Offering BOPIS does appeal to consumers but retailers need to be mindful in their approach in order to provide the ultimate service to consumers. Here’s a list that highlights where retailers need to focus most of their efforts. Creating the perfect customer experience boils down to 7 best practices:
1.Offer brilliant deals & experiences: Most shoppers opt for BOPIS to avoid the heavy shipping costs. This shows that consumers do look for ways to cut costs. However, a loyal customer will not mind paying more for a product if the whole experience is tailored to their needs. With the right experience, you will grow a loyal customer base. Shoppers always look for great deals, make sure to offer special discounts to keep them coming back for more. Most brands offer BORIS along with BOPIS. The ability to return products in-store makes it more convenient for shoppers.
Steve Madden recognized the power of customer experience tailored to each shoppers’ needs. Jeff Silverman made sure to showcase informative reviews from other shoppers onsite. He also developed free and premium loyalty programs that offer exciting perks, from free two-day shipping to enticing deals. Lastly, checkout is seamless on both desktop and mobile.
2. Make the Inventory management system accurate and real-time: Online and in-store inventory should be synchronized and essentially should be considered one entity. Remember to keep a minimum stock limit for each product – once the stock limit hits that number at a specific store location; the BOPIS option will be switched off for the particular product at that location. This ensures a pleasant shopping experience both online and offline at each store.
Nike started using a centralized management system to clean up and streamline not only a rather disordered inventory system but also its warehouse system. This ensured that anyone could shop from anywhere and have the products be available to a location of their convenience. A system like this enabled them to reduce inventory cost, increase efficiency and their revenues went up by 8% in 2017
3. Make the buying journey is quick & smooth: Around 87% of online shoppers abandon their carts during the checkout if the process is too long or complicated. Maintain a minimum number of steps in the checkout process to reduce the number of dropoffs.
4. Make information easily available: As soon as an order is placed make sure to send a confirmation immediately. Always include simple and comprehensible directions, when the purchase is ready and an alert when it is ready, where to pick up in-store, and what forms of identification are required.
5. Make it conveniently located: A key to making BOPIS successful is to make sure the pick-up locations are easy to find. A common misconception is that D2C brands cannot incorporate BOPIS because they don’t have a brick & mortar location but this isn’t the case. There are many self-service solutions, like automated smart lockers that effectively bridge the gap between physical and virtual stores. In essence, BOPIS proves to be more beneficial to the D2C industry.
6. Make your in-store experience mirror the online store: When shoppers purchase online; the experience is seamless, smooth and quick. There is the added feature of knowing exactly what each customer likes and dislikes and suggesting products accordingly to upsell and cross-sell. When the shopper comes into the store to pick up the product make sure the experience is the same. Keep the purchased products ready for pickup. Use the customer behavioral data collected online to upsell & cross-sell products (based on the items purchased) when they come to pick up their purchases in-store. Keep those products shortlisted and ready to showcase too.
7. Make sure to avoid the speed trap: Beware the jaws of speed. While speed, ease, and convenience may be key to satisfying the customer it cannot always be reflected in real life. In-store experiences become incredibly important – assign knowledgable staff to handle all BOPIS orders, answer product & brand-related queries and make sure shoppers avoid massive & slow checkout lines.
Make sure the package is ready and waiting for pickup. When the product is readily available at the counter, the shopper is 24% more likely to buy something else on that trip and 17% more likely to both use the service again and recommend it to others. Their
The BOPIS model can only be successful when not only are the best practices incorporated but also when the specialized flow for each and every brand is analyzed to avoid loopholes. A common practice amongst brands that have already incorporated BOPIS is to hire secret shoppers to go through the entire flow and identify any gaps or room for improvement both online and offline at every location.
BOPIS in itself is not a trend – it is the evolution of eCommerce and the amalgamation of online and brick & mortar. Brands that do incorporate BOPIS will flourish and prosper in the current dynamic retail eco-system.
P.S – Here’s something fun for you to do
We’ve come up with a super fun bingo challenge for all eCommerce founders.
Download the below image, tick off the boxes on what you’ve done and post it on your Instagram story or posts and tag us with #ecommbingo20.