With brick-and-mortar retailers rethinking their current operating strategies in response to the ecommerce challenge, BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-up In-Store) is quickly evolving to create a seamless customer experience, offering tech-savvy customers a stronghold.

BOPIS — curbside, automobile, drive through, or store pickup — raised digital sales by 27% year over year in Q1, compared to 13% for retailers who did not offer BOPIS. Digital traffic increased 45 % year over year in April 2020, according to Salesforce’s Q1 Shopping Index, with a 51% rise in mobile activity and a 50% increase in desktop traffic.

The data is clear: Your delivery and fulfillment options impact where your consumers purchase. Retailers who wish to stay competitive must optimize and increase their retail fulfillment choices. Through the power of Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC), retailers can meet and exceed customer expectations online and at the curb! But why BOPIS is still a problem for retailers? Is the industry ready?

So, how does BOPIS Work?

The BOPIS model has become more efficient as shopping behavior has changed, with shoppers desiring more variety and flexibility in their orders. BOPIS allows customers to execute purchases and returns in a timely and easy manner. This strategy is important for delivering orders since it allows consumers to quickly select whatever things they wish to buy and pick them up at the shop. Here’s how the process works:

1. Customers purchase online, using a website or a mobile app:

Customers make purchases online or via the app, and then choose a pick-up time and shop location. The consumer may choose when and where to pick up their purchases because real-time inventory is easily accessible.

2. The store fulfills the online order:

This step can be completed in one of two ways.

The store assistant utilizes an app to find, choose, and pack the order when and if the item is in stock at the designated local store. They then hold it for the consumer while sending an email to inform them that it is available for collection.

If the store does not have the item in stock, the associate will order it from a nearby store or warehouse. When it comes, the consumer is contacted and can pick up the item whenever it is convenient for him or her.

3. The customer picks up the order:

Customers then proceed to an online pick-up location, where a store staff gives over the merchandise. Some establishments even provide curbside pick-up, which allows customers to drive up to a store and pick up their purchases without having to get out of their vehicle.

Doesn’t it sound good? But that’s only half of the story. Let’s take a look at how BOPIS may benefit your consumers as well.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud: How “BOPIS – Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store” gives retailers an edge

One of the most significant trends in the retail industry is the rise of u shopping. Approximately two-thirds of consumers purchase online and pick up in-store countless times each year. Why? Because online purchases can be picked up in-store at the convenience of the shopper, the consumer has additional flexibility and control.

The time-consuming in-store search for goods is eliminated, although hands-on ‘inspection’ is still assured, along with the option of rapid in-store returns. Furthermore, potential delivery expenditures can be saved. The pandemic has increased the importance of BOPIS since customers are either prohibited from purchasing in-person or focus on avoiding encounters.

Almost half of the TOP 500 retailers already provide BOPIS. At first glance, there appear to be several advantages for the retailer, since transport and packing expenses are decreased while the possibility to interact with the consumer face-to-face is created. However, some of the customer benefits come at the price of the business. BOPIS necessitates greater in-store storage capacity, forcing some retailers to reinvent their whole in-store setup.

Case and Point: According to RetailWire, quoting Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy, the business is reducing its sales floor in four Minneapolis sites from 27,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet in order to provide more room for the staging and fulfilment of newly popular services. That’s nearly half of the floor layout! While Best Buy has had incredible success, the new normal has left some retailers scrambling for answers in order to adapt to the ultra-boosted unified world they are now confronting. Some retailers are particularly overburdened when dealing with instant BOPIS orders since customers frequently show up in the store before the transaction has been processed by brick-and-mortar operations.

Salesforce ecommerce can include the integration of BOPIS with Commerce Cloud, as well as support for your shopper experience journey and the personalization of messages and notifications via Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Brands can meet and exceed consumer expectations online, on mobile at the curb, and beyond by using the power of Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

BOPIS strategy in retail and ecommerce with examples

Lululemon

Source: yieldify.com

BOPIS is readily available through Lululemon’s website app, allowing customers to pick up their orders at a local store in two hours. There is also a curbside pickup option for quick and convenient contactless pickups.

The consumer simply chooses in-store pickup when placing their order, locates the nearest location, and is instantly notified with the available hours. They pick up their items by showing the confirmation email or their ID.

Best Buy

On average 80% of Best Buy’s BOPIS orders are ready in less than 30 minutes and 40% of Best Buy’s online sales are coming from BOPIS, the retailer noted during its third-quarter 2020 earnings call.

Order now for pick up on Fri, Mar 18 at Aiea – Available today at a location 6 miles away; See this is how Best buy riding the BOPIS wave!

Source: Best Buy

...And a couple of nice-to-haves

While BOPIS provides the chance to obtain a competitive advantage in the digital era, it is not without challenges. To get the BOPIS model right, retailers must focus on inventory accuracy, which includes careful stock management and fraud prevention.

How does SFCC help?

The Commerce Cloud platform includes basic inventory monitoring capability for storefronts. It is designed to be used in combination with an external inventory management system, with the external system serving as the system of record for inventory data. You can also link with Salesforce Omnichannel Inventory for more sophisticated features.

Employing multiple options for serving BOPIS customers and allowing them to collect their online purchases shows that retailers are going above and beyond. It would be ideal if you are a retailer with hundreds or thousands of locations and provide consumers with a plethora of alternatives for indicating which store is preferred for every order. However, single locations can provide item lockers, over-the-counter, curbside, or other choices to help ensure a great experience.

In fact, by 2025, 10% of all retail sales are expected to be fulfilled using BOPIS. “Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes natively with a plugin cartridge ‘plugin_storepickup’ to enable store locator functionality which is an important piece for BOPIS enablement. Also, SFCC comes with native integration with Salesforce Order Management(SFOM) for Order Management.” It’s now or never to use this relatively new strategy to improve shopping experiences while simultaneously fulfilling the demands of the new era. We’d love to hear from you if you’re a retailer trying to nail BOPIS or curbside, improve the customer experience, and increase average order value (AOV).


Abishek Balakumar