Thanks to increasing popularity of ecommerce stores, more and more brick-and-motor retailers are now making their presence felt online. But there are very few retailers who are leveraging this, the fact that they are present both online and offline, to their maximum advantage; case in point being BOPS (Buy Online Pickup in Store). BOPS has a number of advantages to offer but despite all the advantages very few retailers, for reasons varying from lack of awareness to lack of supporting infrastructure, today offer their customers an option to do that.
This blog highlights few reasons why retailers must make the necessary investments to offer their customers an option to buy online and pick in store.
Best of Both Worlds
BOPS services are highly popular with customers because it allows them to get the best of both the worlds. They can use the online channel to do research about the product, read reviews, compare prices, make payment and then pick the product from a store nearby. They no longer have to wait for the product to arrive in few days to start using it.
Everyone today is strapped for time and anything which takes too much of it is bound to cause dissatisfaction and anything which can save it is on its way to be a hit. BOPS can save customers a lot time because with this option they no longer have to go and visit every brick-and-motor store to get their hands on the product they want or wait for days for the product to arrive via shipment. With BOPS they just buy the product online and visit the nearest store to pick up (only for customers who have a store nearby).
For shoppers this is an essential convenience, if they can find a store in the vicinity (which provides buy online and pick in store option) then why pay for delivery charges? Customers no longer will have to pay the high shipping charges associated with same day shipping or otherwise. They can pick up their order from the store of their choosing at their convenience.
Efficient Return Management
RMA is a complex process which many customers find it difficult to handle. Plus the time it takes to replace the product or refund annoys customers. With BOPS, customers enjoy the convenience and security of knowing that they can return the product on the spot if it does not suit their needs. Retailers also benefit from this as returns otherwise is an expensive process which they have to pay from their own pocket.
Happy Customers – No Late Deliveries
Most customers, sometime or the other, have surely faced instances when they did not receive their order on time (for whatever reasons – delay in delivery or last minute purchase). An advantage of buy online and pickup in store is that customers are only a drive away from getting their hands on the product. This can be a boon for customers who make last minute purchases because they will find their orders ready as they reach the store; so no late deliveries.
Cross Selling Increases In-store Sales
Retailers have every reason to provide the store pickup option for online buyers, as it gives them an opportunity to cross sell and up sell products to these customers when they come to pick up their order. A number of researchers have found that BOPS have increased overall sales for businesses.
Increase Sales by Reducing Lost Opportunities
A pre-requisite to provide customers the option to buy online and pickup in store is to have your online (ecommerce store) and offline systems (POS application) talk to each other. Consider a situation where a customer wants to purchase a product that you sell online but is out of stock. The same product is available in your physical store close to your customer’s location. But without having your online and offline systems talking to each other there is no way for you to figure this out. As a result of which you quickly lose not only the sale but also the customer to a competitor. With BOPS you can soon increase your sales by reducing such lost opportunities.
Compete with players like Amazon
There is no doubt in minds of retailers as to how portals like eBay and Amazon has eaten into their revenues. Also, Amazon has gained a lot of popularity recently with its same day delivery. Retailers now have to find a way to compete with this. This is where BOPS can come to Retailers rescue. BOPS enables retailers to provide their customers a low cost alternative to Amazon’s same day delivery (where you pay for priority shipping) and stay competitive; something which Amazon cannot offer (no physical stores).
In preparation to provide BOPS to your customers, retailers can get benefited in other ways as well. You can leverage the same infrastructure to improve your customer experience by providing options like Buy in Store and Ship or Buy in One Store and Pickup in Another, etc.