BOPIS: In-Store Experience - What 300 Retail Visits Taught Us
Bell and Howell, and OrderDynamics recently published BOPIS: State of the Industry research. Unlike any other study yet, it examines the total BOPIS (buy online pickup in-store) journey from a customer viewpoint. Three hundred complete online purchases, and in-store experiences were taken. This across ten of the largest retailers in the US. All to take a first, ground floor measure of the customer experience in retail using click and collect.
In-Store Experience: Why it's Important
The study reviews the online store shopping experience. To complete the journey it also looks at the customer service levels at the physical stores. Brick and mortar stores being the pickup points for the goods ordered online. Focusing on the in-store experience we found that lining up to pickup an order is a satisfaction killer. Pickup is becoming a major part of the buying journey while shopping in-store. It can be an opportunity to engage customers. Yet, if done poorly it harms customer loyalty. This is why BOPIS is so important to store managers and district managers. A better in-store experience with pickup improves the odds of a shopper coming back. For a look at why customers like BOPIS as in-store experiences, take a look at the ICE model. It comes down to: Instant Gratification
Experience (in-store experience)
Top In-Store Experiences
One major change in recent years has been the location of the pickup counter. The prevailing thought until recently was to locate the pickup point the back of the store. After all, locating it at the back means consumers have to walk the entire store to get to it. Doing so might spark interest in additional items to buy. But, the IHL's research shows that in-store pickup use with shoppers older than 55 drops by close to 75% when pickup desks are at the back. The BOPIS: State of the Industry research shows that 80% of the 10 retailers in question, had pickup locations at the front of the store. Retailers who topped the scores here have dedicated pickup areas within 30 feet of the store entrance. Below are the top 5 retailers from the study, rated against in-store pickup.
Source: OrderDynamics, BOPIS: State of the Industry, research.
Collect Desk - Staffed & Trained
Fortunately, 80% of the secret shoppers collecting the research data, found well-staffed pickup desks. But, the lowest scoring retailers had their collection desk staffed only 57% of the time. So, there is still room to grow here. Staffed pickup desks are important to store managers because it speeds the whole activity. Customers like a fast pickup transaction, for their in-store experience. Of the ten retailers in the research, a pickup took an average of 5.58 minutes. This across all 300 shopping journeys. Kudos to Bed Bath and Beyond. Upon further breakdown, their associates clocked the fastest pickup find time. In other words, when a shopper needed their pickup, BB&B found the items in only 1.28 minutes.
Items Ready For Customers
Very important to BOPIS and the in-store experience, is whether the item is ready when promised. When the merchandise was available at the counter, the pickup experience was 4.6 out of 5. But, when the item was not ready, the rating drops to 3.7 out of 5. Again, highly important to store managers, as a metric. In this case, the lack of organization points to a flawed process, or poorly performing order management. Part of the order management function is order orchestration. Cases where the pickup was not ready, is a disfunction on the orchestration timing. Good order management technology gives users pick, pack and verification features. This provided in-store on a mobile app/application. With a pick, pack, verification step, there is no option to miss having the goods ready for the customer.
This raises an interesting option. Customers expect a store pickup to be fast. When it is speedy, customers are pleased with the retailer. In these cases, they often linger and buy additional items. Reports call out that anywhere from 37% - 60%+ of click and collect visits result in more goods sold. Avoiding pickup line-ups altogether, and making the process fast, is ideal. As such, pickup automation, like that of pickup lockers, can achieve both. Technologies like the Cleveron 400 eliminate lineups and provide a quick 15-30 second pickup process. Watch the video in the NRF Blog Post... it shows just how quick a collection is with the latest Bell & Howell system. Another major benefit of this type of automation is the consistent speed across all your retail locations.
Lessons from 300 Retail Journeys
From the 300 omnichannel journeys there are a few key lessons for retailers. These are: Put your pickup desk at the front of the store
Collection location must always be staffed well
Make sure goods are ready for customers
Ensure there are no lineups, and the pickup is fast! Author: Charles Dimov
is VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 23 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.