If there’s one retail trend you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) ignore, it’s click and collect, or buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). The convenient delivery option is projected to skyrocket in popularity as people seek faster and easier ways to shop.
That said, implementing BOPIS is an investment that will impact everything from your staff training programs to in-store infrastructure. To yield the highest ROI possible, making sure everything runs as efficiently as possible is critical.
Make it easy for shoppers to get from point A to point B
For shoppers, the main attraction of BOPIS is how quick, easy, and convenient it can make a transaction. Without signage (inside and out), you run the risk of making the exchange of goods everything but quick, easy, and convenient. Guiding your BOPIS customers all the way from the parking lot to the pickup point keeps shoppers happy. Not to mention, effective signage keeps your employees from having to answer, “Where’s your pickup desk?” three dozen times a day.
Here are some quick tips for letting your click and collectors know where to go:
- Create designated parking spots for click and collectors
- Display signs in obvious places (for example, hanging from the ceiling at store entry point) to guide foot traffic to your BOPIS service desk or pickup point
- Lay floor decals to point out where to pick up online orders
Use handheld scanners
Scouring the store to find merchandise to fill online orders is challenging enough.It can be even more time-consuming when you’re relying on a pen and paper to check off items one by one. Use handheld scanners to make the fulfilment process go much more smoothly.
There are (at least) three ways handheld scanners can increase your BOPIS system efficiency.
- Eliminating the need for workers to bring merchandise up to the register
- Increasing order accuracy (there’s plenty of room for human error when you’re matching SKUs from a paper order slip to product tags)
- Expediting inventory updates, reducing the number of discrepancies that could throw off future orders
Install automated pickup centers
If you’re interested in taking customer-facing click and collect workers out of the equation, consider installing automated pickup centers for online orders. This doesn’t only free up employees to focus on other tasks,. It also keeps folks from waiting in a long line to retrieve their orders.
Take Walmart’s pickup towers as an example. What some call the “world’s largest vending machine” can retrieve an online order in a matter of seconds. Alternatively, smart lockers offer pickup capabilities as well as a convenient spot for customers to drop off returns.
Avoid fulfilling orders if items are in low supply
Inventory accuracy, while absolutely critical to strive for, can be a bit of a pipe dream for many retailers. In fact, according to the Auburn University RFID Lab, the average retail store’s inventory accuracy is only 65%.
And when it comes to BOPIS, promising to fulfill an order and then not being able to is the biggest faux pas you can commit. Not only can it squash customer trust and loyalty, but resources will be wasted on a wild goose chase to find an item that might not be there. Plus, someone will have to spend time communicating with the customer about not being able to fill the order and what their alternatives are. An easy way to solve this inefficiency is to avoid advertising items as “available in-store” when inventory levels are low.
Ready to install smart lockers to give your BOPIS system a boost? Contact us today.