October 19, 2018      3 min read

The shopping experience has become increasingly digitised over the years and increasingly caters to the customer need for convenience. This usually means faster delivery time and new financing methods such as Oxipay and Afterpay.

In addition, in recent times many retailers have taken on a new order fulfilment options for consumers – the BOPIS model. This model allows customers to buy online and pick up their purchases in store. There are many benefits to the BOPIS model for both retailers and consumers – but what does the system mean for managing inventory?

In this article, we explore how the BOPIS model can create new challenges for inventory management and how you can navigate these to ensure efficiency effectively.

Inventory management software

If you want to ensure optimum customer experience and satisfaction, managing your inventory effecitvely while offering BOPIS is extremely important. One of the main challenges of offering consumers the option to pick up their order in-store is ensuring that the stock available online is, in fact, available in-store. This is even more challenging for retailers who have multiple physical stores. Stock levels and information must be accurate at all times.

One reliable method for improving the link between stores and online channels to ensure you are using the right technology for the job. Sophisticated inventory management software should be in place so that staff can easily access an accurate record of all orders, updated stock levels across warehouses and stores and even customer purchase history. With access to these things, retailers will be able to effectively control the customer journey, maintaining a single view of performance across stores and head office so that inventory records are maintained effectively.

Managing stock intake

An increase in foot traffic is not the only effect of the BOPIS model – more people picking up purchases in-store mean that more stock has to come into the store. For that reason, business owners need to ensure that there are appropriate procedures in place for staff to deal with an influx of inventory to make sure that the storeroom does not get overrun with packages.

Running a seamless operation in-store in terms of inventory is essential for ensuring the BOPIS system works as it is supposed to – keeping shoppers happy and coming back for more at the same time. A disorganised stock room can cause confusion, delays and, most damaging of all, customer disappointment at the point of collection. Since the BOPIS model is meant to increase convenience for the customer, the last thing you want to do is inconvenience them when they come in to collect their purchases.

As the business and inventory levels grow, it pays to have an inventory management software in place to track and organise stock as they come into the business till the moment it lands in the hands of a customer. There should also conduct periodic stock takes to ensure that everything has been accounted for.

Encourage additional purchases

One of the biggest benefits of the BOPIS system for retailers is the drastically increased chance that customers will by additional products when they come in to pick up their original purchase. But business owners shouldn’t simply expect this to run like clockwork. Instead, ensure that the store merchandise is laid out effectively, positioning relevant inventory close to BOPIS desks and informing staff of what is in customers’ parcels so they don’t miss out on opportunities to upsell.

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