customers to reserve products online and pay for them at the store while receiving the item. 

All these models have one thing in common. They are bridging online and offline store experience so that customers flow seamlessly from one channel to another. 

How does BOPIS work?

Today, shoppers are always on the go. They are looking for choices and flexibility in ordering their products, receiving or returning them. The entire buying journey is on the helms of ease and convenience. It should be effortless, efficient, and quick. 

BOPIS becomes a key element here due to the convenience it offers to shoppers. Anyone can place an order online and quickly run to their nearby store to pick up their order, saving them time and money. Let’s first look at how BOPIS works — 

1. Ordering Via Website, Mobile App, or Chat Apps

When it comes to BOPIS, retailers need to have an online presence and allow customers to place orders online. With Vizury’s O2O commerce platform, retailers can offer BOPIS to their customers on a website, mobile app, and popular chat apps such as WhatsApp, LINE, and more. 

Plus, with real-time hyperlocal inventory integration with their online properties, businesses can help shoppers place orders immediately with a nearby store.

2. Order Fulfillment at the Selected Store

Two scenarios allow stores to fulfill the customer order they just received.

If the item is in stock at the shopper’s chosen location, a store associate can use the Storeboard app to locate the item easily and ready the order for a customer pick-up. When the order is ready, the associate can notify the customer via push notification, email, or chat notification, letting them know that it’s ready for pickup. 

On the other hand, if the item isn’t available at the given store, the associate can get it from another store or the warehouse. Once it arrives, the customer can be notified that the item is available for pickup.

3. Customer Pick Up

The customer can choose to visit the store, go to a designated pick-up location, or do a curbside pickup. Your job is to make the process as easy as possible. You should proactively share the pick-up guidelines with your customers after the order is ready to be picked. 

You can share pickup information with your customer via push notifications, email, text messages, or chat messages. During the pickup process, you should also ensure a contactless payment mode is available if it is a reserve-and-pay pickup, and you can provide digital receipts post-pick-up. 

Requirements for Offering BOPIS

Now that you have figured out what BOPIS is and how the process works, let’s figure out what you need to get started. 

The good news is that Vizury’s offers an out-of-the-box solution for BOPIS. And if you are looking to build it on your own, that’s also an easy task. 

1. A website, app, or conversational commerce app for ordering

Retailers can choose to sell their products online via a website, app, or chat apps, connecting the online and offline experience. This platform should provide accurate product information and real-time visibility into available inventory for reliability and convenience. 

With smartphones being the primary engagement platform for brands and their customers, retailers should tap into mobile-first communication channels such as in-app messaging, push notifications, and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, etc. These channels can be proactively used to provide customers with notifications such as order confirmation, payment confirmation, ready for pick-up, all on their mobile devices. 

2. Real-Time Inventory Integration

Retailers need to analyze and implement the right platform and components to deliver up-to-date and accurate information regarding product availability at the shopper’s nearby stores. This involves connecting all the components of a fulfillment system like warehouse availability, customer notifications, workflows, order status, available locations, and more. 

At Vizury, this process is handled with Vizury Feedbus, which can update product information in real-time for availability, delivery, and pickups. It also enables retailers to send dynamic notifications regarding an order based on a shopper’s activity like ready for pickup, payment options, reservation status, and more. 

3. Retail Outlets 

Of course, BOPIS doesn’t work for retailers who just have an online presence. Retailers must have at least one brick-and-mortar location to fulfill online orders and act as a hub for customers to pick up their orders. 

The stores need to be strategically placed, so it is convenient for the shopper to visit the store for pickup. With the Vizury O2O platform, orders are automatically assigned to the nearest stores when they choose to place a BOPIS order. 

Top 6 Benefits of offering BOPIS 

BOPIS has clear indications that it can be quite beneficial for your business, especially in the post-covid era. 

1. 56% of Shoppers plan to continue using BOPIS after COVID-19

McKinsey’s report found that people plan to continue with the same shopping behavior adopted last year even in a post-pandemic world. Around 56% of surveyees were happy to order online and pick-up at the store, stating their own safety and convenience. 

2. No Shipping Fee

A lot of times during checkouts, we are taken by surprise with a shipping fee added to our receipt! It’s annoying. This is something that almost always steers people away from checking out. In fact, 65% of shoppers also say they look up the free shipping threshold before adding items to their online cart. 

That’s where BOPIS shines. Since BOPIS is all about ordering online and picking it on your own. There is no shipping fee involved. Therefore reducing the total spend on the shopper’s end.

On the other hand, for retailers, the benefit of no shipping cost is underestimated. Think about this for a minute. When you fulfill online orders, it can get expensive quite quickly once you factor in the labor, packaging, and last-mile shipping costs. 

3. Faster Procurement by the Consumer

Not all retailers can offer fast, and free shipping like Amazon does. Most retailers take 3-5 days to deliver orders online. And as an online shopping junkie, I understand the nature of waiting for your order, skimming through the order status page every day.

This is where BOPIS is a god-send. With the option of ordering online and then picking it up from a nearby store, you can ideally place the order now and pick your order in less than an hour. This instant gratification is a huge advantage of BOPIS over online ordering. 

4. Better Inventory Management

With BOPIS, brands don’t need a separate online in-store inventory management system. The inventories can be merged, and orders can be combined from store shelves and warehouses, and your O2O platform can identify the right mode based on whoever is faster. 

Retailers can either deliver a product from their store or warehouse based on the availability of the product. 

5. Higher AOV from Customers

When customers enter the store to pick up their order, they may be tempted to look around and browse other products. Or you can also up-sell and cross-sell complementary products. For example, when you book a Mac for in-store pick-up from Apple, they offer in-store laptop sleeves, and Apple care offers to the customer when they visit the store. 

6. True 360 Overview of Your Customers

By clubbing offline and online activities by adopting BOPIS in your business, you can connect customers’ offline and online activities. This synergy will help businesses target customers with more personalized offers, recommendations, and more. 

Stores can offer custom discounts during checkout or offer complementary services if a customer has frequent shopping sprees on your website and vice versa. 

Get Started with Vizury

While COVID-19 might have started this, that doesn’t mean it’s a one-hit-wonder. Shoppers continuously crave convenience, which is why retailers adopt BOPIS to compete against larger eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and effectively utilize their stores as a potent weapon — placing the product in the hands of the customer at a much faster rate. 

If you are looking to offer BOPIS to your customers, Vizury could help you get started. Vizury’s O2O platform provides global brands with the necessary arsenal to create their own offline-to-online retail strategy with BOPIS, Conversational Commerce, and more. 

Vizury’s O2O platform connects all the dots required to offer BOPIS and other digital engagement modes for your physical retail outlets to cater to your customers. Speak to us today!

Yash Vardhan

Yash handles product and content marketing at Vizury. Apart from writing he has a keen interest in design, traveling, and playing video games.

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