It’s no secret that e-commerce giants like Amazon are hoping to crack the logistical code - how to get packages to customers quicker, easier, and of course, cheaper. Countless other brands have jumped into this rat race for market share but have only injured their margins in the process - customers now expect free shipping/returns, and brands are bleeding to meet these demands, a problem likely to only further increase with the implementation of IMO 2020.
Not every company can continue to eat these costs and keep the business afloat. Not to mention that brands with fragile or bulky products which are expensive to ship are at a huge disadvantage. That’s where BOPIS comes into play.
The Rise of BOPIS
BOPIS, or Buy Online Pickup In-Store, is a way to convert your online store traffic into in-store foot traffic – padding your margins. BOPIS has seen a 47% year-over-year increase from 2017 to 2018, as it offers the convenience and flexibility of online shopping while avoiding extra shipping costs for both the consumer and the brand. For brands that already have a number of storefronts, this works out very well for their existing distribution chain. The trends are clear and the market is moving - by 2021, 90% of retailers plan to offer a BOPIS experience.
Will you be among them?
More than Just Convenience
Rolling out BOPIS is more than just a box to tick – sure, it’s getting more foot traffic in your stores, easing the strain on your logistics, and increasing upsell, but how is it benefitting the customer? They may be able to get their product faster and without a shipping fee, but at a huge cost – convenience. After all, picking up an item in-store is far more taxing than sitting at home in your PJs.
Commerce is an experience. This mindset is what allowed digital brands to disrupt the retail industry and see flourishing growth. Just as physical stores have meticulously planned layout, shelving efficiency, location, and store management for years, e-commerce stores have fine-tuned their website design, speed, mobile accessibility, apps, logistics, and customer support. The same relentless focus on experience will be paramount to launching a successful BOPIS offering.
Bridging the Digital and Physical
BOPIS is a unique blend of both the digital and physical storefronts – the customer starts their journey online, but ends it in-store. Meaning in order to craft a seamless experience, a hybrid solution is essential – one that bridges the customer journey from online checkout to the pick-up counter. This is easily achievable with mobile wallet. With a mobile wallet pass, customers can have their order information on hand, and brands can establish a powerful communication channel with their soon-to-be in-store shoppers.
Apple is already employing this method for their products, sending their customers a message with a mobile wallet card for easy order information retrieval. Coupled with wallet’s geolocation technology, this becomes a very powerful tool to streamline the pick-up process. Rather than fumbling for their order confirmation in a sea of thousands of emails, customers are prompted to speak with a sales associate and show them a QR code on their pass, which enables the associate to quickly and easily retrieve their items.
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