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How to Create a Winning BOPIS Strategy

“The lines between the physical and digital shopping worlds are dissolving. Retailers need to cater to shoppers by offering fast, easy and frictionless ways to pay so there are minimal lines and offer personalized recommendations and in-store deals. In other words, experience is key.” – Roelant Prins, chief commercial officer at Adyen

According to Retail TouchPoints, retailers are operating in the “NOW economy.” Consumers can pretty much retrieve anything they want on-demand. Consumers want the goods they order online to be ready for pick up immediately, and the pick-up process to be quick and easy and this is where BOPIS retail lockers comes into play. In fact, customers who wait less than two minutes to obtain their online order in-store are more than four times as likely to return to the store than customers who are kept waiting for 10 minutes or more, according to a study by Rakuten Ready.

How do brick and mortar stores and other retailers keep up with this new trend? The answer is Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS). 

Retailers are not going to generate more revenue unless they enhance their customer experience, and one of the new ways they can do so is by investing in technology that supports buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS) solutions. While many retailers understand the importance of providing a premium online and offline experience, the majority fail at executing a seamless Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) experience by alienating the customers they want to please. It’s important to take a look at both the short and long-term goals of your omnichannel strategy.

In this article, we will discuss how to  prevent BOPIS retail failures and instead create a winning, effective BOPIS strategy that boosts overall revenue and provides a premium customer experience.

Where BOPIS often goes wrong

According to Acceo Tender Retail, omnichannel retailing is the fastest growing sector where customers can choose and buy an item online and then pick it up later on in a physical store/brick and mortar locations or have it delivered at home. 

However, when it comes to offering BOPIS, retailers have to offer it along with a premium customer experience in order to fully take advantage of all the great things BOPIS has to offer their bottom line.

While many retailers understand BOPIS is a great way to tackle the omnichannel presence, most just jump right into the functional requirements of BOPIS without first defining the customer experience. By doing so, they create dissatisfied customers because they are not offering the premium customer experience that should come along with BOPIS.

In fact, many retailers that offer BOPIS have unhappy customers because they find themselves still having to wait in line and facing the same problems they were trying to avoid in the first place by placing a BOPIS order instead of just going to the store.

“BOPIS is a retail customer experience. But it’s being treated as a bargaining chip to get people in the door for many retailers,” states Retail Customer Experience. “They are offering it because other retailers are doing it and its popular right now. If they did it right, then retailers would be able to take advantage of moments when your customers are primed to purchase.”

Customer satisfaction needs to be the key focus in every aspect of omnichannel for BOPIS to bring in the additional customer loyalty and revenue it was built to do. As Traf-sys notes, customers have more choices than ever, so it’s critically important to use every tool in your box to help your store stand out in a crowded retail environment.

Tap into the power of data

Today’s consumers expect a high level of customer service and personalization. However, retailers can’t serve up a fast, convenient and personalized omnichannel shopping experience to their customers unless they truly understand their behaviors and that is where data comes into play.

One new way retailers can obtain valuable data is through Parcel Pending’s BOPIL® (Buy Online, Pick Up in Locker) solutions. With BOPIL, retailers receive customized reports and obtain key information, such as the time their customers are picking up their BOPIS orders, how long the orders are staying in the lockers and more. This helps retailers better maximize BOPIL and target their customers. This is vital as McKinsey reports that companies that use customer data to inform their practices see 85% more sales and 25% more gross margins than those that ignore their data. Our lockers allow you to tap into your customers’ behavioral data so that you can improve key areas of customer acquisition and retention.

The retail space is at its most competitive right now and retailers of all sizes need to start investing in the power of data to understand their customers and ultimately drive sales.

Creating a premium online store experience

A seamless BOPIS experience makes consumers 78 percent more likely to become recurring customers.

BOPIL solutions enhance the customer experience by making it quick, easy and convenient for customers to retrieve their online orders. Customers can be in and out of the store with their goods within just seconds compared to the outdated method of waiting 10-15 minutes for a store associate to locate and provide their order.

The way BOPIL locker systems work is simple. Once an online retail order is fulfilled – be it clothing, electronics or more – the items are placed into one of the Parcel Pending lockers located at a participating retail store location. Customers are then instantly notified by text or email and provided with a unique access code that they can type or scan at the locker kiosk. They can then quickly and easily pick up their online order at their convenience by going to the retail store and entering their personal access code into the locker. What’s more, all deliveries and customer pick-ups are monitored, tracked and verified by Parcel Pending’s built-in cameras and infrared scanners to provide complete chain of custody for all orders.

Countless ways to market with BOPIS

By bringing a customer into the store and delivering a convenient, quick and premium experience, customers are more likely to impulsively purchase additional items since their time is no longer wasted waiting in line. In fact, 61 percent of shoppers and 75 percent of millennials who come into the store to collect their online order make an unplanned purchase. More foot traffic also equates to more opportunities to market to and encourage customers to buy something. Retailers can drive additional in-store purchases by rewarding customers to utilize BOPIS via product coupons or samples in the lockers. This type of incentive helps to get customers into a retail store twice – once to pick up the online order and then again to make use of the coupon. There are countless ways that BOPIL can help retailers market to their customers.

It’s all about inventory management

When integrating online and in-store sales, you also have to be mindful of keeping your shelf inventory at appropriate levels. If you take too much store inventory for online orders, you may lose in-store sales. Your in-store assortment has to be maintained.

Ideally, retailers should seek a BOPIS solution that boosts their staff’s productivity by minimizing unnecessary and time-consuming tasks and enhances their customers’ experience by providing a secure and convenient way for them to pick up their order.

BOPIS retail locker solutions can help to generate additional revenue for retailers in three key ways. First, they bring a customer back into the store and deliver a convenient and premium experience. These customers are more likely to impulsively purchase additional items while at the store since their time is no longer wasted waiting in line. Second, they free up retail staff time so they can focus on building brand relationships/loyalty with in-store customers and driving in-store purchases. Finally, they help stale merchandise get back on store floors faster improving the potential for sales.

Learn more about Parcel Pending’s retail locker solutions today.