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How a BOPIS Retail Strategy Can Support Your Multi-Channel Goals

Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) retail strategies are fast becoming commonplace across the unified commerce industry. There’s good reason why. BOPIS—or the ability for customers to buy a product online and then pick up that product in a brick-and-mortar store—is a plus for both shoppers and retailers.

BOPIS is another convenient option for customers, and it increases foot traffic into stores. For retailers, this often means an uptick in sales as shoppers browse the aisles when picking up their orders.

Let’s take a closer look at BOPIS, and how you can implement a BOPIS retail strategy to support your omnichannel goals.

The Value in BOPIS

In today’s retail environment, shoppers have a very specific set of needs. They want fast service, the best prices, and options. Lots of options. The value in BOPIS spans multiple parts of the path to purchase. The eCommerce element allows customers to shop around, compare products across retailers, read customer reviews, and more. The in-store pickup element lets customers multitask, buy more products while in-store, and talk to a sales associate.

From a retailer’s point of view, BOPIS is a great way to increase sales across all channels. In a study from OrderDynamics, shoppers who used BOPIS more than twice in the past 12 months are more likely to buy in-store when picking up their orders. The survey found that 51 percent had made unplanned purchases at this time, which equaled roughly $40 spent per trip.

86% of retailers are integrating BOPIS into their omnichannel strategies in 2018.

This group is the consumers who shop a lot per year—on average, 45 times. However, more occasional shoppers using BOPIS are still likely to buy in-store. The OrderDynamics data showed that 38 percent of this segment also bought unplanned items in-store.

Retailers are responding to consumer’s BOPIS preferences. A separate survey from Zebra Technologies Corp found that 86 percent of retailers polled are integrating BOPIS into their omnichannel strategies in 2018.

How to Implement a BOPIS Retail Strategy

Naturally, an effective BOPIS retail strategy is seamless across all your channels. The buying process begins online, so this is where you should start too.

  1. Your Website—Ensure your website and your webstore are attractive, optimized, and efficient. You don’t want broken links, outdated graphics, poor load times, and other problems driving customers away. A key part of BOPIS here is clearly labeling whether a product is available online, in-store, or both. You want shoppers to know if they can pick up their orders immediately in-store.
  2. Your Marketing—Leverage your online channels to communicate with shoppers. Once you have their contact information, routinely notify them of promotions both online and in-store. Also make sure you have an effective way to tell shoppers their orders are ready for pickup, typically via email or SMS.

Once the order is placed, you’ll want to revamp your brick-and-mortar customer experience for BOPIS.

  1. Your LayoutTarget recently remodeled a number of its brick-and-mortar locations with the customer experience in mind. The reason why is to ensure that shoppers had easy access to the products and services that mattered. This meant quick-trip convenience items near the entrances, a large aisle down the middle to drive foot traffic, and designated parking spaces for orders delivered to cars. Most importantly for BOPIS, Target created a large order pickup area that was well-marked and centrally located. Make sure your online shoppers know where to go to pick up their orders in-store.
  2. Your Store Associates—Your staff must also be trained to capitalize on BOPIS shoppers. Given that many are likely to make unplanned purchases, your staff should be ready and able to give product recommendations. They must also be able to direct shoppers around the store to other items and services, especially the order pickup area.

Lastly, don’t let communication end once the order is picked up. Follow up with customers via email or text to gauge their BOPIS experience. Look for ways to improve and always gather as much data on the process as you can.

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BOPIS Supports Your Omnichannel Goals

Your BOPIS retail strategy is a core component of your omnichannel goals. In order for maximum effectiveness, your online and in-store experiences must be in sync. Breakdowns online or in-store are equally detrimental to this transaction and future ones.

Overall, BOPIS is a great way to increase both online and brick-and-mortar sales. As a relatively new strategy, it has yet to be perfected—which means effective execution on your part could give you a huge competitive advantage. Want to learn more? Download our free whitepaper Why BOPIS is Necessary for Omnichannel Engagement. Or, connect with us today to discuss how Wiser can be your single source for online and in-store intelligence.

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Content Marketing Manager at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions. He holds a BA from Salem State University.

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