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6 Biggest Mistakes in Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS)

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
6 Biggest Mistakes in Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) Perhaps with the exception of the UK market, omnichannel retail is still very new to the retail world. Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) has been around for several years, but most retailers are still just learning how to get it right for their customers. From a random review of several eCommerce sites offering pickup in store, click and collect, grab and go, or some other word combination of BOPIS, six errors are still being made.

1 – Ineffective Advertising

Philosophical or not, from a marketing and retail perspective - if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it – then it just does not matter! If you have buy online pickup in store capabilities, then you have to tell the world about it. At the very least, tell your customers! When a shopper comes to your website, advertise that you have pickup in store capabilities. Put in a small ad next to the Free Delivery with order over $50. Then sell them on the idea that they COULD have it right now … if they pick it up directly. Many retailers' sites missed mentioning that they offer click and collect services, on the first page. In fact, several sites I visited did not tell me until I had ordered an item. It was there just before checkout. It kind of felt as though the retailer forgot to mention it. Omni-channel retail is not something to be embarassed about, or an offering that you want to hide from customers. Come out and tell them you have it, and be proud of it! Plus, you stand to gain from the lower shipping costs eroding your margin, and 58% chance that you will sell more merchandise on a pickup!

2 – Show Them How

Several sites I visited had good ‘how-to’ instructions to pickup the order in store. The best among them, had created a graphical description of how to do it. After all, buying online pickup in store is still not the ‘norm’. Yes, most people know it exists, but it is still not a natural thing for most shoppers to do. You need to make it easy to do. And you need to make it even easier to learn. Teach them, then lead them to the offering. Make it easy to find the description that steps your customer through the process.

3 – Few Pickup Options

There are several buy online options. You could just send merchandise to the shopper’s home, office or preferred location. Or have it ready in store for pickup. Maybe even ship it to a designated locker. Alternatively, you could ship it to a postal or courier office near them. You could have it ready for pickup from a sister brand’s store, or a corner store pickup location (through partnerships). Several shopping malls offer curb-side pickup depots, like Smartcentre’s Penguin Pickup locations. As you can see, there are many alternatives retailers could offer shoppers. Certainly, buy online pickup in store, is the best option. That way the customer might purchase more goods when they are there for the pickup. However, the retailer that provides options and makes the buyer journey easiest for their customers, will win the repeat customer visit.    

4 – Which Shop Has the Inventory?

Most ecommerce sites tell customers if their order is in stock. However, many provide no further information. How frustrating! If I were doing errands on a Saturday, rather than having the item shipped to me, I might have chosen to drop by the location that had inventory of what I want. Telling the customer the store where stock is available, is just smart. It gives the shopper the option to pick it up on their way to doing something else. It gives them that instant gratification option.

5 – Tell Them When They Can Pick It Up

Getting a commitment from retailers on when I could pickup my order, is painful. Few retailers expressly give the shopper a commitment. For most, you have to dig into the terms and conditions details to find that they offer a 3-7 day in store pickup commitment. Seriously? Three to seven days COMPLETELY defeats the point of wanting to buy online and pickup in store! In that period, I could just have the item shipped to my home, or office – and not bother with putting myself through the effort of driving to one of the retailer’s local stores. There were a few site like Argos, Staples and Toys’R’Us that committed to having the merchandise ready within 2 hours, for pickup. Well done! Think about your new customer groups the Millennials and Generation Z. What is the famous line about their attention span being 8 seconds, which is less than a goldfish (10 seconds)? Given this short attention span, … is it likely the retailers with the 2 hour, or 168 hour – ‘ready for pickup’ policy will win the buy online pickup in store shopper?

6 – More Notification Options

Some people want to be called to get notification that their merchandise is available. Some want to get an email. Others will want a text (SMS) message. Yet others will want a Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn Inmail. A robust retail order management system gives retailers the communication flexibility to make this a reality. [If yours does not - then give us a call... we can help you with that challenge.] Yet, most websites today gives the shopper an email notification. One I encountered provided a telephone call for notification. A few offered email and text (SMS). This is an opportunity waiting for a retailer to grab it. Nobody along my web-browsing journey, was offering multiple communications methods. Again, think back to the Millennials and Generation Z shoppers. Wouldn’t that be a great differentiator to be the ONE ONLY retailer who offers their customers notification and communications choices?

Simple Steps

Despite the copious reports on the advancement of omnichannel retail, we are still in the early days. This is good news. That means all retailers still have an option to get-in early. It means retailers can still differentiate themselves. Two pointers are Get a robust retail order management system – it is the crux of unified commerce, and Fix the 6 simple errors above. Following these two steps will put you vastly ahead of the pack.   Author: Charles Dimov is Director of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.       Related:     
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