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Before we dive deep into the implication of these new retailing strategies, let’s define what BOPIS is.

BOPIS, meaning Buy Online, Pickup In-Store, is an order fulfillment option that helps retailers connect eCommerce channels with brick-and-mortar shops. This option presents an excellent opportunity to build customer loyalty and generate more online and in-store revenue.

BOPIS works just like any other online order or e-commerce purchase. Customers will visit an e-commerce website and add products to their shopping cart. At checkout, the shopper would have multiple fulfillment options to select from, including BOPIS.

In the BOPIS option, the retailer is fulfilling the order by locating the product either in-store, in one of their warehouses, or in other locations and setting aside the item for the customer to pick it up or have it shipped to the customer’s closest location if the item is not present in-store.

Why is BOPIS becoming the number-one choice for consumers?

BOPIS lets customers pick their desired schedule
Just like with online shopping, consumers have the freedom to shop whenever they want. After the online purchase is completed, customers simply choose the pickup location and time that fits them best creating a more relaxed and convenient shopping experience.

Saves time and money for the customers
Not all businesses are able to offer free shipping and those who can’t typically charge extra for faster delivery options. On top of avoiding delivery fees, if the customer chooses to shop from the in-store inventory they are often able to get same-day pickup at no extra charge.

Informed decision-making
BOPIS allows consumers to collect more information so they can make better decisions. Customers do not feel pressured to decide on a product in-store that may result in post-purchase dissonance and eventual returns. In addition, online retailers provide easy-to-use comparison tools that can aid customers in selecting the right item for them. The knowledge gained from these tools generates options that give the consumer more control, therefore letting them be more confident in the purchase.

Selection and availability
The brick-and-mortar shopping experience is sidetracked by an overwhelming amount of cues, items, suggestions by employees, timeframes, location of the stores, etc. Because online stores have no physical limit, retailers can sell inventory to a customer from any location, warehouse, or even directly from the vendor. These endless isles provide customers with a much larger selection that is not dictated by their geographic location.

How is BOPIS benefitting businesses?

Customer Loyalty
One of the selling points of BOPIS is that consumers prefer the variety and convenience that e-commerce offers whilst enjoying the security and cost savings of in-store pickup. This notion is backed up by a Harvard Business Review article which indicates that nearly 75% of consumers who have tried and used BOPIS and want to continue using this fulfillment option are satisfied with the shopping experience and are willing to repeat it. This last piece of information is significant as it shows how the implementation of BOPIS has tangible effects on the market share that a business has access to.

Better inventory management
Supply chain and logistics management have been an issue for the past years, Retailers are struggling more than ever to keep pace with the ever-shifting consumer demand pre- and post-holiday season. BOPIS requires great inventory management practices to execute, however at the same time, BOPIS makes the same processes easier to manage and more streamlined.

As stated above, online storefronts need to display products that are available for in-store pickup. Accurate store inventory counts aren’t enough. Accuracy doesn’t matter if your inventory system updates once a day. What is needed is a better inventory system process that grants access to real-time metrics. Having this type of system in place not lets a business take more accurate decisions in a faster and more profitable way, but also the overall costs can be lowered by avoiding waste, returns, and over- or under-stocking.

Lower shipping costs
On a daily basis, we see how last-mile delivery can be extremely expensive, for both businesses and consumers. Adding the possibility to cut costs on deliveries by letting customers pick up their purchases in-store is a game changer. It might be argued that offering BOPIS as a fulfillment option can cause disruption in the supply chain of a business, however, it is quite the opposite. When a consumer chooses BOPIS as their fulfillment option, purchases of products already available through in-store assortments simply pull inventory through your efficient supply chain systems.

BOPIS lets a business cut down on shipping costs, while still offering the shipping possibility to customers who do not want to take advantage of the fulfillment option.

The Takeaway

BOPIS is excellent at boosting brick-and-mortar foot traffic if done correctly. It can increase a business’ average order value, and allows shoppers and retailers to avoid unnecessary delivery fees, and wait times. In addition, the overarching customer experience that BOPIS creates is an ideal opportunity for business to improve their brand reach, reputation, and awareness.

In essence, BOPIS is the perfect way to blend online and physical channels, in such a way that one enhances the other and vice-versa.

Nevertheless, developing and executing this fulfillment option can be quite a challenge for businesses of every size, even more for start-ups and scale-ups. With the sudden rise in popularity of BOPIS, businesses must adapt. The best way to do so is by building an internal team led by a competent and experienced COO.

Storm5 can help you!

If you are looking to implement BOPIS and are currently hiring, Storm5 can be the perfect partner for you. We at Storm5 are specialists in connecting the best RetailTech talent with the most innovative companies globally. Whether you are a start-up or planning to scale up, Storm5 is here to help you find the right senior talent for the right specialism, including the right COO for you.

If you are looking to expand your team, contact us and our expert consultants will guide you through our process and every single stage of your next hiring process!