Online shopping has increased with time. According to Statista, worldwide retail eCommerce sales in 2021 rose exponentially to $4891 billion, putting retail businesses with brick-and-mortar stores under pressure. Extended lockdowns due to a raging global pandemic forced even those customers who preferred physical retail stores to consider online shopping. It pushed retail businesses into rethinking their business strategy.
However, it is not always a smooth sailing when customers choose eCommerce over a conventional retail store. There are numerous issues with regard to stock, purchase and returns, refund, shipping delays, shipping costs, etc. Moving to eCommerce hurts retail businesses too, as they have to relinquish the brand experience they had built for years around their physical store and reinvent their identity. So, both customers and retailers want a middle ground, where the benefits of both the online and offline experiences intersect. BOPIS is an ideal solution that appeals to both customers and the retailers.
BOPIS stands for Buy Online and Pick-up In-Store. BOPIS allows the customers to order online from the convenience of home, but lets them pick up the purchased items directly from a retail store. As a result, the customer gets a great online shopping experience and an in-store experience at the same time, while avoiding the problems in both. From the retailers’ point of view, BOPIS retail increases footfall, brings new customers and helps them retain the in-store brand experience. BOPIS benefits both the customers and the retailers.
BOPAC stands for Buy Online and Pick-up Curbside. It enables the customers to get their online purchases delivered conveniently outside the retail store in a cubside pickup point, without getting out of the car. It makes delivery of products much safer during the pandemic, since it greatly minimizes the chance of exposure. Retailers can offer customers the choice to pickup their purchases from any of their multiple curbside pickup points. All they need to do is select the ‘curbside pickup near me’ menu while ordering, and choose the location nearest to them.
BORIS stands for Buy Online Return In Store. BORIS is designed exclusively to address the return and refund issues in a typical eCommerce store. When the customer orders something from the eCommerce store, it is delivered right at the doorsteps. But if the customer wants to return it and get a refund, BORIS lets him/her to directly go to the retail store and return it. The customer also gets the choice to get an instant refund or to exchange the product with something else in the store
ROPIS stands for Reserve Online and Pay In-Store. With ROPIS, the customer can reserve the product on the site and pay only when he/she picks up the item from the store. This gives the customer the flexibility to choose a convenient payment method and lets him/her pay only when she gets the purchased item in hand.
Depending on the business strategy and the customers’ needs, a retailer can customize BOPIS with different pick-up solutions, return and refund processes, etc.
BOPIS is a hybrid model, where a brick and mortar store and an ecommerce site work together to create a unique experience for customers, giving them the best of both worlds. When a customer purchases from a retail business with BOPIS feature enabled:
1. The customer orders from an eCommerce site run by the retail store.
While doing so, he/she selects the time of pickup and the pickup point from which he/she wants to collect the ordered items; the pickup point can be the retail store itself or the nearest curbside pickup facility. The local inventory at every pickup point is displayed live when ordering. The retailer can also bring those items from the warehouse. So, there is no confusion over the availability of stock. The customer can choose a payment option convenient for him/her while ordering.
2. The store fulfills the order.
The retail store confirms the order, sends the order information to the customer, and processes the order. The staff identify the ordered items from the inventory and pack them. The inventory is instantly updated. BOPIS retail gives customers the ability to track the status of their order. If the ordered item is in a different location, the store sends it to the pickup point. When the order is ready for pick-up, the customer is notified and sent a unique code for identification.
3. The customer picks up the purchased items from the selected pickup point.
The customer can go to the selected location, i.e. the retail store or a curbside pickup point and collect the purchased items. The customer needs to follow the instructions sent along with the unique code, in order to find the right pick-up spot and collect the items.
There are three important components in a BOPIS solution.
In BOPIS retail, the customers order online, and it requires an intuitive site/app to place orders. The BOPIS retail site/app should make navigation quick and easy, and enable the customers to search and find the products with a few clicks. It should be paired with a robust back-end that can process the queries of the customer quickly and efficiently to provide a seamless experience.
2.A Physical Retail Store for pick-up and processing returns
BOPIS requires atleast one physical pick-up location from which the customers can collect the purchased items. It can be further expanded to multiple pick-up points across localities and curbside pickup facilities for the convenience of the customers. More pick-up options enhances the reach and ability to serve the customers better.
3.Real-time Inventory Management
Showing the stock availability accurately is a pre-requisite for BOPIS. There should be a real-time inventory management solution to display availability of stock in the store as well as the warehouse and pick-up points. The inventory management system should be integrated to workflows, order statuses and cancellations so that the stock remains always updated.
In addition to these, it is crucial to have staff trained on how to execute all the operations involved in BOPIS retail. There should be essential infrastructure in place, including warehouses, pick-up locations, parking spaces, etc. The retail business should also have mission-critical mechanisms to manage orders and payments, process returns and refunds, communicate with customers and fulfill orders quickly and efficiently.
BOPIS offers numerous benefits to both customers and retail businesses.
1. BOPIS eliminates shipping charges, as customers can go and pickup their orders directly from the store.
2. It makes returns and refunds quick and easy.
3. It saves customers from shipping delays and makes purchasing much faster.
4. It gives customers the convenience of ordering from where they are, yet offers them a unique in-store experience.
5. BOPIS ensures availability of stock always, so that the customers always get what they order from their preferred store/location.
For Retail Businesses
1. BOPIS enables retail stores to customize the solution to suit the business and customer requirements.
2. It increases footfall and brings new customers.
3. It helps businesses, directly interact with customers, understand their requirements and personalize their offerings based on customers’ preferences.
4. It enables businesses to create unique in-store brand experiences for the customers and earn their trust and brand loyalty.
5. It helps businesses upsell, by drawing customers to the retail store.
6. It gives detailed insights for businesses to understand what customers want and fine-tune their offerings accordingly to achieve sustained growth.
More and more retailers are embracing BOPIS and integrating it in their business strategy. Following are some of the popular retail stores that have already enjoyed a great success with BOPIS retail.• Best Buy
Arizon Digital offers state-of-the-art BOPIS solutions to customize and integrate BOPIS feature in your retail business. We have a dedicated team of experts who can assess your needs and create BOPIS retail solutions that suit your needs. With Arizon Digital’s BOPIS solutions, you can create a great brand experience for your customers, increase footfall in your retail store and achieve growth in a highly competitive business environment.