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Retailers & e-commerce stores are presently at a crossroads – on the one hand more people are shopping online than ever before, but shopping online has also revealed several drawbacks.
Customers can’t be sure of the quality of products when they’re delivered directly, often resulting in most products being returned. Variations in delivery dates don’t help either.
For stores there’s the excessive costs for last-mile delivery, storage & inventory. Retailers also rely on in-store foot traffic to boost revenue – the former of which has dropped off recently.
BOPIS, or buy online & pickup in-store, has emerged as model for retailers to bridge the gap between online sales & in-store purchases. BOPIS also helps reduce costs for stores & their customers, ensures timely delivery, and is just more convenient.
In this article we’ll cover what BOPIS is, how it works, why it’s so popular among customers, and how you can set up BOPIS for your WooCommerce store.
What is BOPIS in retail?
BOPIS is an acronym for Buy Online, Pickup In-Store
The BOPIS retail strategy involves customers buying products online and then picking them up at a brick-and-mortar store or a separate pickup location.
Often known as click-and-collect or curbside pickup, BOPIS has emerged as a key component of omnichannel retail strategy.
BOPIS has taken e-commerce and retail by storm, with over 61% of retailers now offering some variant of this method.
Click-and-collect sales in the US are also set to cross $150 billion in 2025, making BOPIS a must-have for retailers looking to compete and increase profitability.
How Does BOPIS Work
Adding BOPIS to your order fulfillment methods will enable you to prioritize customer convenience and flexibility. Giving your customers the option to browse your products from the comfort of their homes and pick up their orders immediately is a surefire way to boost loyalty.
Here’s how BOPIS orders and fulfillment work –
1. The customer shops & buys online
The customer visits your online store to browse through your products & place an order.
While this is a seemingly simple step, there’s a lot that could go wrong. First off, it’s critical to implement a smooth experience for placing orders. This is super important for your omnichannel strategy & will help make the shopping experience seamless.
You’ll also have to manage store inventory to ensure that selected products are available, either at the location the customer is shopping in, or elsewhere. Additionally, you’ve got to give customers the option to choose a convenient date and time for in-store pickup. You can do this by scheduling local deliveries & pick-ups for your online store.
2. You fulfill the order & hold onto it
Once the customer’s placed their order, you’ve got to determine its availability, locate it, package it, and prepare it for pick up. At this stage, keeping the customer in the loop about where their order is at any given time is crucial. Creating & sending custom notifications for order status will help keep customers informed and engaged. It’ll also help them plan their trip for a pick-up in store.
3. The customer picks up the order
The last leg of the BOPIS process is picking up the order in-store or at a predetermined pick-up location.
At this point, It’s essential that customers know exactly where to go & what to do for their pick-up. If you’re offering options for curbside pick-up or anything else, make sure to alert your customers about which mode they’ve selected.
Once you’ve got customers in your store for a BOPIS order, they’re more likely to add to their purchase. This, along with the convenience of in-store pickup, has made BOPIS a popular choice for retailers.
Due to the rising popularity of BOPIS-style order fulfillment, we’ve now got a number of variants, all aimed at increasing the convenience of online shopping:
Reserve Online Pickup In-Store (ROPIS)
Customers browse your store online, reserve an order, and arrive at the brick-and-mortar store to pick it up. This style of order fulfillment is similar to BOPIS and gives customers to change their order if the product isn’t to their liking.
Buy Online Pickup Curbside (BOPIC)
Having risen to popularity during the pandemic, BOPIC or curbside pickup is when customers shop online and orders are fulfilled at the curb – literally. Customers don’t have to leave their vehicles to pick up their orders and can maintain social distancing during fulfillment.
Buy Online Return In-Store (BORIS)
In this model, orders are placed online and delivered directly to customers. If the order doesn’t meet the customer’s expectations or quality standards, they can return it in-store.
BOPIS in retail – Why is BOPIS so popular + Current Trends
BOPIS, or click-and-collect, has been all the rage since the pandemic, and there are no signs of letting up.
Before COVID-19 and the e-commerce boom, shoppers in the US spent about $35 billion in 2019 on click-and-collect sales. In 2020, this number grew by 106% to $72 billion.
- 50% of shoppers use BOPIS for online shopping (Source: Fit Small Business)
- 44% of retailers offering curbside pickup in 2021 (Source: Harvard Business Review)
- $100 billion Click & Collect sales are expected in the US in 2023 (Source: Insider Intelligence)
By 2024, BOPIS sales are set to double to around $140 billion.
This trend is forecasted to hold firm, as nearly 25% of customers say they’re now using BOPIS for online shopping more than they used to.
Additionally, more than half of retail e-commerce customers today say they’ve used BOPIS more than six times over the last 12 months, with 8% using it over 20 times.
Due to this rise in demand, BOPIS is now an integral part of order fulfillment & omnichannel strategy for most retailers and e-commerce service providers.
Case in point: The percentage of retailers offering curbside pickup ballooned from 6.6% in 2020 to 51% in 2021.
Starting in 2021, several major retailers have begun providing BOPIS and curbside pickup options to their customers, and the results speak for themselves.
Walgreens launched in-store, drive thru & curbside pickup in early 2021 and digitally initiated sales were up 40% by November of the same year.
Target’s Drive Up services for curbside fulfillment also grew by a whopping 500% within 2021.
BOPIS is here to stay.
To drive home the point, 1 out of 5 orders placed on Black Friday 2022 were via BOPIS. When counting Black Friday sales, companies offering click-and-collect grew revenue almost 7x faster than those without BOPIS options.
So, why do customers love BOPIS in retail?
More than half say it’s because BOPIS is super convenient.
BOPIS for Customers – Why people want Click-and-Collect
Customer behavior trends have largely stabilized over the past couple of years and have focused on enhancing the buying experience and reducing friction.
E-commerce and retail shopping now involve an amalgamation of the physical and the digital. According to the Global Consumer Insights Survey 2023, 43% of customers plan on increasing online shopping, and 38% want physical stores to have click-and-collect options.
- In the year 2023, online shoppers will increase by 43%
- Shoppers expecting click & collect is 38%
Shoppers today want their in-store experience enhanced by digital capabilities.
Integrating BOPIS into retail order fulfillment does precisely this while also offering several benefits for customers.
1. BOPIS is just convenient
Click-and-collect allows customers to schedule in-store pickup whenever convenient. They can have a good look at the product they’re purchasing to assess quality, look around the store for anything else that catches their eye, and talk to sales associates for more information.
2. Orders cost less
Leveraging BOPIS in retail means customers pay nothing in shipping costs. Orders cost less as retailers can eliminate last-mile shipping costs from order pricing and save on logistics and inventory costs. 48% of customers who used BOPIS did so because of lower shipping costs.
3. Customers can do their own research
Another advantage of BOPIS is that it gives customers time to research products online and figure out what works best for them. They’re also provided better visibility into what’s available. Customers with these options are more likely to purchase from you.
4. Orders are fulfilled quickly
Customers don’t have to wait for orders to ship to pick them up. BOPIS fulfillment allows customers to schedule in-store pickups flexibly and massively lower wait times. This means more of your products are in your customers’ hands quicker.
5. Easy returns and exchanges
If orders don’t meet customer requirements or are damaged, they can be returned or exchanged immediately at pickup time. BOPIS holds a clear advantage over home delivery here, as returns in the latter case are famously tricky.
Advantages of BOPIS for retailers
BOPIS is a crucial component of any retailer’s omnichannel strategy today. Over 40% of US shoppers plan to continue relying on BOPIS and curbside pickup when shopping online.
BOPIS also offers competitive advantages to e-commerce stores and retailers. Surveys indicate that launching BOPIS for your store could steal your competitors’ online sales and in-store traffic.
Other advantages of implementing BOPIS in retail include the following –
1. Increased foot traffic
Ensuring high-quality foot traffic is critical to increasing profitability in retail. Customers buying higher-priced items online are more likely to go through with their purchase as BOPIS enables hassle-free returns. BOPIS also helps get more customers into your store and ultimately bridges the gap between in-store shopping (where you make most of your money) and online shopping (where most of your customers are).
2. Lower costs
BOPIS in retail helps eliminate excessive shipping costs and expenses for warehousing, inventory, and transportation. Last-mile delivery costs are also out of the picture. This helps boost your profit margin while ensuring painless order pickup for customers.
3. More in-store sales
85% of shoppers using BOPIS say they’ve made an additional unplanned purchase while picking up their order. For retailers, getting customers into stores continues to be the best way to boost sales. BOPIS creates opportunities for customers to visit stores and look around, making it more likely that they’ll add to their purchases.
4. Enhanced inventory management
Combining in-store inventory with online shopping allows retailers to streamline their logistics for speedy order fulfillment. Integrating BOPIS into e-commerce helps retailers track order availability and gain improved insights into assorted inventory.
How to set up BOPIS in WooCommerce
Retailers using WooCommerce can set up BOPIS in just a few steps. Integrating Order Delivery Date Pro with WooCommerce will give your retail strategy an edge, by enabling options for customers to select a pick-up location & delivery slots.
To start setting up BOPIS, log into your WooCommerce dashboard and go to Settings -> Shipping
Step 1: Add a shipping method
Select a shipping zone and add a shipping method.
Select Local Pickup from the dropdown, add this as your shipping method, and click Local Pickup in the order row.
Step 2: Add order details
Enter a Title for your order, select Tax Status, and add Cost. Then save your changes.
Step 3: Select a location for pick-up and set delivery slots
Integrate with WooCommerce plugins for order delivery dates to choose in-store or curbside pickup locations and create custom time slots for pickup. Customers choose the pickup location and time slots according to their convenience.
And that’s all it takes to get BOPIS up and running for your retail or e-commerce store.
How To Get BOPIS Right
Enabling click-and-collect helps retailers with brick-and-mortar shops compete with e-commerce giants by boosting customer convenience and increasing in-store sales.
BOPIS gets customers into your stores, helps you fulfill orders faster, and offers an enhanced shopping experience.
If you’re offering BOPIS for your online store, it’s crucial to get things right – from pickup location & delivery slot selection to maintaining visibility on order fulfillment via order status notifications.
To take your BOPIS strategy to the next level, streamline the fulfillment process with plugins for order delivery date & order status.
BOPIS is all about bridging the gap between physical & online shopping experiences while boosting convenience for customers. Leveraging the right tools to get this done will go a long way in increasing customer loyalty & winning big.