How to Use BOPIS to Deliver a Better Customer Experience
In a world in which the boundaries between physical and online commerce are increasingly blurred, Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS), has become an essential capability that all retailers should offer if they want to offer a better customer experience.
According to research conducted by RIS News, BOPIS tops the list of customer-facing capabilities that retailers believe they need to deliver a “smart, store-of-the-future experience”, with 85 percent citing BOPIS as important – see chart.
BOPIS, popularly known as click and collect, has proved a great hit with shoppers and a way for traditional stores to fight back against online-only retailers. According to a survey by Barclaycard, 68 percent of shoppers in the UK choose to pick up online orders in a store.
BOPIS is potentially a win-win for both customers and retailers. Customers like the convenience and cost savings, while for the retailer, BOPIS saves on delivery costs and can also increase revenues.
BOPIS Boosts Sales
Of the retailers that offer BOPIS, 34 percent have experienced an increase of in-store sales, according to the Barclaycard survey. That’s because 85 per cent of customers who use BOPIS say they buy additional items when they are in store.
In addition, 77 percent of retailers say that providing click and collect in their store has the added benefit of reducing return volumes, so saving them the cost of processing refunds and restocking goods.
For customers, speed of fulfillment is one of the benefits of BOPIS, but they also value convenience highly.
According to Barclaycard, 42 percent of consumers say that they rely on click and collect services because they are out during the day. Instead of having to take time to wait at home for a delivery, consumers can choose a day and time that is convenient for them to go to the store to collect their order.
So, if you cannot beat Amazon on speed, then you should ensure that your click and collect process is designed around convenience.
That means making the pickup area easily accessible, preferably at the front of the store, or in an area where it’s easy for customers to get in and out, without having to walk through a maze of aisles. If you install dedicated lockers, that’s even better as customers can collect the order at the time they choose and without having to wait for an associate to help them.
Click and collect works best for small, lightweight items. If your sell heavy or unwieldy items in categories like furniture, domestic appliances and DIY, then you need to think more carefully about click and collect.
Maybe you need to ensure the website provides customers with advisory information on package dimensions or weight, or perhaps you decide that certain items are not suitable for click and collect, or they can only be picked up in a vehicle and at certain times. If you don’t, you may see someone trying to manhandle a 42-inch TV down the escalators in your store on a busy Saturday afternoon!