With customer expectations higher than ever, businesses are utilizing BOPIS fulfillment method to help get customers their products faster. What is BOPIS? It stands for “buy online, pick up in-store” and is a great way for retailers to connect their online and offline components for a convenient omnichannel experience. Ecommerce outlets like Amazon have created the expectation of getting products quickly. In fact, many consumers would not complete purchases once determining shipping would be an additional cost or take more than two days. Offering fast and free shipping is not always as easy for smaller businesses as it is for Amazon, and BOPIS can help eliminate some of the extra costs and stress of shipping and fulfillment and give your customers a convenient shopping experience. This is even more relevant as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows low-contact shopping.
How does BOPIS retail work?
BOPIS is different from traditional ecommerce fulfillment because the orders are usually fulfilled from inventory already in a store, rather than a fulfillment center. Many times, the reason people use BOPIS services is so they don’t need to wait for an item to be shipped to them and can pick it up sooner and avoid additional shipping charges. By using real-time inventory visibility, you can allow customers to choose the location they wish to pick orders up and have it ready for them the same day. If the store they want to pick up from does not have the item in stock, it must be ordered from a nearby store or warehouse. In both cases, once the item is ready to go, customers are notified via an app or email notification and can pick up at their convenience.
How to offer BOPIS
In order to offer BOPIS as an option for your customers, you need at least one brick and mortar store for customers to pick their orders up from. You also need a website or app that allows your customers to browse items and pay for their orders. Your website or app also needs to be able to confirm orders are received and when they are ready to be picked up from the store. Additionally, you need real-time inventory capabilities to give people the best experience possible. Your inventory management capabilities need to stretch across your entire organization from brick and mortar stores to your fulfillment centers to allow for optimal customer experience.
Why customers prefer BOPIS
When your customers choose BOPIS retail over traditional ecommerce, they typically do so because it allows them to avoid shipping fees. As you know, shipping packages straight to customers’ doors is much more expensive than having them pick up the order from a store. Another large perk is that it allows shoppers to enjoy the benefits of shopping online without having to wait for the items to be delivered. BOPIS can be much faster and less expensive than traditional ecommerce, especially if you have the item ordered in stock at your store for same-day pickup.
Why BOPIS is beneficial for retailers
In addition to the added convenience for your customers, BOPIS is also beneficial for retailers. Maximizing your omnichannel distribution strategy instead of only offering ecommerce can help you gain an edge over the likes of Amazon. While packages are delayed due to the bottlenecks in the supply chain, you can allow customers to bypass expensive shipping and long shipping times by allowing in-store pick up. As a bonus, you’ll have a better understanding of your inventory patterns by consistently tracking all inventory in the store and in your fulfillment center.
BOPIS, ROPIS and BORIS, oh my!
Clearly, BOPIS is a fulfillment strategy that can be beneficial both for you as the retailer, and for your customers. There are a few other similar options you can offer your customers: ROPIS and BORIS. ROPIS is reserve online, pick up in-store and allows shoppers to reserve an item online in the event that they’d like to see it or try it on in person before purchasing. This means the items are put on hold and ready for the customer to come take a look without having to search the store. ROPIS can help reduce unnecessary returns when clothing items don’t fit or are not what the customer was expecting, which can save you money. BORIS stand for buy online, return in-store. When you are able to facilitate returns through your physical store, it creates another touchpoint with your customers for additional sales or an exchange.
ITS Logistics can help you succeed with BOPIS
In these turbulent and ever-changing times, being flexible is extremely important for every retail business. You need to be able to adapt to evolutions technology, pandemics and other supply chain disruptions while keeping your customers happy. BOPIS retail is a great way to help you have the best of both worlds while even saving yourself and your customers time and money. In order to create a seamless process when fulfilling orders, it’s important to have an experienced 3PL who can help you ship inventory to customers and to your store in an efficient manner. ITS Logistics is experienced in a variety of different fulfillment services and we can assist you with whatever services you need. Give us a call today to see how we can help.