In theory, it sounds simple. Your customers place an order online, but prefer to pick it up in a local store rather than wait and pay for delivery. The reality, though, is that the execution of buy online/pickup in store (BOPIS) is often fraught with challenges.
However challenging it might be, retailers must get BOPIS right during the holiday season. Why? It’s a key element (but by far not the only one) for delivering the unified online-to-offline commerce experience consumers demand. For starters, it provides retailers, particularly those with a large store network, with a key advantage over pure online players. Additionally, consumers demand choices and flexibility at all stages of the buying process, especially for fulfillment.
Retailers need to be very clear in all aspects of communication related to BOPIS. And it needs to start even before the order is placed.
Before the order
Your shoppers should know as early as possible that picking up in store is an option. Your site must include the following:
After the order
It’s incumbent upon you to set the initial expectation that an order will not be ready for pickup in store the moment the shopper hits the buy button. To ensure a smooth experience for your shoppers:
In the store
Part of the reason that BOPIS has fallen short is that stores are not set up to service online shoppers. When an online order comes in, who is responsible for fetching it from inventory? Do those associates abandon in-store shoppers to fill online orders? Where do online shoppers pick up their order? Should they expect to wait in line with in-store shoppers? Here’s what we suggest, and what we know works. Stores:
For Pier 1 Imports, BOPIS provides an important link between the store and ecommerce. In fact, about 25% of ecommerce sales are from a device within a store, and another 25% of online sales are BOPIS.
This and much more is covered in our 2017 Guide to Holiday Readiness. Download it today!