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BOPIS: Make Store Visits Quicker, Easier and Safer

Björn Ström
Design Lead of Ombori Apps AB

BOPIS means “buy online, pick up in-store.” It is also sometimes called click and collect or ROPIS (reserve online, pick up in-store).

This method of purchasing products allows customers to avoid busy stores and long lines. They can also avoid shipping costs from ordering the product online, and they can bring the items back to the store directly if those products do not meet their needs.

Busy lifestyles, combined with COVID-19 restrictions, have made BOPIS even more popular today than it has been in years, though it was already used extensively across a wide variety of retailers. BOPIS services are especially popular during the holiday season, and even before the pandemic struck, BOPIS sales were up 35% in 2019. Moreover, this type of purchasing method has increased over 500% as of April 2020, in large part because of the COVD-19 pandemic.

Businesses need to take advantage of this purchasing method, as customers enjoy utilizing the many benefits it offers.

How Does BOPIS Work?

BOPIS allows customers extensive flexibility, as they can choose when and how they want to shop and pick up their products at their convenience. Most BOPIS processes follow the following general steps.

  1. Customers buy through an online store or mobile app

A customer will start the BOPIS process by browsing goods online or through a mobile app. This type of shopping, if done correctly, is extremely convenient for customers because they can take as much time or as little time as they would like to view your products. They can also shop at any hour, day or night, that is convenient for them.

Once the client has selected the product they want, they will go through the checkout process and select “pick up,” or something similar, to get the product from the store. In many cases, the client can pick a specific date and time that they would like to pick up the product. In other situations, the store might choose to provide a date and time by which the product can be picked up, rather than setting a specific pick-up time (e.g., “Your product will be ready by tomorrow at 2 pm.”)

  1. The retailer fulfills the order

Once a customer orders a BOPIS order, the retailer needs to fulfill the order by getting it ready at the local store or shipping it to the local store. In some cases, BOPIS orders are only for those products that are at a local store. If the item is not in stock at the local store, another store can ship it to the local store for pick up.

  1. The customer picks up the product at a designated pick-up location

The customer might simply go to the local store for pick up. Some stores will also designate other pick-up locations, especially if they do not have a brick-and-mortar store nearby.

Retailers can designate a location in the store for pick up or offer curbside pick up for an added level of convenience.

The Benefits of BOPIS

Customers enjoy BOPIS services because they are easy to use and convenient. Some of the specific benefits include the following advantages:

No Shipping Costs

When customers purchase items online and have them shipped to their homes, they often have to pay for shipping costs to get the product to them. By shipping the product to the store or simply picking it up at the local store, they can avoid those added costs.

Quick Service

Many BOPIS options involve picking up the product within a few hours. As a result, customers avoid having to wait several days for delivery, so they can get virtually instant gratification while also enjoying shopping online from the comfort of their home or any other location.

In-Stock Purchases

When customers use BOPIS, they know that the item they want in the store will be ready and waiting for them when they get there. That way, customers avoid making a trip only to find out that the product they want is no longer available or is on back-order.

Quick Returns and Exchanges

Compared to ordering online, BOPIS services are a much easier way to deal with returns and exchanges. For example, if the product is not quite what they expected, the customer can exchange it locally rather than waiting several days to return or exchange it.

Increased Retail Store Traffic

Companies that use BOPIS to get customers in the store also often see an increase in purchasing when the customer comes to the store to pick up their item as well. As a result, BOPIS options increase both eCommerce and traditional sales.

Safe, Secure Pick-Up

Unfortunately, many customers struggle with uncertainties in shipping—from unreliable shipping companies or drivers to neighborhood thieves taking packages from front porches. When customers use BOPIS, they know that their product will be safely waiting for pick up when they are ready to get it.

BOPIS Is Here to Stay: Success Stories and Case Studies

BOPIS is extremely popular because it has many benefits both for the customer and the retail stores. Businesses from restaurants to department stores are taking advantage of this shopping method to increase sales and provide added convenience for their clients. A few examples of successful BOPIS programs are outlined below.

Home Depot

Home Depot is a department store with over 2,000 stores across North America. In 2018, BOPIS purchases made up just under half of all online purchases throughout 2018. In addition, when the customer came into the store to pick up their products, roughly 20 percent of them also purchased more items in the store.

BOPIS orders have also reduced shipping costs for Home Depot as well.

Best Buy

As of the third quarter of 2020, roughly 40% of Best Buy’s online sales came from BOPIS purchases. Their team has a “quick” take on BOPIS—roughly 80% of the BOPIS orders are ready for pick up in less than 30 minutes.

Nordstrom Local

Nordstrom launched Nordstrom Local specifically to tailor to BOPIS orders. Nordstrom Local serves only as a pick-up point for online orders; they do not sell anything at these locations. These “pick-up spaces” are currently centralized in New York and Los Angeles, mainly in residential areas.

Nordstrom has had great success with this project as a way to boost sales and customer satisfaction.

Preparing Retail Stores for BOPIS

For BOPIS to work properly, customers need to be reassured that they will get what they ordered. They also need clear information on where and when to pick up, as well as notification if things are running late.

Staff also need tools that are easy to use to ensure that they deliver the right products to the right customer at the right time. They need to be able to tell customers when their order is ready to collect.

Having the right technology to assist with this process can:

  • Increase sales by offering better collection options
  • Simplify the BOPIS process for the customer
  • Reduce errors from delivering the wrong packages or products
  • Reduce waiting times for customers
  • Reduce the number of missed pick-ups
  • Increase overall customer satisfaction and loyalty

Bridging the gap to facilitate customer communication is vital to having a successful and efficient BOPIS program.

How Ombori Grid Creates Better BOPIS Solutions

Ombori Grid’s BOPIS solutions can be deployed quickly and easily. They seamlessly work with the existing eCommerce infrastructure. They use the customer’s mobile phone to ensure they get the information they need, where and when they need it. It also allows retailers to stay in communication with their clients throughout the BOPIS process.

Ombori Grid is fully configured to reflect your unique needs and your brand. Below are just a few of the features that can help your BOPIS program run smoothly.

Configure Pick-up Slots

You determine the number of pick-up slots, the frequency of pick-ups for each location, and the hours that pick-up is available. For example, you could allow five pick-ups every 30 minutes or one every 15 minutes every Monday through Friday.

Book Pickup Slots

The customer chooses a convenient pick-up time as part of the checkout process online or via a mobile app. Then, the order and pick-up time is provided to staff for fulfillment. The customer receives a confirmation on their mobile device telling them where and when they should collect their product and any other need-to-know details.

Appointment Rescheduling

If the customer needs to reschedule the pick-up, they can do so via their mobile device. Updated information is passed along to the staff.

Staff can also reschedule appointments if necessary, so customers are not kept waiting unnecessarily.

Customer Notification

When the order is ready, the customer receives a notification. This reminds them that they need to go to the store.

Arrival Confirmation

On arrival, the customer uses their mobile app to tell the staff that they are there.

Find the Pickup Location

Digital signage and Wayfinders at the store entrance or inside the store help customers locate the pick-up station.

Customer Identification

When the customer arrives at the desk, staff can verify the customer’s identity via the confirmation on their mobile device. This allows them to ensure they have the right customer.

Delivery Completion

Once the customer has received their purchase, the delivery is marked as complete, ensuring you have an audit track of all BOPIS orders.

 

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