3 Best Practices to Better Your BOPIS Retail Strategy

Thanks to fierce competition in the retail world, consumers have more and more options when it comes to shopping. And whether it’s online, mobile or in-store, both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers have diligently stepped up their games to keep up with new demands.

One option still gaining popularity is buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS). According to a report by Adobe Analytics, BOPIS increased 50 percent over the 2018 holiday season. But effective BOPIS retail strategies have proved somewhat challenging for retailers. What makes click-and-collect so tricky to execute?

There are several components that can trip up a BOPIS strategy, including inventory inaccuracies, communication, and execution.

However, there are best practices you can use to better your BOPIS retail strategy and improve the consistency of your service offering.

TRACK YOUR INVENTORY (ACCURATELY)

Today’s fulfillment options mean many moving parts for omnichannel retailers. Things can get especially tricky when online customers shop for products specifically marked as available for BOPIS. Imagine, for example, two customers add the same item to their online cart, but your store only has one of those items in stock. Come checkout, one of those shoppers won’t be happy – you’ll likely lose a sale, and possibly a customer.

This is why as a retailer, you need to implement real-time cross-channel inventory tracking and order fulfillment to keep your inventory as up to date as possible.

Inventory that isn't carefully tracked and managed can create big problems down the road. Make sure to incorporate best practices into your day-to-day inventory management. It is crucial to the success of your BOPIS retail strategy.

SWEAT THE DETAILS

If not everything you sell online is available for BOPIS, be clear about it from the get-go.

Enable your online customers to set their store location and add a filter that gives them the ability to shop for products that are only available for in-store pickup. Be sure to promote your filter at the top of your product pages; you want shoppers to know if they can pick up their orders in-store before they begin shopping.

Once your customer places a BOPIS order, communication is key. Send an immediate confirmation and include order details, clear directions on where to pick up in-store, and what forms of identification are needed.

NAIL YOUR PICK-UP PROCESS

Are you placing your BOPIS pickup points at the back of your store to seduce customers into buying more stuff? Don’t. Instead, make it easy for your customers to retrieve their orders by placing your pickup location at the front of your store. Use clear signage or even consider curbside service to designated parking spaces. Remember, your customers don’t want to feel manipulated; they chose your BOPIS service because they want a quick and convenient online shopping experience.

Another important factor in the pick-up process is to make sure your staff has the information they need to make your customers' BOPIS experience a good one. They should be able to retrieve orders quickly and know how to handle potential problems such as returns. Or consider having dedicated staff specifically for your BOPIS orders. Either way, proper staff training will help ensure a successful BOPIS strategy.

Do you even need a BOPIS strategy? What if it’s just a fad?

According to a Signifyd survey, millennials' shopping preferences are what’s driving the need for BOPIS. And despite its implementation challenges, BOPIS is here to stay. If you’re a retailer wanting to make the most of this shopping experience, make sure you understand and follow BOPIS best practices.

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