Rising to retail relevance in this day in age doesn’t just entail building a killer e-commerce site and a booming social media following. To compete in today’s marketplace, you need to offer your customers fast, reliable, and convenient fulfillment options.
Retail order fulfillment and delivery are transforming quickly
For retailers, smooth and efficient product delivery has moved rapidly from an anomaly to a competitive differentiator to an absolute must-have. Customers crave the convenience and control different fulfillment and delivery options offer. Meeting these consumer demands explains why retail winners like Target offer a full menu of ways to deliver a haul.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Do I need all of these fulfillment options to stay competitive?” The short answer is no. Even if you choose one new way to get products from warehouse to customer and make it your mission to do that one thing thing exceptionally well, you can consider yourself ahead of the game. And if you’re not committed to a future-proof fulfillment and delivery method quite yet, consider implementing click-and-collect (or buy online, pick up in-store, BOPIS). Done well, this delivery strategy is a safe bet for boosting profits and increasing customer satisfaction.
BOPIS isn’t a passing trend
Click and collect is revolutionizing the way people shop. Forbes even predicts that click and collect could start to outpace the same-day delivery craze. Another prediction is that 90% of retailers will adopt BOPIS by 2021. Why? Look no further than the numbers.
- 67% of shoppers have used BOPIS in the past six months. [Source, study released March 2018]
- Consumers who’ve used BOPIS at least twice in the last 12 months spend an average of $40 more on additional unplanned purchases while picking up online orders in the store. [Source]
- 65% of consumers want greater flexibility for deliveries. [Source]
There’s also the ever-important holiday shopping frenzy to consider. The season is officially upon us, and BOPIS is already proving to be an insanely popular shopping strategy for convenience-driven customers. Let’s take a peek at some of the stats so far.
- Just over a quarter (27%) of shoppers click and collected during Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year, and 64% of those shoppers made additional purchases in-store. [Source]
- Click and collect orders were up a whopping 65% over last year on Cyber Monday. [Source]
- BOPIS orders grew by 73% from Thanksgiving to Black Friday. [Source]
Smart lockers give you a competitive edge
If the majority of retailers are planning to implement click and collect in the next two to three years, you might find your brand in yet another pickle: how to compete. BOPIS is convenient by nature, but speedy and efficient? Not always. That’s where smart lockers come in.
Banishes lines and wait times
Everyone can probably agree that the most time-consuming part of shopping usually isn’t mulling over which thread count of sheets to buy — it’s standing in line. Certainly, skipping the line is part of the allure of BOPIS. However, not all retailers have the infrastructure in place that allows consumers to realize their dream of being in and out of the store in a matter of minutes… and click and collect systems that move at a snail’s pace are not a good look.
“Who wants to pick up in a store if you still have to stand in the check-out line with everyone else?” [Source]
Package lockers significantly reduce — if not eliminate — lines and wait times to retrieve items purchased online. Smiota technology allows customers to access and unlock their locker via Bluetooth, making it a breeze for anyone with a smartphone to walk up to the lockers, grab the goods, and get on with their day. And while Bluetooth is the quickest way to gain access, it only takes a few seconds to enter a personalized code to access a locker, too. That means there’s no need to check order numbers, IDs, or credit cards when shoppers click and collect.
Provides cost-effective 24/7 convenience
Can your customers swing by your store at 6 a.m. before work to pick up a last-minute birthday gift? How about scoop up their aunt’s favorite canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving after you’ve closed up shop for the day? If your answer is “no,” you’re missing out on offering your shoppers the ultimate convenience — being able to run errands on their schedule.
“If your hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, but your competition now has package pickup 24×7, unless your products are drastically different, convenience and speed rules and you don’t need to pay overtime for that after-hours help any longer.” [Source]
Electricity and a Wi-fi connection are the only things Smiota-powered lockers need to work, so they aren’t confined to operating within regular business hours. Install lockers just outside the door, and voila! You officially have a retail hub and offline customer-service touch-point available to your shoppers 24/7. And since lockers aren’t on the payroll, you don’t have to worry about cutting overtime checks.
Levels up your omnichannel strategy
“Omnichannel” has been the ultimate retail buzzword for a few years now, and for a good reason. Customers want a seamless experience when moving between online and offline channels. BOPIS and smart lockers provide the ultimate gateway between e-commerce and physical retail environments.
Providing a pickup hub for online orders is just one way lockers enhance your omnichannel strategy. You can customize locker banks to reflect the look and feel of your brand. Customers can touch and feel online orders before taking them home. Plus, shoppers can use Smiota smart lockers for quick and easy returns — no more printing off shipping labels and finding perfect-fit shipping boxes! With lockers, moving from online to off (and everywhere in between) has never been easier.
Puts customers in the driver’s seat
Gone are they days where people had only two options for shopping: buying in-store or waiting for standard delivery. Now, customers are on a need-to-know basis with their deliveries and demand all sorts of fulfillment options from free two-day shipping to curbside pickup.
You put your customers in complete control when you provide smart lockers for BOPIS orders. It’s the shopper’s responsibility to pick up the package at their convenience, inspect their items, and bring orders home. And considering the booming popularity of click and collect, the shoppers don’t appear to see the process as burdensome. BOPIS is free, convenient, and, with lockers, lightning fast.
Easy to use
Not all retail technologies are created equal, especially when it comes to a learning curve. The difficulty of adapting store systems can even surpass budget constraints when it comes to concerns about bringing in new tech.
Package lockers powered by Smiota technology are extremely easy to implement — and the faster your install, the quicker you can start reaping the benefits of BOPIS + lockers. A dedicated team of support staff helps you every step of the way from helping design your locker configuration to training you on Smiota’s software. And once the system is up and running, the lockers are a breeze to use. Shoppers can navigate the pickup process right from their smartphone without having to remember any codes. On the admin side, you can pull valuable usage insights in a matter of seconds. And if you’re faced with hurdles, they’ll be easy to overcome with the help from your remote support team.
Exterminates pesty porch pirates
If you read our piece about package theft, you know how much of an unwelcome pest a so-called “porch pirate” can be. And when you use traditional porch drop-off delivery, as e-commerce sales continue to climb, it’s likely that package theft rates will also increase.
Yes, smart lockers are easy to use, cost-effective people-pleasers. But what’s more is that lockers powered by Smiota technology allow you to secure your last-yard delivery and maintain comprehensive chain of custody records.
Lockers powered by Smiota are efficient, scalable solutions for retail fulfillment
If you’re already running or considering implementing a BOPIS system, consumer demand for speedy order fulfillment isn’t going to slow down any time soon. Employing Smiota’s package locker technology to drive your click and collect system is an effective way to streamline BOPIS operations during this critical retail industry shift and beyond.
Let’s talk about how Smiota’s technology can boost your BOPIS game.