Buy online pickup in-store, also known as BOPIS, is an omnichannel eCommerce strategy whose name is pretty self-explanatory—consumers buy products online, and then pick up their purchased items in-store, offering previously unavailable speed and convenience. With shoppers becoming more and more accustomed to online shopping—and smartphone ownership increasing from 35% to 96% since 2010—retailers are looking to provide their consumers with a greater variety of eCommerce avenues.
To compete with online retail giants’ one- and two-day delivery business models, retailers are going one step further by offering immediate in-store pickup that bypasses long checkout lines. Shoppers are very receptive to this new opportunity, with 70% of shoppers testing out BOPIS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the opportunity to streamline their operations and boost revenue, 90% of retailers say they’ll offer BOPIS eCommerce options by 2021.
How Does BOPIS eCommerce Benefit Retailers?
In-store pickup requires a designated zone for retrieval, employees who will gather and prepare the orders, and customer service personnel who will verify and turn over the purchases to buyers. Some retailers will need improved external traffic flow for curbside pickup orders and mobile apps that facilitate these orders in a user-friendly way. Despite this complex upfront coordination, there are very distinct benefits for both retailers and consumers that make it worthwhile.
Shoppers Love It. Omnichannel shopping offers customers the best of both worlds: they can take their time considering options from the comfort of their own home, but get a closer look and feel for the items in-store, where it’s easiest to decline, swap, return, or add purchases. Not only have 70% of shoppers tried it already, but 55% say they’ll use BOPIS “more than last year” for the 2020 holiday shopping season. In fact, 50% of shoppers say whether or not a company offers BOPIS has influenced where they choose to shop.
BOPIS Establishes a Connection. Despite the convenience of online shopping with delivery, 78% of shoppers prefer to buy in-store, mostly because they like to handle items personally and take purchases home right away. The click-and-collect model (another name for strategies that combine online shopping with in-person transactions) invites shoppers into the store for a friendly, personalized experience, compared to the impersonal nature of online-only shopping.
BOPIS Shoppers Spend More. Cross-selling opportunities are abundant when BOPIS customers stop to pick up their orders, as more than 80% of these customers end up shopping for additional items. “Superconsumers” (shoppers who have used BOPIS eCommerce at least two times in the span of a year) were found to spend an average of $40 extra on unplanned purchases during click-and-collect retrieval. Twenty-three percent of their shopping activity for the year was shown to be driven by BOPIS ordering. Even 38% of “occasional consumers” (shoppers who have used BOPIS eCommerce once in the span of a year) were found to spend $37 more on unplanned purchases while picking up items in-store.
Improved, Low-Friction Checkout Experience. Checkout remains one of the major bottlenecks of in-store shopping—one that has the potential to leave shoppers with a negative impression. Amazon has gone so far as to create in-store smart carts for retailers that eliminate the need for checkout entirely. This shift may hit the retail world in the next wave of advancements, but for now, the technology remains in its infancy. In the interim, BOPIS provides a great solution to those wanting to avoid or greatly decrease the time they spend in checkout lines. Standard BOPIS models have the consumers purchase their items online—eliminating the need to go through the purchasing process in-store—and most retailers have a separate designated pickup area and line within the store, shortening their wait times even more. Some BOPIS models can even incorporate curbside pickup (where consumers don’t even leave their cars to pick up their items) or a locker system where they pick up their paid-for items in a designated locker typically at the entrance of the store.
Retailers Save on Last-Mile Delivery Costs. Today’s consumers expect fast and free shipping. To meet this expectation, retailers spend a tremendous amount of resources improving their supply chains and expediting last-mile deliveries. With BOPIS eCommerce, retailers have the ability to eliminate these costs and retain a greater profit out of each purchase. According to Target’s CEO Brian Cornell, Target saves 40% when they fulfill an online order from the back of the store versus shipping from a distribution center or 90% when customers order online and pick up in-store.
BOPIS Forces Inventory Improvement. Showing available items in real-time requires advances in visibility for all inventory, better communication between stores and distributors, and artificial intelligence (AI) to help in planning and predicting future inventory. It may create some growing pains for retailers unfamiliar with this inventory structure, but it will streamline all sales channels and provide the opportunity to seamlessly adopt other shopping mediums as trends evolve.
Personalization Options Increase. Push notifications, emails, and texts begin after the customer places the order, but before reaching the store. Upsells and personalized recommendations are part of what leads to the incremental purchases in-store. Apps with maps and search tools can welcome shoppers once they reach the store, guiding them to potential items of interest.
Maximize BOPIS eCommerce With Mobile Partnerships
Once a person is in your store, you want them to not only pick up what they ordered, but to also consider a few additional impulse or incremental purchases. You also want them to enjoy the time they spend in-store, whether it’s pausing to look at a few end-cap displays, grabbing a cup of coffee while they shop, or browsing for gift ideas.
Shopkick is a popular mobile shopping rewards app that can help retailers and brands make the most of their omnichannel marketing strategy. When Shopkickers pick up a BOPIS order at a partnering retailer, they’ll be greeted with a personalized welcome message once they enter the store.
From there, they can choose to have an engaging in-store shopping experience led by Shopkick’s app. Shopkick rewards users for interacting with partnering brands and retailers whether they’re at home (watching branded promotional videos, flipping through curated lookbooks, and more) or in-store (locating and scanning the barcodes of select items, watching post-scan videos in-aisle, and making purchases.) Shoppers earn “kicks” (rewards points) for their attention and engagement, which they can accumulate and eventually redeem for a gift card of their choosing.
Adding BOPIS eCommerce as an option for consumers allows them to have greater control over the kind of shopping experience they want, which could ultimately change each time they decide to shop.
Providing consumers with an option for each scenario (online-only, in-store-only, BOPIS, curbside pickup, etc.) is an effective way to capture their business from all angles, encouraging them to shop again and again.
Image courtesy of YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV