Online shopping is a way of life. It gives us flexibility and a variety of choice. It lets us choose when we shop and which retailer we want to buy from. Lots of retailers are looking at different delivery methods to support their eCommerce platforms. Some retailers have adopted the BOPIS model in response to customer delivery demands.
The BOPIS model has several benefits. Often the product can get into the hands of the consumer sooner. Sometimes delivery can take five to seven days if quick shipping isn’t an option. Aside from impacting the beverage industry, millennials are a driving force behind this model. They want shopping to be a dynamic experience that meets a variety of their demands. One system just isn’t good enough; they want options and BOPIS is one of them.
Grocery stores are using the BOPIS model where you order your weekly groceries online. You can pick them up at the store on your way home from work or when it’s convenient for you. Some would prefer this to a normal delivery option if they had frozen or temperature sensitive goods. You don’t want milk or fish sitting on your front porch all day from a courier delivery. This model is beneficial for many reasons but it doesn’t come without numerous challenges.
New employee training
Implementing BOPIS in your retail outlet requires a new process for your employees. It involves training for the pick-up system, learning the new policies and any other development about providing a positive customer service experience. BOPIS inventory stock will need to be stored separately. Employees in the stock room will need to understand how to separate the inventory stock. This training will involve time, money and potentially new team members. The hiring process and training process involve a lot of commitment from management.
The BOPIS model relies on customers coming into the store to pick up the goods. However, it only functions well in centres that are densely populated and it’s easy for customers to come into the store. If the store is in an inconvenient location, customers will be less inclined to opt for the BOPIS model. Stores need to look at their main customers and see if it is convenient for a critical mass of their buyers.
BOPIS orders are at risk for fraud, as they differ from normal delivery options. If you are in a store, you swipe your card in front of the cashier. However, BOPIS orders are placed online and the card isn’t present. A delivery address helps determine if your customer is legitimate. There is a lot of information that can be derived from aligning a delivery address to the cardholder. There is some financial liability that retailers incur with a BOPIS model.
Overall, the BOPIS model can be a strategic fulfilment option. However, there are challenges with inventory stock arrangements and training with new employees, location and fraud that can make it harder to implement.
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.