November 18, 2019      1 min read

In a world of omnichannel shopping, the BOPIS, or ‘click and collect’ model gives consumers the ability to research, select, order and pay for products online, then pick up in-store.

The BOPIS model helps shoppers overcome traditional objections to shopping online, such as the inability to see or touch the product, converting them from single-channel shoppers to the more profitable omnichannel customer. Some retailers are now experiencing sales increases of up to a third from in-store collection of online sales.

Many shoppers will have already researched a product online before visiting the store to make a purchase. Nothing fuels customer frustration quicker than seeing an item online and arriving at the shop to find it is out of stock. The BOPIS model helps to avoid this because with the right online inventory management and eCommerce platforms, shoppers will be able to see what stock is available in which locations.

The omnichannel BOPIS model

Omnichannel fulfilment provides a strategic opportunity for retailers to leverage inventory stock across multiple locations, streamlining fulfilment processes, reducing operational costs and enhancing the customer experience.

In a BOPIS model, the physical store’s existing merchandise is eligible for same-day pickup and this in-store inventory stock being used to fulfil online orders, helps to keep inventory turning over. For companies already offering multichannel shopping experiences, the introduction of a BOPIS model can indirectly provide respite to supply chain fulfilment centres.

BOPIS allows retailers to better integrate online and offline sales activities, and as more shoppers adapt to the BOPIS model, retailers will reap the additional benefits of optimised inventory and fewer product returns.

But as ‘click and collect’ sales become more popular, business owners will need to work out the right inventory mix or model to meet this omnichannel sales growth. As transactions increase, retailers need to decide what inventory stock to prioritise, and the most efficient way to get it to the customer.

BOPIS model retailers

It’s crucial that retailers design an optimal experience for customers using the BOPIS model. How this looks like will depend largely on the variables of the store and its product offerings, but the process must be both convenient and quick. Have a clearly stated fulfilment promise, one that you can consistently deliver on.

Providing customers with visibility of in-store inventory stock on company websites and mobile apps improve the prospects of them shopping online and picking up in-store. By providing email alerts to notify the customer when their purchases are ready to be picked up, retailers can offer an intuitive, transparent user experience to drive adoption and improve BOPIS conversion rates.

Retailers in countries with condensed geographies or in areas of high population density are particularly suited to offering BOPIS as part of the omnichannel shopping experience. This is because of the closer proximity of consumers to stores and convenience for consumers to collect their online purchases.

Online inventory management

Having a robust supply chain and enhanced online inventory management capabilities can increase BOPIS sales and improve customer satisfaction. Some online functionalities offer shoppers the ability to filter and view those search results of products available for pickup in-store. Others support mixed carts which allow home delivery of some items and pickup for others.

Choosing the right software for your business is important. An online inventory management system is a great place to start especially one that offers integration with other software applications.

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