BOPIS: Buy Online, pick up in-store

It’s now becoming imperative for brands to turn towards eCommerce solutions for their success. New technologies and models are being used to optimize eCommerce functions, one of those models include BOPIS. 

BOPIS or otherwise known as the Buy Online, Pick Up in Store- is slowly becoming a way for retailers to drive in-store foot traffic and connect their offline and online experiences. This experience offers shoppers who have become too busy to browse items in-store and are more comfortable buying online. The model allows its retailers to blend the online and in-store experience with customers to offer a more convenient way to shop.

Furthermore, a study shows that 92% of retailers currently use a BOPIS model to increase purchases. Additionally, 98% of retailers have seen additional in-store purchases from BOPIS customers. 

So, how does BOPIS Work?

With the shift in shopper behaviour, and shoppers preferring more choice and flexibility in orders, BOPIS model has come to be more efficient. Consumers with BOPIS are able to complete their purchases or make returns quickly and conveniently. This model acts as a key in delivering orders by enabling customers to conveniently select which items they want to purchase immediately, and picking it up at the store. Here’s how the process works:

1. Customers buy online, through the website or mobile app: 

Customers complete their purchases either online or in-app, simultaneously they select the time and store location to pick-up the purchased products. With real-time inventory visible at hand, the consumer can choose when and where to pick up their products.

2. The store fulfils the online order:

There are two procedure that can be followed in this step

  • When and if the item is in stock at the chosen local store, the store associate uses an app to locate, pick and pack the order. They then hold it for the customer while an email is sent out letting them know it’s ready for pickup.
  • Now, if the store does not have the item in stock, the associate orders it from a store or warehouse facility. Once it arrives, the customer is notified and can pick up the item at his or her convenience.
3. The customer picks up the order:

Customers then go to a designated online pick up area where a store associate hands over the items. Some stores even offer a curb-side pick-up – where a customer can drive up to the store location and receive their order without leaving the car.

Now, Why are Customers choosing BOPIS?

There is a shift in the shopping experience, customers are now looking for a more convenient shopping experience where they not only save time but money too. Here are the factors that contribute to the shift:

1. No shipping fees:

Unless a retailer offers free shipping, a customer pays a significant amount on getting their items shipped. But with BOPIS, customers can save both money and time by picking up their order in-store rather than paying to ship a single item.

2. Quicker service:

Getting items in the hands of the customer fast is essential, and BOPIS can offer exactly that. Customers can order an in-stock item online and have it ready for pick up in an hour than it is to wait two days or longer for delivery. 

3. In-stock Insurance:

BOPIS serves as a kind of insurance that the item customers want is 100% at the store of their choice when it’s ready for pickup

Benefits of BOPIS:

1. Extra purchases from customers:

Customers when they go in-store to pick up their order, they may have a look around and browse for more products. This creates a perfect opportunity for increased upsells at the given location.

2. Lower shipping costs:

Shipping orders can be expensive for the retailer, with labour and packaging costs quickly adding up. Retailers can save on last-mile shipping if customers pick up items from the store, while still offering a fast, free shipping option.

3. Better inventory management.

With BOPIS, businesses no longer need a separate online and in-store inventory system. Orders can be fulfilled both from the distribution centre or store shelves, this, gives retailers access to a larger inventory. By combining and optimizing the two systems.

4.  Fewer returns:

Customers who place their orders and pick them up from a store, though, have the ability to inspect their product before ever leaving the premises. This decreases the return rate and can save retailers a substantial amount of money.

Various retails giants and brand both in India and international have introduced this BOPIS model, they include in the Indian retail giant 

Shopper Stop: that offers an Express Store Pick Up. Which theoretically is based on the BIOPIS model of self-pickup. A customer can shop online and collect their order from the preferred Shoppers Stop store at their convenience.

Walmart: International retailer offers a curbside and in-store pickup for customers on the go. Walmart’s grocery pickup combines the convenience of online shopping with the ease of never leaving the car, all at no additional cost.

Shoppers continuously crave convenience, which is why retailers should adopt the buy online, pick up in-store model (BOPIS) to compete against giants like Amazon, Flipkart, etc, that are now ruling the market. With efficient utilization of a website or app for ordering, at least one brick and mortar location, and real-time inventory capabilities. This BOPIS model can certainly be nailed.

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