This month, we’ve been focusing on the “Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store” model, also known as BOPIS. The concept, which emphasizes consumer convenience to help brick and mortar locations compete with eCommerce offerings, works off of the basic premise that customers still value a few key tenants when making a purchase. 

senior shoppers using bopis to quickly stop and shop

Here’s how to ensure your store implements BOPIS successfully:

Robust IT Infrastructure

First and foremost, in order to efficiently maintain the BOPIS model at your store, it’s necessary to have an IT infrastructure that’s both resilient and adaptable to what the market’s needs are. BOPIS is all about convenience, and part of it comes from quick pickup times compared to delivery-based business models. 

That means rather than relying on warehouses that ship products to the customer, BOPIS-based organizations must consolidate their in-store and delivery inventories into one fluid entity. It’s not acceptable for buyers to wait for days or weeks at a time to receive their purchase. They expect to have a short turnaround, which will pose a logistical nightmare if your systems can’t adjust to the change in inventory management necessitated by BOPIS.

Customer Service

Believe it or not, there is a major human component that makes up BOPIS. While eCommerce touts delivery straight to your door, it cannot make up for the lack of customer service that often comes with it. People demand efficiency, but they also want to know that their purchases are protected against inaccuracies. Having a representative in-store ready to answer questions, swap products, and return items gives the consumer peace of mind. 

Because of these factors, BOPIS has a competitive advantage when it comes to overall convenience. Delivery models may have refined the purchase to consumption stages of the buying cycle, but if we’re looking at the big picture where buyers want to be able to inspect a product on-site and make a decision to keep/reject their purchase, then BOPIS is the clear winner.

woman walking out of store after using bopis

Embracing Innovation

BOPIS is just the start of a much larger retail revolution. For the last five years, we’ve seen brick and mortar struggle to survive as it tried to swim against the flow of consumer trends. In reality, embracing new technologies will be the industry’s saving grace. 

BOPIS has provided a creative avenue for working alongside online offerings instead of trying to compete directly against them. Now, it’s the responsibility of businesses to keep the momentum moving forward by continuing to innovate. Companies like Kohls’s and Amazon are already leading the way by partnering to provide in-store returns for online delivery products. As the adoption of BOPIS continues to grow, we’ll be seeing more organizations providing new value propositions to their customers. The real question is… Will you?

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