Retailers are offering ‘buy online, pickup in store’ (BOPIS) options to strengthen customer relationships and compete against online powerhouses, such as Amazon.
Here’s how a BOPIS retail strategy works for customer orders:
BOPIS on the rise
According to a recent Internet Retailer stat, BOPIS is growing in popularity — more than 70 percent of shoppers have taken retailers up on this option. It should be no surprise that thrifty customers are eager to save on shipping costs. But there’s more to the BOPIS retail strategy than shoppers pocketing shipping dollars where they can.
Customers also appreciate the convenience of getting their purchases the same day instead of waiting for even speedy services such as next-day shipping. They also appreciate the convenience of browsing online at their leisure and pulling the trigger on a purchase whenever it works for them.
Security and Convenience
And it’s hard to ignore the security angle. With package thefts spiking, especially around the holiday season, many consumers appreciate the peace of mind of knowing their orders will be safe and secure at the store, instead of exposed to unsavory elements looking to steal packages off of neighborhood doorsteps. Some retailers go the extra step of offering curbside pickup, so customers don’t even have to leave their vehicles to receive their purchases, offering additional convenience for busy shoppers with jam-packed schedules. Comfort and security are also factors in earning customer loyalty — and keeping loyal customers.
To execute a BOPIS retail strategy that results in loyalty, however, retailers must have robust store systems in place to handle the challenges of store fulfillment. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a customer who shows up in your store to pick up an online purchase only for your sales associate to fumble around trying to find out exactly where the package is. These kinds of misfires can damage customer loyalty.
Stand Out from the Crowd
A successful BOPIS retail strategy can help you differentiate your business from the competition. In an overcrowded retail environment, BOPIS can give customers another reason to shop with you when they have limitless choices, both brick-and-mortar and digital. However, some retailers that have rolled out a BOPIS retail strategy have underwhelmed shoppers with their execution, so be sure you have the right capabilities in place before offering the BOPIS service in order to avoid disappointing customers.
If you regard a BOPIS retail strategy as simply another trend, look at it instead as a way to elevate customer service and boost customer loyalty. When implemented thoughtfully, BOPIS is a wise investment both for your business and for your convenience-loving customers.