In the wake of a global pandemic, amid social distancing guidelines and lower in-store capacity caps, retailers and consumers alike have adopted new practices and habits—pivoting into a new world for retail. 73% of shoppers adopted new shopping habits and behaviors in the last year (and over 60% plan to continue those new practices). We’ve seen a direct impact of new behavior in both digital shopping and social media with a 50% year-over-year increase in revenue over the holidays for digital shopping and a 104% increase in the number of purchases made directly from a social media channel. 

And retailers that adopted creative options for contactless pickups, such as curbside, drive-through, or BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store), grew more than 60% in the five days leading up to Christmas than retailers that failed to make the shift. 

Buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) isn’t just a trend. It’s here to stay. Adoption rates in 2016 were above 40%, but they’re expected to rise to 90% by 2024. It’s a new strategy that’s proving to be the key to improving sales and customer satisfaction.

Outside of serious growth for retailers, BOPIS offers incredible benefits to shoppers. Here are three reasons retailer should adopt BOPIS, whether it’s through curbside pickup via a phone call, curbside pickup via an app, or traditional buy online, pick up in-store:

 

3 reasons retailers should adopt BOPIS.

1. BOPIS gets products into customers’ hands faster.

Digital shopping trends continue to rise, with nearly 80% of consumers starting their buying process from a mobile device specifically. Consumers can check local inventory and bypass shipping wait times with the option to buy online and pick up in-store (or through curbside pick up). Converting leads with retargeting ads or email campaigns is often easier than getting customers in-store anyway—a focused effort on digital sales with the option to pick up the order in person increases overall sales, saves shoppers (and retailers!) on shipping costs, and often increases basket or checkout order sizes. 

Plus, as retail stores evolve into more than walk-in shopping centers, the distribution center model lends itself to better inventory controls. And while recent freight delays and high shipping costs have highlighted supply chain strains, this new model paves the way for BOPIS to be a lasting trend. 

 

2. BOPIS improves convenience and reduces friction. 

The checkout process has long been deemed a moment of friction for many customers. Bouncing at checkout when shipping costs or estimated arrival dates are presented is common. And while 80% of consumers say convenience is a top priority in a positive customer experience, many retailers miss the mark at the most convenient checkout option of all—buy online and pickup in-store. When a customer is presented with a BOPIS option, it reduces the friction that typically accompanies shipping retail goods across the nation. 

And BOPIS can be presented in multiple ways, offering even more convenience to the customer. Ranked from the most friction to the least, BOPIS can:

  • Require customers to call when they get to the store (alerting the retailer to prepare the digital order for physical pickup).
  • Customers can walk into the store and pick up orders in a designated online order pickup area.
  • The most convenient option—the customer, drives to their local retailer and indicates arrival with a click of a button within an app or a quick text to the retailer. 

Multiple options allow customers to select the most convenient pickup options (and adjust to a different option in the future). 

 

3. BOPIS creates a personalized journey for the retail customer.

Personalization is the new standard for many shoppers, and when their experience with a brand doesn’t meet that need, they move on to a competitor. In fact, 71% of buyers say they feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal. BOPIS solves this problem in two main ways. First, it offers a choose-your-own-adventure option at checkout—buyers can select the option that works best for them. And second, it’s location-specific. A personalized journey targets your specific needs, and with a local inventory check, buyers can find exactly what they need (and know in real-time if it’s in stock, without going to the store first). 

If you’re a retailer considering BOPIS, there are few key ways you can make BOPIS work for you: 

Show up online. 

Businesses that show up in the top search results have a 75% chance that a shopper will click into their site first. Show up as consumers are looking for products—focus your efforts on search rankings with a high priority on reviews, your Google My Business listing, and your average star rating. 

Offer contactless payment options.

Consumers aren’t ready to walk away from contactless payments. Nearly 80% of consumers expect to see local businesses offering contactless payments, even after the pandemic ends. If your BOPIS strategy doesn’t include the complete checkout experience online before picking up the order in-store, make sure your in-store experience includes a contactless payment option. 

Collect customer feedback after their BOPIS experience. 

Don’t let the BOPIS experience exclude customers from providing feedback! Use it as an opportunity to create more communication between you and your customer. Many BOPIS strategies include a text-us-when-you-arrive policy. Use this option to send a follow-up message after the BOPIS experience. 90% of consumers prefer interacting with a business via text message anyway.

Learn more about how you add convenience and ease to your retail customer journey—read our free eBook: The Modern Customer Journey. Inside, you’ll find ten ways to add texting to your customer journey, delighting customers while improving sales and customer engagement. 

Check it out here. 

 

Eric Fuessel
Eric Fuessel Director of Retail & Hospitality Sales

Eric Fuessel is a retail professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects consumer businesses with their customers.

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