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Making the Most of Black Friday BOPIS

Consumer demand for an easier and more convenient Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping experience is rapidly growing, with buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) emerging as the preferred solution. Purchase immediacy, order security, and gift-giving secrecy are just a few reasons why consumers prefer this method – and it shows. A recent survey showed that in 2018, 77% of respondents used BOPIS at least once a week outside the holiday season, with a 73% lift in this omnichannel journey on Black Friday alone1.
Black Friday weekend (defined by the NRF as the five days from Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday) is the biggest shopping day of the year for most retailers, accounting for $701.2 billion in sales in 20182, with $6.2 billion from online shopping alone3. This influx of orders directly impacts the way any store runs over the holiday weekend, not to mention a store’s BOPIS process; each, in turn, directly affects the customer experience.
Managing expectations around how the BOPIS system works and how the Black Friday weekend will impact operations is crucial – especially since a majority of holiday shoppers find crowds and waiting in line to be the most stressful part of holiday shopping4. If the BOPIS program is executed correctly, stores can expect revenue growth even in the face of a shorter holiday shopping season.

Preparing for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

In the lead-up to the holiday weekend, ideally starting at the beginning of November, retailers should clearly communicate their BOPIS program and any changes to the usual operations that may crop up around the holiday weekend.
For example, retailers may want to share that orders may take longer than usual to fulfill and provide clear information about the expected wait time. This gives customers the option to either wait in line or plan their day of shopping around a certain pick-up time.
Other helpful information to communicate:

  • When relevant, providing notice that the supply of certain in-demand items is limited and could delay order fulfillment.
  • Informing customers of a limited-time, shorter order pick-up window (for example, reducing pick-up to three days from five), ensuring orders don’t take up valuable space in the store and allowing unclaimed items to be offered/sold to in-store shoppers.

Any of these changes should also be clearly communicated with in-store signage in addition to email, website, or retailer app notifications to ensure consumers are adequately notified and prepared for the change. If a retailer successfully communicates these changes in advance, consumers are more likely to remain level-headed in the face of holiday shopping stress.

During Black Friday Weekend/Cyber Monday

Over the holiday weekend, retailers with BOPIS customers are presented with a unique opportunity: a willing, engaged, and ready-to-shop audience. In fact, a recent study shows that 98% of retailers with a BOPIS program say they see additional in-store purchases from their BOPIS customers5 – and that’s not specific to Black Friday.
Savvy retailers can make the most of this willing and captive audience by incentivizing their use of BOPIS over the holiday weekend. For example, using word-of-mouth marketing to tell BOPIS customers about exclusive in-store offers for the Black Friday weekend or including a coupon with an exclusive Cyber Monday deal in each BOPIS order.
In the event that providing a deeper discount isn’t an option, retailers can instead provide early access to a promotion coming later in the holiday promotions cycle. By giving customers a coupon with a unique promo code, retailers are able to see additional sales while also tracking the success of their BOPIS and holiday promotions.
This easy-to-implement strategy provides strong benefits for a willing audience but also for the retailers ­– driving additional revenue without overextending store staff or creating additional steps for the customer to follow.

After Black Friday Weekend/Cyber Monday

Once the dust has settled on the holiday weekend, retailers should take this opportunity to evaluate the success of their BOPIS programs and make adjustments for the rest of the holiday season, as well as make plans for next year.
When considering how to optimize the BOPIS process, consider the addition of more automated or convenience-driven services like order-pick up from smart lockers. A study conducted by the NRF found that half of the customers surveyed expressed an interest in using smart lockers to pick up their purchases6. Buy Online, Pickup in Locker (BOPIL™) by Parcel Pending is one example of a successful smart locker solution that supports BOPIS programs.
BOPIL™ provides a number of crucial benefits for retailers:

  • Streamlined Operations: Retailers who use BOPIL™ save an average of 45 hours per month managing in-store pick-ups.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Providing a seamless BOPIS process makes customers 78% more likely to become or remain recurring shoppers.
  • Increased Sales Volume: 61% of all shoppers make an additional, unplanned purchase when retrieving their BOPIS order.
  • Higher Employee Engagement: By reducing the time spent managing BOPIS, store staff can focus on being knowledgeable, engaging resources for customers.

BOPIL™ was created to provide a truly holistic solution to order fulfillment challenges, but our job doesn’t end at locker installation. We act as a strategic partner to ensure that each client’s unique needs and KPIs are met, whether it’s by customizing configurations and workflows or providing marketing support and collateral to ensure successful consumer adoption.
Find out how we can make a difference for your business and your customers. Reach out to a member of our team here.

  1. Oracle. (2018). The New Topography of Retail: Mapping emerging consumer trends [Report]. Retrieved from https://go.oracle.com/LP=75440
  2. Baird, Nicky. Forbes. Every Result You Need To Know From Black Friday, Cyber Monday And The 2018 Holiday Season So Far. (2018, November 28). https://www.forbes.com/sites/nikkibaird/2018/11/28/every-result-you-need-to-know-about-black-friday-cyber-monday-and-holiday-2018-so-far/#69a15dc64eb5
  3. National Retail Federation. (2019, October 3). NRF forecasts holiday sales will grow between 3.8 and 4.2 percent [Press release]. Retrieved from https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/nrf-forecasts-holiday-sales-will-grow-between-38-and-42-percent?utm_campaign=Annual%20forecast&utm_content=Holiday&utm_medium=Homepage%20Hero&utm_source=Website
  4. (2018, November 28). Majority of Americans Want to Buy Online and Pick-up In-store to Reduce Holiday Shopping Stress This Year [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181128005645/en
  5. (2019). BOPIS and the Future of Order Fulfillment [Report]. Retrieved from https://www.radial.com/bopis-order-fulfillment?utm_campaign=20190801-TR-BOPIS_Infographic&utm_source=DG&utm_medium=Pardot_Email
  6. National Retail Federation. (2019, January 15). Consumer View Winter 2019 [Report]. Retrieved from https://nrf.com/research/consumer-view-winter-2019