Attract and retain shoppers with a BOPIS strategy

The pandemic accelerated the use of hybrid shopping, and it’s here to stay. Buy–online–pick–up–in store, or BOPIS, enables customers to browse and purchase products online to later pick up at the nearest brick-and-mortar location. With the new Store Fulfillment for Adobe Commerce by Walmart Commerce Technologies, retailers can more easily develop a robust BOPIS experience for their customers and store employees.

Why adopt this strategy?

To align with changing consumer behavior, brands and retailers with physical locations are implementing a BOPIS service. Shoppers are 20% more likely to buy from retailers that offer omnichannel fulfillment than those who don’t.

“We’ve already reached a point where customers expect this as an option,” says Marc Cohen, chief strategy officer at Blue Acorn iCi, an Infosys company. He warns, however, against overdoing it with too much business process or technical complexity. “What is important is that you have the capability so you don’t miss out on those customers. Consider it a part of the digital foundation.”

2 tips for a successful BOPIS strategy

1. Update the pickup process

Providing clear directions during online checkout and post-purchase will help minimize confusion. Use the customer order confirmation email to include pickup directions or link to an FAQ page with answers to questions such as:

Before the customer walks through the door, think about how you can personalize their in-store experience. If the shopper opted for in-store pickup over curbside delivery, send personalized product recommendations that are available in-store via email or text.

2. Enhance the physical store experience

When customers enter brick-and-mortar locations, this allows store employees to foster customer loyalty, make personalized product recommendations, and ultimately help increase in-store revenue.

You can improve the in-store experience by:

  1. Creating a separate staging and pickup location for online orders in the store
  2. Building customer check-in options with methods like QR codes to ensure a speedy checkout
  3. Offering a contactless curbside pickup option for those hesitant to enter physical stores
  4. Having orders ready in the time specified in the order confirmation email

How to implement BOPIS with limited resources

Fast-growing small businesses and medium-sized businesses that encounter staffing shortages or other business obstacles can still utilize this shopping experience. BOPIS technology was built for the retailer and offers a lot of configuration options.

If a store struggles with processing orders within a short time frame, you can implement order cut-off times. For example, purchases made after 2pm will be ready for customers the next day.

“Sellers may overdo it when offering their customers a narrow pickup time window or guaranteeing that an order will be ready in 30 minutes. Give yourself a buffer, and don’t make promises you don’t have to. Work toward providing an optimal customer experience that works on your terms,” says Cohen.

Businesses can make the technology available for their teams while balancing the tools a store employee uses. Store Fulfillment for Adobe Commerce offers an advanced BOPIS solution that enhances customer experience and gives store employees an app to guide them through picking, staging, and handing off an order.

What to predict for the future

It’s now an expectation that consumers receive an omnichannel shopping experience.

“People often think of BOPIS as B2C-only capability. For B2B transactions, expect more going forward as well, especially with all the B2B digital transformation that we are seeing across industries. There are many new use cases for BOPIS emerging, and anyone not implementing this strategy will want to start,” says Cohen.

In the future, partnerships will become more important for those who don’t have a brick-and-mortar location. Online-only sellers may form relationships with big-box stores to have certain inventory in specific regions.

Big players in the online-only space will also want a piece of the omnichannel shopping pie, bringing more competition to the market. Once they implement a fulfillment strategy, expect more customers to drive to a location to pick up an order rather than wait for delivery or pay shipping costs.

BOPIS is a win-win for brands, retailers, and customers. Brands have the opportunity to create a convenient customer experience that improves online and in-store revenue while customers customize how and when they shop.

Learn more about Store Fulfillment for Adobe Commerce.

Emily Wilhoit is the chief marketing officer for Blue Acorn iCi.