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As retailers continue to cautiously reopen or power through their current, restricted operational flows, a new method is routinely being adopted and studied to catch consumers’ attention points with this new wave of hybrid consumerism. BOPIS or ‘Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store, introduces quite the hybrid/omni-channel experience for both shoppers and retailers. Consumers are able to order items online and then opt to pick them up at a physical brick and mortar shop, to both cut back on shipping costs and hype its convenience. This places more control right into the palms of shoppers’ hands, because they can better map out their trip, knowing exactly what’s in stock.
Many retailers are adding BOPIS to their offerings and services and have found there to be both short and long-term benefits. Faster service is a large point to analyze in this situation. Several customers will opt for BOPIS so that they can get their purchases more efficiently. Customers can cut back on time when a retailer offers the option of processing their payment before arriving on-site as well.
Breaking out of Quarantine
With lockdown and quarantine situations putting consumers in very unusual situations, shopping normalcy isn’t the easiest task to both acquire and complete. When a renowned sense of ‘normalcy’ is able to resume, BOPIS will likely stick around and rollover into original in-person shopping experiences. There are many accessorized benefits to this creative purchasing method that can assist retailers for years to come.
Processing Up-Sells: When items are delivered to customers normally, there isn’t really an opportunity to push additional sales when it comes to supplemental offerings. It’s been found that 85% of BOPIS users have purchased additional items upon arriving to the store to pick up their products.
Promoting Clearer Brand Experiences: Retailers are able to ensure a better grasp on their brand image. For those who hire external logistics companies to manage their shipping capabilities, they aren’t able to oversee the customer service functionalities that are delivered via delivery worker. Through using BOPIS, retailers can manipulate that response and curate a reaction that works to put their customers first. Sometimes these delivery credentials don’t meet the standards for timeliness or quality, because that treatment is outside of their reach and control.
Personalizing Services and Offerings: If a frequent shopper is scheduled to make a pickup and retailers are able to possess knowledge of that data, those customer service consultants could likely greet them by first name and provide additional perks into the experience to brighten things up…keeping customers coming back for more. This helps customers know that they really do care.
Some common questions that come to mind for both retailers and consumers include the following thoughts:
- When will the transaction be ready to pick up?
- Are employees prepared to handle the flow of BOPIS orders?
- Will customers know how and where to retrieve their purchases once they drive to their on-site location?
- How will they pay?
- Where to park?
- Will they even need to leave their vehicle?
- Did the inventory numbers tell the truth?
- Are customers even aware of the BOPIS offering?
Monitoring Queue Management Capabilities
Fulfillment and curbside operations help to round out the BOPIS algorithm. When it comes to ensuring that the item is in stock, to strategically scheduling the right staff members to keep the curbside pickup line smoothly running, perfecting this choreography is very essential. When orders can be chronologically placed, customers can receive a painless and rewarding experience as they roll up to the line queue system, without having to leave their car or not.
Calibrating fulfillment with a customer’s location can help the retailer track their whereabouts to keep them in-the-know of how the process should effectively flow. It would benefit stores greatly to have insights on if a customer might be arriving early, or running a bit late. Over time, the data that gets collected from these appointments can reveal patterns that will further reveal patterns in precision management, fulfillment, and pickup scheduling. Investing in queue management with BOPIS can in fact save the day in this modern time of retail.