One of the great trends of the last few years is to buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). For retailers this is the future of online marketing. A way to combine the future of technology with the benefits of local shopping.
To do this, retailers need to keep in mind a few things if they want BOPIS to work for them.
How to improve your Buy online, pick up in-store results
- Omni-channel– One key ingredient is the ability to have an ecommerce site that works on every channel you own. From mobile devices to tablets to desktops, the process should be smooth. As we discussed in Keeping up with Digital Retailing Demands, having a responsive website is key.
Having an omni-channel marketing platform helps your store keep track of inventory, so you can deliver to customers whether they purchase your goods from their car on their way to your store see or at home as they research the benefits of your services.
- Consumer Preferences- In days of yore, people had limited options. In most small towns you had your general store and…that was about it. People were stuck with the stores in their area.
That is no longer the case. If you want to win over customers, you need to provide exceptionally fast and accurate products to ensure that you get repeat business and referrals to your store.
Retail stores that stand out are the ones who provide the choices buyers don’t receive from their competitors. By creating the ultimate customer experience, you improve your brand and encourage them to visit your store more often to pick up their goods.
- Local Inventory Check- Speaking of great customer service, one of the worst things you can do to a customer is waste their time.
This means if you have something listed as available on your website, it should be there in the store. Having a clerk tell them nonchalantly that they ran out two days ago can be infuriating.
Plus, it is a great way to lose business and receive horrible reviews from customers. Make sure that your inventory updates automatically across your systems.
- Educate your associates- Make sure your store associates understand the buy online, purchase in-store policies. Because consumers might be doing this for the first time, working with an educated associate who understands the process can be very beneficial.
The more your associates know, the better the level of service they can provide customers. With all of the information consumers learn online, it would be embarrassing if the associates knew less about your BOPIS policy than customers.
- Under promise and over deliver- 53% of consumers now expect most in-store pickups to be ready in less than 2 hours. That is a staggering operational challenge for even the most efficient stores.
As the trend continues to greater BOPIS purchases, it become a larger challenge for retailers to commit to that standard of excellence.
That is why it is vital to set bar low, and surprise customers when you have the chance. Amazon does this consistently with deliveries. For consumers not in Prime they give ship dates that are 2-3 weeks out.
Regularly, the deliveries are made within a week or less. When you under promise and over deliver, you get happy customers. While if you promised two days and received a good in 3 days you feel ripped off.
Even though you received a good faster in the second scenario, you let down customers’ expectations. Expectation matter with BOPIS even more than traditional purchases. They purchased on your website believing you would deliver on-time.
Customers came to the store believing you would follow through on that promise.
BOPIS offers a lot of potential for retailers looking to take advantage of their brick and mortar business. Since digital commerce is a large part of any retailers marketing plan today, this is a major way for them to get their slice of the ecommerce business.
The key is to have the right BOPIS strategy in place. If you need help improving your buy online, pick up in-store strategy, contact our expert team at Shout for a free consultation today.