The omnichannel retail method, BOPIS, can benefit both consumers and retailers alike. The two main reasons consumers are attracted to BOPIS are the savings they can make by avoiding shipping fees, and the convenience of not waiting for deliveries. This is especially true during the busy holiday seasons where packages have failed to be delivered on time. However, only 31.6 percent of consumers in this study described the process of “click and collect” as smooth.
For retailers, BOPIS represents significant potential and areas of opportunity, it gets customers in store and has the capability to encourage additional purchases once they are there.
Why then, is there so much dissatisfaction with the BOPIS model of doing business? This article will explore the challenges retailers will have to confront if they are to get this model right.
The need for better inventory control
The logistical challenges of BOPIS rank highly with many retailers who need to master better allocation of inventory stock and of storage processes for BOPIS to function effectively. Those who continue to allocate inventory stock individually for each channel can potentially be burdened with excess inventory in the various locations.
Make collection convenient
One of the more common of BOPIS challenges is the actual collection point with retailers often failing to find a convenient location inside the stores. Ideally, this should be a dedicated space for customers to pick up their online purchase.
Shoppers typically arrive in the store and are often confused about where to collect purchases because retailers simply fail to provide adequate direction and enough signage to direct them. This defeats the purpose of convenience that shoppers require and hinders immediate and easy access to what clients are looking for.
The attraction of BOPIS for many shoppers is quick pick-up. However, long lines are a common issue and the greater the foot traffic in physical stores, the greater the time and effort required to serve all shoppers and provide them with the best experience.
Minimise opportunity for fraud
Unlike online orders of traditional eCommerce platforms, BOPIS orders have greater potential for fraud. It is more difficult to maintain a measure of assurance using key information such as matching delivery and billing addresses to determine whether a customer is legitimate or not.
Likewise, BOPIS orders are conducted online and not in-store. Without a credit card present, any financial liability for fraud shifts from the card issuer to the retailer. While retailers understand the risk and have processes in place to guard against fraudulent BOPIS transactions, many have doubts about their employees following the proper procedures.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.