What is BOPIS eCommerce? Top 10 BOPIS eCommerce Strategy

By
Joanna Okedara
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    BOPIS stands for "buy online, pick up in store". It is a service offered by some eCommerce business owners that allows customers to purchase items online and then pick them up at a brick and mortar store location. 

    In 2021, it was estimated that BOPIS accounted for approximately 15% of all online orders, and this figure is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Many retailers and wholesalers have implemented BOPIS as a way to drive online sales while still maintaining a physical presence in the market.

    Key Takeaway: BOPIS eCommerce does not involve shipping. However, it can still be a useful order fulfillment option for retailers and wholesalers because it allows them to leverage their existing store infrastructure to fulfill online orders. 

    So, what is BOPIS? How does it work? How can wholesale distribution businesses implement the BOPIS strategy? Let’s answer all of these questions together in this article.

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    What is BOPIS?

    BOPIS is a type of eCommerce service that allows customers to shop online and pick up their orders at a store location. It combines the convenience of online ordering with the ability to see and touch the product before purchasing it.

    This can be convenient for customers who want to avoid shipping fees or who need to get an item quickly. BOPIS orders can typically be placed through the eCommerce website or mobile commerce app, and the customer is notified when the order is ready for pickup at the store.

    Some businesses also offer the option to have the order shipped to the store for pickup, rather than to the customer's home. For wholesale distribution companies, offering BOPIS can be a good way to provide the ultimate omnichannel customer experience for customers and potentially increase sales.

    BOPIS has become increasingly popular in recent years as an order fulfillment option for online shoppers. This is due, in part, to the convenience it offers customers, as well as the cost and time savings that it can provide for both customers and retailers.

    One study from 2019 found that BOPIS orders accounted for about 13% of all online orders in the United States, and that number has likely increased since then. In addition, research has shown that BOPIS can drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores and can lead to increased in-store sales.

    According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation in 2020, approximately 50% of U.S. consumers had used BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) in the past year. This represents a significant increase from previous years, indicating that BOPIS has become a popular fulfillment option for many shoppers.

    Other BOPIS statistics from the same survey include:

    • 60% of BOPIS users said that the ability to pick up their order in-store was a major factor in their decision to shop online.
    • 35% of BOPIS users said that they preferred the option because it allowed them to receive their order more quickly than if it were shipped to their home.
    • 27% of BOPIS users said that they preferred the option because it allowed them to avoid shipping costs.

    To implement BOPIS, wholesale distributors will need to have a system in place for payment processing and fulfilling online orders. You must integrate a way for customers to track the status of their orders and schedule a pickup time. 

    It may also be necessary to have a designated area in the store for customers to retrieve their orders and possibly additional staff on hand to assist with the pickup process. There are several benefits to offering BOPIS for wholesale distributors. 

    In addition to increasing sales and customer convenience, it can also help to reduce the cost of shipping and handling, as well as potentially decrease the risk of lost or damaged products during transit. Furthermore, offering BOPIS can help to drive foot traffic to the physical store location, which can be beneficial for businesses that rely on in-store sales.

    Want to know how AI in eCommerce can help you create a more efficient sales process? Read this blog!

    How Does BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup in Store) Strategy WorkFor Wholesalers?

    The BOPIS strategy can be useful for wholesalers because it allows them to leverage their existing brick-and-mortar store infrastructure to fulfill online orders.

    Here's how a BOPIS strategy might work for a wholesaler:

    1. The customer places an order online, selecting the option to pick up the order at a physical store location.
    2. The wholesaler receives the order and begins preparing it for pickup. This might involve pulling the items from inventory and packaging them for transport.
    3. The customer is notified when the order is ready for pickup, either via email or text message.
    4. The customer travels to the store and presents a pickup confirmation (either a printed copy or an electronic version on their phone) to the store associate.
    5. The store associate retrieves the order and hands it over to the customer.

    By offering a BOPIS option, wholesalers can potentially increase their online sales while still maintaining a physical presence in the market. It can also help reduce shipping delays, package shipping costs, and delivery times for customers, which can be especially appealing for bulky or heavy items that may be expensive or impractical to ship.

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    Benefits of BOPIS eCommerce for Wholesale Distributors

    Implementing a BOPIS strategy can be a useful way for wholesale distributors to drive online sales, leverage their existing store infrastructure, and potentially improve customer satisfaction. There are several benefits that wholesale distributors can potentially realize by offering a BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) option to their customers:

    1. Increased online sales: By offering a BOPIS option, wholesale distributors can potentially increase their online sales by providing customers with a convenient and quick omnichannel order fulfillment option.
    2. Leverage existing store infrastructure: Wholesale distributors can use their existing brick-and-mortar store locations to fulfill online orders, potentially reducing the need to invest in additional fulfillment centers or other infrastructure.
    3. Reduced shipping costs: By allowing customers to pick up their online orders in-store, wholesale distributors can potentially save on bulk shipping costs, which can be especially beneficial for bulky or heavy items.
    4. Improved customer satisfaction: BOPIS can provide a more convenient and potentially faster fulfillment option for customers, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
    5. Increased foot traffic: Offering a BOPIS option can potentially drive additional foot traffic to physical store locations, which can provide opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

    Getting Started With BOPIS Strategy for eCommerce Businesses

    Before implementing a BOPIS strategy, it is important to put some things in place. There are several key features that a b2b eCommerce platform or website should have in order to support a BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) strategy:

    1. Inventory visibility: Customers should be able to easily see which items are available for BOPIS at each store location. You can integrate a wholesale inventory management system, a multichannel inventory management software, or a simple digital catalog on your website to streamline inventory visibility.
    2. Order tracking: Customers should be able to track the status of their BOPIS order and receive notifications when it is ready for pickup. An order management system or multichannel order management system will make this easier.
    3. Pickup confirmation: Customers should be able to receive a pickup confirmation, either via email or text message, when their order is ready for pickup. This confirmation may include a QR code, barcode or other identifier that can be presented at the store to retrieve the order.
    4. Store locator: Customers should be able to easily find the nearest store location where they can pick up their BOPIS order.
    5. Return policy: It should be clear to customers what the return policy is for BOPIS orders, including whether returns are accepted in-store or must be shipped back.
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    Top 10 Tips to Implement BOPIS eCommerce Strategy

    Implementing a BOPIS strategy can be a complex process, but by following these steps, you can set yourself up for success and provide a convenient and efficient fulfillment option for your customers.

    Here are ten strategies that wholesalers can use to effectively implement a BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) program:

    1. Offer a wide range of high demand products: The more products that are available for BOPIS, the more appealing the option will be to customers. Consider offering a wide range of products, including both small and large items.  Not all products may be suitable for BOPIS, so it's important to carefully consider which items will be included in the program. Factors to consider may include the size and weight of the item, as well as the demand for the product in different store locations.
    2. Clearly communicate the BOPIS option: Make sure that customers are aware of the BOPIS option by promoting it prominently on your website and through eCommerce marketing channels.
    3. Make pickup times convenient: Consider offering extended pickup hours or multiple pickup windows to make it easier for customers to retrieve their orders.
    4. Provide clear pickup instructions: Make sure that customers know exactly what they need to do to retrieve their BOPIS orders, including any required confirmation codes or identification.
    5. Offer in-store pickup incentives: Consider offering incentives to encourage customers to choose the BOPIS option, such as discounts or special offers.
    6. Use real-time inventory updates: Make sure that your inventory management systems are accurately tracking which items are available for BOPIS at each store location in real-time.
    7. Provide multiple pickup options: Consider offering multiple pickup options, such as curbside pickup or pickup from a designated locker.
    8. Use pickup confirmations effectively: Utilize pickup confirmations to provide customers with important information, such as pickup times and location.
    9. Offer a smooth return process: Make sure that customers know what the return policy is for BOPIS orders and provide a smooth process for returning items, if necessary.
    10. Monitor and adjust as needed: Regularly monitor the performance of your BOPIS program and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that it is meeting the needs of both customers and your business.

    Frequently Asked Questions About BOPIS eCommerce

    Here are some frequently asked questions about BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store):

    How Does BOPIS Work?

    Customers can place an order online and select the option to pick up the order at a physical store location. When the order is ready for pickup, the customer is notified via email or text message and can then travel to the store to retrieve the order.

    What are the Benefits of BOPIS for Customers?

    BOPIS can provide a more convenient and potentially faster fulfillment option for customers, as well as potentially reducing shipping costs and delivery times. It can also allow customers to avoid the hassle of shipping and handling returns.

    What are the Benefits of BOPIS for Retailers and Wholesalers?

    BOPIS can be a way for retailers and wholesalers to drive online sales while still maintaining a physical presence in the market. It can also allow them to leverage their existing store infrastructure to fulfill online orders, potentially reducing the need to invest in additional fulfillment centers or other infrastructure.

    Are all Products Available for BOPIS?

    Not all products may be suitable for BOPIS, so it's important for retailers and wholesalers to carefully consider which items will be included in the program. Factors to consider may include the size and weight of the item, as well as the demand for the product in different store locations.

    Can BOPIS Orders be Returned?

    It depends on the return policy of the retailer or wholesaler. Some may accept returns of BOPIS orders in-store, while others may require the items to be shipped back. It's important for customers to be aware of the return policy for BOPIS orders before placing their order.

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