Over the past year, many consumers grew accustomed to limiting their shopping trips and turning to e-commerce to purchase groceries and other necessities. To accommodate their customers who preferred online shopping’s convenience and safety, retailers quickly rolled out buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services. 

BOPIS soon became a determiner of store success — customer use of in-store pickup services grew by 78% since the start of the pandemic. The service not only helped retailers stay afloat in troubled times, but provided them with a competitive advantage.

If you have yet to tap into the benefits of BOPIS, here are five reasons to jump on board. 

It bridges the gap between online and in-store sales

Competing with e-commerce is no easy task. But as the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them.

BOPIS is the perfect marriage between online and in-store shopping. It gives customers all the benefits of placing orders online while allowing retailers an easy means of getting inventory out the door. So sales stay strong even when store traffic is low. 

It offers a contactless experience

Customers want to support their local stores, but they don’t want to risk their health to do so. 

Using a solution like smart lockers, BOPIS offers a contactless alternative to browsing the aisles and standing in checkout lines. Easy-to-use advanced technology allows customers to pick up their orders without assistance from store associates. Smart lockers also minimize touchpoints to limit the spread of pathogens, and they can include UV technology and antimicrobial surfaces to add more protection. 

It’s faster and cheaper than delivery

Damage during transit, lost and stolen packages, and spoiled perishables are real possibilities with home delivery. 

Not to mention, shipping isn’t always fast or free. Consumers may have to buy more products than planned to reach the free shipping minimum, and shipping can be expensive for retailers regardless of how much the customer pays. Same-day and next-day deliveries aren’t reliably available, and shipping delays hurt customer satisfaction.

Because products only move from the shelf to the pickup area, BOPIS eliminates the costs and challenges of home delivery. And a good BOPIS strategy typically allows stores to offer same-day pickup and get orders to customers faster.

It’s not just a phase

Retailers were thinking of implementing store pickup strategies well before the pandemic. Five years ago, 90% of retailers planned to add BOPIS services to their stores by 2021. Back then, they probably didn’t anticipate just how valuable that service would become. 

It’s unlikely that vaccination efforts will bring traffic back to the stores, at least not to pre-pandemic levels. So it looks like BOPIS isn’t a temporary fix, but a permanent part of brick-and-mortar strategies.

Over the next six months, 80% of consumers plan to increase their use of BOPIS and curbside pickup, and 97% of retail executives anticipate that pickup orders will grow or stay the same.

It’s a catalyst for change

As retailers implement, expand, and strengthen their BOPIS services, they may find themselves improving other systems and strategies, such as:

  • Inventory management: The success of BOPIS relies on efficient inventory technology. Customers don’t want to find out that a product they already ordered is actually out of stock. 
  • Communication: BOPIS customers expect regular updates on their order status and pickup details. So stores need to develop a reliable, automated means of communicating with customers, including following up to collect feedback on the experience.
  • Personalization: BOPIS adds another source of customer information, providing data retailers can use to suggest products, personalize discounts, and more.   

As we’ve seen, BOPIS is a contactless solution that benefits both customers and retailers. It can also be a driver of continuous improvement, helping stores become more efficient, flexible, and reliable.

Contact us today to learn more about how a contactless BOPIS solution can boost your business.