Customers hope in-store pickup options will further improve with the implementation of curbside pickup and smart lockers, not become a temporary solution.
Regarding their retail shopping experiences, nearly 80% of US customers expect permanent changes after the pandemic, and almost 70% are more likely to buy online from stores that have curbside pickup services.
That said, buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) options haven’t all been positive. More than six in ten customers reported mixed or negative experiences with BOPIS services. And just one bad experience is enough to prevent customers from trying store pickup services again.
To help stores improve and enhance their fulfillment services, here are some of the reasons customers choose BOPIS and what they expect from the experience.
Convenience and speed
Part of what attracts customers to BOPIS is that it pairs the convenience of online ordering with the speed of picking up items from a local store. So they want to choose a pickup time that works best for them, even if it’s outside of business hours.
And it has to be fast. Same-day pickup is ideal — if they were willing to wait longer for their order, they would likely opt for home delivery instead.
The pickup process should be quick, too, with designated parking and a pickup location that allows them to avoid customer service lines and in-store shoppers. Smart lockers work well for this and can even be installed outside the store to make the pickup process as quick and convenient as possible.
Simplicity and seamlessness
Customers who use BOPIS are looking for a smooth, painless shopping experience. If there aren’t any glitches along the way, customers, particularly those new to BOPIS, are more likely to trust the process and feel comfortable using the service regularly.
Some of the things that prevent frustrations for BOPIS customers are:
- The ability to use the same platform or app for the entire process (ordering, payment, pickup, etc.).
- An accurate, reliable inventory that keeps customers from getting out-of-stock notices after they’ve already ordered.
- No delays in order fulfillment — customers can count on their order to be ready for pickup by the promised time.
- Timely updates and reminders about the order status and clear instructions on when, where, and how to pick up the order.
Savings and personalization
Some customers who choose BOPIS over home delivery are looking to save money on shipping costs or take advantage of lower product prices. To stretch the savings for these customers and boost orders, stores can offer exclusive, BOPIS-only discounts.
Combining online and offline customer data will help stores cater to another popular customer demand — personalization. After all, discounts, coupons, and product suggestions are only helpful to customers if they’re relevant. Customers might decide to shop elsewhere if they repeatedly receive offers they can’t or don’t want to use.
Safety and security
BOPIS won over shoppers during the pandemic for a good reason — it offers the same immediacy of in-store shopping without the health risks of browsing the aisles and standing in lines. So BOPIS users expect a fully contactless experience with minimal touchpoints.
They also want to be sure their orders stay safe from theft, damage, or loss, which means stores must have security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access. Setting out BOPIS orders on an unsupervised desk or shelf increases the risk that the items will fall into the wrong hands.
An excellent way to ensure shoppers stay safe and orders are protected is to incorporate smart lockers into the BOPIS strategy. Smart lockers are a convenient, user-friendly way to reduce touchpoints, free up staff time, and keep orders secure until pickup.
Contact us today to find out how smart lockers can create a better BOPIS experience for your customers.