Trends Transforming the Retail Space: Buy Online, Pick-up in Store

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The pandemic has changed the name of the game in retail. Physical stores were forced to shut overnight, and the entire retail landscape had to quickly adapt. Retailers were faced with a new challenge – how would they get their products into the hands of consumers with little-to-no contact? Buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS) is one of the key innovative trends that rose in popularity throughout the pandemic. However, what started as a stopgap solution to limit in-person interaction has since transitioned to a comfort that consumers don’t want to lose.

Increased consumer demand has made buy online pick-up in-store an integral part of many retailers’ digital transformation strategy. The availability of diverse fulfilment models has altered consumer preferences; there is a newfound expectation for convenience. Customers want a flexible and efficient fulfilment experience. Innovative solutions like BOPIS are likely to endure far beyond the pandemic and have proven a win-win for retailers and consumers alike. It is a solution that caters to consumers’ needs and helps retailers to boost their bottom lines.

A blended experience

The buy online, pick up in-store model bridges the gap between the online and offline shopping experience. It offers a seamless transition from channel to channel and has many advantages for retailers looking to increase their revenue. Ultimately, BOPIS is a method to drive foot traffic which gives an opportunity for retailers to upsell. Once consumers are physically inside the store to pick up their order, they may be inclined to browse and pick up a few add-on purchases. Promotions and vouchers can help sway shoppers towards spurs of the moment purchases.

Depending on the retailer, the omnichannel fulfilment method may go by a different name. Whether it is click and collect, curbside pick-up, reserve online pick up in-store, or the most widely used buy online, pick up in-store, consumers are all drawn for the same reasons. The omnichannel experience allows consumers to shop and browse the store from the comfort of their own homes. It is a stepping stone between the online and in-store shopping experience; however, it also allows for a more personalised shopping experience seeing as customers eventually engage with your brand and employees in person.

Perks of BOPIS

Consumers are opting for flexible fulfilment options in higher numbers because of the many benefits. One of the most notable benefits of BOPIS is that customers can ensure their items will be in stock. If the item is not in stock at their local store, the retailer can order it from another location or warehouse. Instead of spending time searching for an item in-store with no certainty, shoppers can now confirm that their item will be in stock at their preferred pick-up location. It is an excellent way for retailers to keep up with growing consumer demand, quickly fulfil orders, and manage their inventory.

Another benefit is that consumers can avoid shipping costs. Consumers can choose what day they want to go pick up the order. This can prove to be especially useful for those who want same-day order fulfilment but don’t want to pay the price for same-day delivery. At the same time, if they realise that the product isn’t a good fit, they can also immediately return or exchange it. This helps to save time going back to the store in the future. Customer expectations have rapidly changed, pushing for all retailers to enhance their eCommerce strategy and focus on providing a seamless shopping experience from in-store to online.

To evolve and accommodate changing customer behaviours, retailers need to develop their omnichannel strategy constantly. A well-functioning app and website are central to attracting customers to use features such as buy online, pick up in-store. Having multiple options will give you an edge over competitors. It will also put you in the best position to win loyal customers – the more fulfilment options you provide, the more customers you attract. The objective is to provide a great service for customers from end to end.

Overall, what consumers want is a speedy and efficient shopping experience. Customers want convenience, and businesses need BOPIS to satisfy these demands moving forward. The ability to browse from the comfort of your home and pick up an order in-store on a designated day has become a necessity. Retailers have quickly innovated and are experimenting with new fulfilment models to meet evolving customer expectations. Customers presently want to spend less time in-store and avoid shipping costs. What started as a safer way of shopping during the pandemic has since become a preferred shopping experience.