Retail Trends

How BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up in Store) Benefits Forward-Thinking Customers And Retailers

Simply put, BOPIS is the acronym that stands for “Buy Online Pick-up in Store”. This method of fulfillment, while not a new concept, has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years,  particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, BOPIS use grew by 106% - and accounted for close to 10% of all ecommerce sales in the US that year. Now, BOPIS sales are expected to reach $150 million by 2025.

The rise of BOPIS is not a total surprise. Modern shoppers are becoming busier. They don’t always have the time to browse in-stores and wait in line. As a result, they not only want, but have come to expect, the convenience of shopping anywhere and anytime. BOPIS is allowing retailers to meet, and surpass, these needs in order to remain competitive - for this reason, it is fast becoming a key part of retail omnichannel strategies.

What Is BOPIS?

BOPIS offer customers something they have come to expect in a post-pandemic world; convenience and flexibility. This means more flexibility of choice in not only when, but how orders are fulfilled.

There are normally two main ways a BOPIS order can be processed; Buy Online, Ship From Store (BOSFS) and Buy Online, Ship to Store (BOSS).

Buy Online, Ship From Store

BOSFS allows retailers and brands to opt to have customer orders fulfilled from a local store for added speed and convenience. Here, customers shopping on either the web or via mobile app, select their preferred items and proceed to the checkout. A store associate then receives a notification to pick and pack and item from the store inventory holding and the item is then shipped by the store associate to the customer.

Buy Online, Ship to Store

BOSS works similarly only retailers and brands can also tap into warehouse inventories to fulfill orders directly from warehouses or distribution centers. The order is then shipped to the designated store for the customer to collect.

Alongside BOPIS, retailers can also leverage other closely related capabilities that work in a similar way. These include:

  • BORIS (Buy Online, Return in Store)
  • Curbside pickup
  • ROPIS (Reserve Online, Pick-up in Store)

In all of these cases, retailers are doing one main thing: offering customers a seamless bridge between online and brick-and-mortar channels. This lets them experience the advantages of in-store shopping while simultaneously benefiting from the convenience of online retail.

How Does BOPIS Work?

In practice, BOPIS should be a frictionless experience for both the shopper and the store associates fulfilling the order. With a solution like the PredictSpring Modern POS, the process should look similar to the following:

  1. Once a customer has placed an order, they’ll be notified in real-time via e-mail, text message or push notification when it is ready for collection.
  1. In the meantime, store associates can swiftly prepare, pick and pack orders with the information provided, including item barcode, SKU or unique identifier, and item image.
  1. Customer Support will have access to a centralized dashboard to remotely edit, cancel or substitute orders. Store management and head office can easily glean insights into real-time performance and analytics.

The Many Benefits of BOPIS

BOPIS has a number of potential benefits for customers and retailers alike. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

For Customers

  • Speed - BOPIS / curbside pickup clearly had appeal during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers shoppers a fast and contactless way to fulfill their online purchases without having to wait in a line. With options to ship from a local store rather than a distant warehouse, shoppers are also finding that they can receive their orders in a much shorter timeframe.
  • Flexibility - One of the most widely stated downsides of online shopping is the shipping costs and the risk of missed deliveries. BOPIS is enabling customers to by-pass shipping costs by picking their orders up, rather than having it delivered. The natural benefit of this is also that it mitigates the risk of a missed delivery by letting customers pick up at a time that is convenient to them. 
  • No out of stocks - One of the last things a customer needs is to visit a store for a particular item, only to find that it’s out of stock. BOPIS gets rid of this issue by ensuring the desired item is ready and available to pick-up. 

With 70% of customers stating that BOPIS has improved their shopping experiences, it is no surprise that it has become so popular amongst shoppers. But, how can it help retailers?

For Brick-And-Mortar Retailers

  • Increased footfall -  Customers need to visit stores to collect their orders, opening up opportunities for further sales and upselling opportunities. A 2021 study revealed that BOPIS orders increased from one to two items during order pickup. 
  • Improved inventory management - BOPIS goes hand in hand with inventory management. By bridging the divide between on and offline with BOPIS, retailers can unite their inventory management. There no longer needs to be a separate system for each one. 

How BOPIS Is Elevating Online Retail

BOPIS has had one significant impact on online retail - an increase in sales. With delivery fees increasing, picking up in store is now the most cost effective fulfillment method for a lot of customers. This coupled with the added convenience and being able to collect an order on the day of your choice (even the same day as the order was placed in some cases) means BOPIS has become an almost must-have option for a lot of retailers. So much so that BOPIS has now reached 82% market penetration amongst the top 500 retail chains. 

Ultimately, the benefits of BOPIS for online retail can be broken down into five main points:

  • Increased sales

Not only does the attraction of BOPIS as a fulfillment option mean customers are more likely to proceed with an online purchase, but increased in-store traffic during order collection also improves the chances of additional purchases.

  • Added speed and convenience

BOPIS is a much faster fulfillment method in a lot of cases. For need-it-now items, customers can order online for pickup within the same day. 

  • Lower cart abandonment

Customers will oftentimes abandon their carts for one of two reasons; delivery costs or delivery times. Buy Online, Pick-up In-store enables customers to bypass these considerations - and cart abandonment rates decrease as a result.

  • Lower shipping costs

Retailers can ultimately save on some of the labor costs associated with fulfilling from a distribution center to a customer’s own doorstep by completing BOPIS orders using in-store inventory.

The PredictSpring Difference

It is clear that BOPIS offers remarkable opportunities to drive additional sales as a customer enters the store to collect their order. The right fulfillment system can make the difference between success and setback. PredictSpring offers a fast, convenient and robust solution for retailers and brands looking to offer BOPIS and other fulfillment capabilities.

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