Social distancing protocols and remote work have completely redefined our way of living…and our way of shopping. As BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store) becomes increasingly mainstream, it’s paramount to adopt these BOPIS best practices to bring in revenue, attract more customers, and increase customer loyalty.

Make it Easy for the Customer

Although the marketer in all of us wants to intrinsically place the pick-up counter at the back of the store to spur additional sales, resist! After all, 61% of all customers already make an additional purchase when retrieving their orders.

Instead, put BOPIS pickup areas at or near the front of your store. It’s also worth considering special entrances, adding extra signage, and even designating special curbside pickup parking spaces to make the BOPIS experience easy for your shoppers. Remember: there is increased customer demand for this near-instant gratification method because consumers want to avoid a lengthy and cumbersome shopping experience.

Communicate Early and Often

Many of your shoppers might be new to BOPIS and curbside pickup. Create a frequently asked questions page, provide exacting detail on how to retrieve an online order, and send emails not only confirming the BOPIS order, but also updates along the way. Apps from Target and Walmart, for example, track the shoppers’ route to the store to maximize the efficiency of curbside pickup. Best Buy boasts that 40% of its online sales are picked up at a physical store. They, too, allow a BOPIS customer to mark themselves “on my way” via their app.

Motivate an Additional Purchase with Personalized Rewards

Personalize the shopping experience to cement customer loyalty and spur incremental sales. For example, it’s relatively easy to create coupons attached to the BOPIS order so when a customer retrieves their order, they have an offer that is good for an in-store purchase for that day only.

Additionally, consider sending customers notifications, texts, or emails about related products they might want to buy in-store. Maps and search tools can guide online shoppers to the exact in-store location for any additional items they want to buy while they’re in picking up their orders. You can also just mention which aisle they’re in on the coupon.

Install Smart, Contactless Lockers for Another BOPIS Option

The initial research into retailers using smart lockers for contactless pick-up is overwhelmingly positive. A Fortune 500 company and major retailer who installed Parcel Pending’s automated lockers noted that 95.9% of customers said that using the locker saved them time in picking up their order; 94.3% of customers said that they are likely to use in-store pick up again and 93.4% of customers rated their experience as “very satisfied.” Home improvement retailer Lowe’s also recently finalized a deal with Parcel Pending to install smart lockers at its 1,700+ U.S. stores to boost their customer satisfaction.

In as little as 10 seconds, customers can retrieve their packages with zero human interaction. This can help retailers provide a contactless alternative to curbside pickup while also creating a scalable, convenient BOPIS experience.

Create a Streamlined Omnichannel Experience

In 2020, $861 billion was spent on online eCommerce retail sales representing 21.3% of total retail sales and a staggering 87% increase from 20172. eCommerce predictions are clear: online shopping will continue, but savvy retailers will find ways to provide a seamless omnichannel strategy.

Omnichannel retailing means meeting consumers where they are; it’s the practice of selling across multiple channels and devices for one unified shopping experience. And, it’s more profitable than single-channel shopping options: Omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers3. For every additional channel a shopper uses, they spend more money. However, it’s important to note that 75% of consumers expect a consistent customer experience whenever they engage with a brand, regardless of the channel4. Successful omnichannel retailers recognize the growing importance of seamless experience for customers and are making plans to improve these offerings for 2021 and beyond. 

Offer Omnichannel Fulfillment

Consumers welcome options. Whether it’s curbside pickup, BOPIS, shipping, or same-day delivery, customer expectations are trending towards reliable options from their trusted retailers. The key takeaway is to let a customer know about these options via your mobile app, at checkout, on your website’s homepage, and on social media platforms.

Curbside pickup is trending upwards as it offers a safe order fulfillment option. The curbside meaning is exactly how it sounds: shoppers pull up outside a retail store and the retailer brings their order out to the car, providing a contactless and frictionless shopping experience. Of course, similar to recommendations for a successful BOPIS strategy above, be sure to create clear signage directing customers to the correct pickup spots.

For instance, Target fulfilled 80% of its online orders through its nearly 1,900 retail store locations during Q1 20205. Curbside pickup for web orders increased 500% year over year as Target extended the service to about 1,750 of its stores. Walmart has taken a similar approach by utilizing its vast physical store footprint to fulfill online orders.

Implementing a seamless omnichannel fulfillment process requires solid inventory management, good customer communication, efficient warehouse management, and a reliable shipping and delivery infrastructure. Retailers must embrace new technologies to improve supply chain management and continue to provide the best experience possible for their customers.

Focus on The Brand Experience as a Competitive Advantage

“Brands will need to switch strategies to be more about the brand experience and values rather than just the functional convenience of e-commerce,” explains Jay Pattisall, a principal analyst at research company Forrester Research6. Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand for an average of 5.1 years vs. 3.4 years, and will recommend brands at a much higher rate (71% vs. 45%)7.

We continue to live in a quick-changing world. Retailers today must remain flexible with their BOPIS strategy and keep a pulse on relevant omnichannel trends to better serve their customers.

Interested in improving your customer experience in 2021? Learn more about our retail parcel locker solutions here.

Sources:

  1. O’Brien, Mike. Sailthru. 6 Tips for Using Email to Drive Store Traffic. (2019, July 2). https://www.sailthru.com/marketing-blog/frye-foot-locker-tory-burch-email-store-traffic/.
  2. Ali, Fareeha. Digital Commerce 360. U.S. ecommerce grows 44.0% in 2020. (2021, January 29). https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/.
  3. Sopadjieva, E., Dholakia, U., and Benjamin, B. Harvard Business Review. A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works. (2017, January 3). https://hbr.org/2017/01/a-study-of-46000-shoppers-shows-that-omnichannel-retailing-works.
  4. Salesforce. Customer Expectations Hit All-Time Highs. (n.d.) https://www.salesforce.com/research/customer-expectations/.
  5. Bimschleger, Curt. Deloitte. (2020). A Road Map for Omnichannel Fulfillment: Advancing Your Omnichannel Retail Strategy [Report]. Retrieved from: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/consulting/articles/a-roadmap-for-omnichannel-fulfillment.html
  6. Bruell, Alexandra. The Wall Street Journal. E-Commerce to Total a Quarter of Global Retail by 2024, GroupM Forecasts. (2020, December 16). https://www.wsj.com/articles/e-commerce-to-total-a-quarter-of-global-retail-by-2024-groupm-forecasts-11608116401.
  7. T, Viraj. MarTech Series. Motista’s Study Results Conclude That Emotional Connection Is the Key to Brand Success. (2018, October 8). https://martechseries.com/sales-marketing/customer-experience-management/motistas-study-results-conclude-emotional-connection-key-brand-success/.