Online ordering is not a service of the future, it is something that customers want now. Amidst the pandemic, online ordering options like curbside pickup allowed businesses to continue service and to keep their customers safe. To compete in any industry, you’ll need to integrate online ordering options for your customers. 

What is BOPIS?

BOPIS is the acronym for “buy online pick up in-store” and it’s an excellent way for retailers to connect offline and online experiences to provide an omnichannel journey for customers. The rise of eCommerce has been great for retailers, but 90% of shoppers don’t want to purchase online if shipping fees are high or home delivery takes longer than two days. 

Shoppers want the convenience of shopping online, but the immediacy of buying in-store, which is precisely what BOPIS offers. While BOPIS options were already sprouting up and growing before the pandemic, COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of this technology and increased consumer demands for it.  83% of shoppers now expect retailers to provide flexible shipping and fulfillment options such as buy-online-pick-up-in-store.

Benefits of Online Ordering Services

The #1 reason to offer online ordering options like BOPIS is to meet customer expectations and facilitate customer satisfaction. Customers have expressed their desire for BOPIS, so finding a way to meet the demands is important. By offering BOPIS, you can alleviate many consumer pain points, thus increasing your customer satisfaction. Some of the top reasons that customers choose BOPIS include:

  • Eliminate shipping fees. 
  • Quicker service. Customers can get their items much faster than waiting for delivery, which is most important for essentials and holiday shopping. 
  • Seamless shopping experience. Customers can avoid wasting time and dealing with frustrations by knowing the item they want will be there. It’s very irritating to customers to go to a store and walk all around in search of an item that ends up being out of stock. 

By helping customers with BOPIS offerings, you will also help your business. BOPIS benefits retailers in several ways including:

  • Increasing the average order value. Customers may add additional products when they go to pick up their orders or realize they forget something. This provides an excellent opportunity for upsells. 
  • Save on shipping. Shipping doesn’t just cost customers, it also costs you as a retailer. You can lower your shipping costs by allowing customers to pick up the items from your store. 
  • Smooth inventory management. You can use one single system for online and in-store inventory, and you can decide to fill orders from the store shelves or distribution center based on whichever option is faster. You’ll get a better look at the real-time data when you combine the two systems. 

Retail Industries that Need to Offer Online Ordering Services

Grocery Stores/Specialty Foods

Overall, grocery stores have been slow to adapt to the eCommerce space. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the consumer demand for online ordering options. Amazon and Walmart (retailers that sell some groceries but an abundance of other products) are leading in the grocery store online ordering space. Both retail giants have benefited immensely from the shift to online ordering.

For local grocers and specialty food stores to compete, you’ll need to find ways to offer online ordering. Amazon and Walmart demonstrate two different effective models to use. Amazon, without physical stores, focuses more on fast delivery, allowing customers to get their groceries from the comfort of their homes. Walmart offers curbside and in-store pickup BOPIS options from their huge selection of groceries. Both retailers demonstrate different ways you can offer online ordering services to your customers. 

Wine & Liquor Stores

The wine and liquor industry is not known for its eCommerce offerings, but consumer demands are changing. Post-COVID, consumers will be looking for BOPIS options, even for wine and liquor stores. 

ABC Fine Wine and Spirits experienced a 2,000% YoY increase due to the pandemic. To respond to the spike in demand, ABC began to offer BOPIS and other omnichannel capabilities, which have greatly paid off. BOPIS is now one of their most common customers’ experiences, providing exceptional safety and convenience to customers. Chief Marketing Officer and VP, Sean Kelly says that guests are more aware of online ordering and believe curbside pickup will be there to stay, even after store operations resume. 

Book Stores

The way that people use and interact with books is ever-changing as technology grows. Book stores are under pressure to keep up with technology and modern shopping trends. Especially during and after the pandemic, book stores will need to adapt to the growing demand for BOPIS. While many readers still enjoy or need physical books for different reasons, they still have a desire for speedy, safe service. BOPIS is an excellent option for book stores. 

Book store giant Barnes and Noble has already implemented a BOPIS program. The process is easy and simple. You simply need to select your store and look for books with the “Store Pickup Available” icon. When placing the order, you select the Buy Online, Pick up In-Store option, and complete checkout. When you head to the store to pick up your purchases, present your “Ready for Pickup” email or text confirmation. Barnes and Noble also understand some of their consumers may need help using BOPIS, so they’ve created a very detailed and useful help center

To compete with the major book retailer, book stores of all varieties should consider embracing BOPIS and following Barnes and Noble’s example. 

Gift Shops

Gift shops are frequented by visitors and tourists looking to pick up memorabilia or gifts for others to mark their trip. While it may not seem like an industry that BOPIS could excel in, that could not be further from the truth. 

One thing a lot of tourists are short on is time, but they also don’t have days to wait for shipping. Many people would rather focus on the fun activities during their trip than spend hours searching around a gift shop. BOPIS offers a fast, convenient way to shop. During downtime or travel, customers can pick out the items they want, and then they can quickly pick them up when they have the time to stop by your store. 

Offering BOPIS and online ordering for your gift shop will help you attract more customers and meet the growing demands for convenience and fast fulfillment. 

Local Restaurants

The future of restaurants has been online ordering for a while, and BOPIS arguably began in the restaurant industry. Pre-pandemic, more restaurants were experimenting with online ordering including takeout and delivery. However, the pandemic greatly threatened many restaurants, as they were forced to close dine-in options. Integrating BOPIS offerings was part of survival for many local restaurants during COVID-19. 

During COVID-19, BOPIS became an ideal way for restaurants to stay open while offering a safer option for customers. Lee Peterson, EVP, Thought Leadership & Marketing of WD Partners states that “the rapid growth of order-ahead behavior is where companies need to focus their attention.” Even several years ago, Peterson’s study found that 86% of customers wanted more innovation for BOPIS services. 

There’s a huge potential in the restaurant industry for BOPIS. Not only can BOPIS offer customers what they want, but it can also reduce some of the hidden costs behind delivery, saving your restaurant money. 

Large players in the food industry have been utilizing the BOPIS method for a while, and it’s time for local restaurants to adopt it as well. Think about pizza giants, like Dominos. Dominos was one of the first to allow online ordering for pickup via their app. They provide a great ordering experience, showing a “pizza tracker” that gives a visual update of where your order is in the process. Their competitors were forced to respond, and now ordering online for pickup or delivery is very common for major pizza restaurants. 

But this great technology is not reserved for large restaurants, local restaurants can implement BOPIS as well to offer a better customer experience. 

Apparel & Clothing Stores

eCommerce has been a game-changer for apparel and clothing stores, and the natural next step is BOPIS. Connecting online and offline shopping is a great decision in the apparel industry, and retailers of all sizes can implement BOPIS. 

Several clothing retailers have already embraced BOPIS, which has been incredibly valuable during the pandemic. Kohl’s offers curbside pickup, where customers can shop for their items online and select same-day pickup as their shipping preference. Kohl’s will also hold the order for up to 7 days, and send a reminder email when the order will be canceled if it’s not picked up. Some other apparel and clothing retailers that offer BOPIS are DSW, Dick’s Sporting Goods,  and many more. 

Implement Online Ordering Today 

Online ordering was already growing in popularity, but the pandemic sped up the realm of BOPIS. The major industries above are already embracing BOPIS, but the incredible solution is not limited to those businesses. Retailers in nearly every industry can benefit from offering BOPIS to their customers. Begin or improve your BOPIS options today with the best POS technology available from Retail Control Systems. To learn more about how we can help you integrate BOPIS, contact RCS today HERE

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