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Mobile Wallet Is the Ultimate Weapon for Buy Online Pickup in Store

Mobile wallet is the perfect tool for buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) because it removes friction from the customer experience, keeps customers informed throughout the process, and can be easily distributed via existing low-cost channels like email.  And with new value-add services coming from both Apple and Google, the mobile wallet is about to get even more effective at removing customer frustration and risk from the BOPIS experience.  

Physical retailers have always had a big advantage over e-commerce players - the physical store. But to maximize the value of their physical stores, retailers have to refocus on the role the store plays in their overall customer buying experience. In today’s online world, physical stores are not only shopping channels, but increasingly important distribution channels, creating a customer experience that is both digital and physical. And that’s where BOPIS becomes a significant advantage.   

BOPIS, or Click and Collect, is growing in adoption. According to Nielsen, nearly half of all shoppers use BOPIS in the US. BOPIS adoption is primarily driven by consumers who want to avoid shipping costs, followed by the desire to get items sooner than if they were shipped.  Because shipped items will always have a cost and transit time, BOPIS will continue to be a valuable differentiator for brick-and-mortar retailers 

While it’s true that retailers are starting to deliver on the BOPIS experience consumers demand, today’s experience is full of friction and frustration. Consumers complain about long wait times when they get to the store, and even longer waits as staff search for their order and items that have been purchased. 

Lock screen notifications significantly lower friction 

Consumer adoption of mobile wallet boarding passes shows why the wallet is superior to app or email-based delivery. Anyone who has downloaded a mobile boarding pass into their wallet knows that having access to the wallet pass from your lock screen saves time and tremendous frustration. No one wants to be at the security guard’s desk hunting for a boarding pass in an appor god forbid a confirmation email from two months ago. Especially with a line of grumpy travelers behind you in the TSA PreCheck line.   

BOPIS lock screen notifications, triggered by time or location, streamline the customer experience in-store. Easy to find notifications speed up the process, successfully alleviating complaints from customers frustrated by long wait times at the pick-up counter.  To make the process even smoother, retailers can utilize the back of a pass to provide valuable instructions for customers on where to go when they get to the store, eliminating stress and confusion.  

Wallet passes are updatable 

BOPIS orders need to be filled, and that fulfillment takes time. As orders are organized in-store, the consumer is either left to wonder if their order is ready or receives peace-of-mind pick up confirmation notification via email or SMS. As a consumer, searching for order updates in an inbox that’s already full takes time and leads to frustration. Order update emails often get sent to low priority or junk folders, along with hundreds of similarly titled marketing emails, so even searching for a particular retailer does not solve this problem.   

Because a wallet pass is updatable, all of the relevant information for that order can be found in real-time as it is processed. Retailers can use the wallet pass to update customers as items are packed, keeping the customer in the know throughout the entire process. Once an item is ready, the wallet pass can send the customer a push notification that it’s waiting to be picked up.  


If an order is out of stock, retailers can use the wallet pass to update the customer that the item is not available at the moment in a way that grabs the customer’s attention. Otherwise, an email that the item is out of stock is opened less than 15% of the time, meaning there’s an 85% chance that customer misses your email and is disappointed at pick-up time.   

Wallet passes are dynamic, so retailers can use them to promote offers that drive impulse purchases when the customer is in-store. Use wallet passes to increase order size; a BOPIS customer coming in to pick up their baseball glove may want 5% off balls or cleats.   

Wallet passes can be distributed using existing, low-cost channels 

Wallet passes can be easily distributed in a number of channels that retailers and customers are already using, without the need for an additional app. Customers may open and pay attention to a confirmation email sent upon order completionhowever as time goes on, order status emails become less and less captivating. The order confirmation email is a good opportunity to move the customer to a wallet experience that keeps them actively engaged. Additionally, wallet passes can be sent via SMS or downloaded directly from an app, which both have much higher engagement than email.  


Mobile wallet will become even more valuable for BOPIS 

Both Apple and Google have announced new services within the wallet that will make BOPIS even easier for customers. Apple’s VAS and Google’s Smart Tap technologies layer on identity and authentication to passes, meaning a customer can authenticate their identity with a simple tap of the phone. This will enable retailers to provide BOPIS with zero human interaction, eliminating significant cost from the process.  

The integration of inventory management systems with digital advertising will create opportunities for retailers to further take advantage of local searches from customers needing to buy something right away.  

With more and more commerce moving to the phone, BOPIS wallet passes, combined with SMS and Google Pay or Apple Pay, can create an entirely secure environment for retailers who want to sell items to new customers who may not have their app. Targeted ad buys that lead directly to a Google Pay funded purchase with a BOPIS wallet pass confirmation provide an opportunity for any local store to expand their reach in a highly secure environment.   

With BOPIS showing signs of increased customer demand, retailers have a significant opportunity over e-commerce players like Amazon. Improving the BOPIS experience by reducing friction and improving customer communication can turn BOPIS into a sustainable competitive advantage for physical retailers. Mobile wallet improves the customer experience and therefore deserves investment. 

About the Author

Alex Campbell has long been recognized as one of mobile marketing’s original pioneers, working tirelessly to educate marketers on the value of mobile as a viable discipline. A true entrepreneur at heart, Alex oversees Vibes’ innovation strategy – always looking for the next great mobile technology brands can leverage to drive deeper customer engagement and untapped revenue opportunities.

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