You’ve likely heard the term buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), or click and collect, but figuring out how to implement this order fulfillment strategy in your retail store can feel like a huge undertaking.
Luckily, with Shopify, you can set up local pickup in a few short steps to start offering BOPIS as a delivery option on your ecommerce checkout page.
Sounds easy, right? Setup may be, but the operations, best practices, and benefits of BOPIS are worth investigating before you wind up with a queue of unhappy click-and-collect customers waiting for their orders because you don’t have the staff to manage it.
On that note, let’s get started.
What is BOPIS in retail?
BOPIS is an ideal strategy for retail stores. Customers can shop from the comfort of their home and go to the store or pickup location once the order is ready.
This strategy is great for retailers who have both a brick-and-mortar store and an ecommerce website and want to offer local pickup as a delivery method at checkout. It lets you optimize the omnichannel retail experience and merge online shopping and physical store experiences. BOPIS makes the buying process more convenient for retailers and customers.
How does BOPIS/click and collect work?
The BOPIS shopping experience provides your customers with the flexibility to choose how they want to fulfill their order. Convenience is key to improving the customer experience, and click and collect lets shoppers make a purchase and pick it up immediately if they want to.
This is how the BOPIS shopping and order fulfillment process works:
1. Customers buy online, through your website or mobile app
With buy online, pickup in-store, it’s crucial to create a convenient experience by letting customers complete their purchase online. During the checkout process, the shopper needs to be able to select the time and pickup location for the products in their cart. Real-time local inventory updates let the customer know when and where the products will be available for pickup.
2. The retailer fulfills the online order
There are two order fulfillment scenarios with buy online, pickup in-store in retail.
- The item is in stock at the customer’s local store. When the order is available at your retail store, you can locate it, pick and pack, and set it aside for the customer to pick up. You can then send a notification via email or text, letting the shopper know their order is ready for pickup.
- The item is not in stock at the customer’s local store. If the order is not in stock at your retail store, you can order it from another store location or your warehouse. Once it arrives at your customer’s preferred pickup location, you can send them a notification to tell them it’s available.
3. The customer picks up the order
Depending on your click-and-collect strategy, you may do pickups in-store or at a designated pickup location. Some retailers are making BOPIS even more convenient by offering curbside pickup. The customer can drive up to your storefront and be handed their order while they stay in their car.
Regardless of the pickup strategy you choose, shoppers should never feel confused when they opt for buy online, pickup in-store. It’s important that the process is clear from start to finish. This includes order confirmation and concise instructions about where and how to pick up products.
BOPIS is growing: statistics to prove it
Click and collect is popular and has demonstrated success among consumers. Take a look at these numbers that prove how shoppers are flocking to the BOPIS shopping experience.
According to our data, 59% of consumers are interested in BOPIS-type shopping options.
According to Insider Intelligence, click-and-collect retail sales are projected to reach $154.3 billion by 2025. While its projected growth rate is lower than it was from 2019 to 2022, it’s still going strong.
The benefits of click and collect (for you and your customers)
Consumers are looking for a shopping experience that’s convenient and also saves them time and money. Retailers are noticing the benefits of click and collect and many have adopted this shopping experience to stay competitive.
In fact, research from The National Retail Federation states that 83% of consumers find shopping convenience more important than it was five years ago. In the same study, 70% of respondents said BOPIS improved their shopping experience.
Brick-and-mortar retailers can use BOPIS to compete with Amazon and other ecommerce-only companies that don’t have a storefront. It’s a great way to strengthen your omnichannel selling strategy and customer experience.
Let’s look at the benefits click-and-collect offers retail store owners:
1. Increased store traffic and sales
When customers stop by your store to pick up their order, they might look around and browse for more products. They could also remember something they wanted to buy and spend more money in-store.
According to PYMNTS’ 2022 Global Digital Shopping Playbook: U.S. Edition, 47% of online shoppers say they wind up buying more products on their trip to pick up ecommerce purchases in-store or curbside.
💡 PRO TIP: Set up local pickup in Shopify to start offering in-store pickup as a delivery option at checkout. Pay less on last-mile delivery, speed up fulfillment times on local orders, and drive more foot traffic to your stores.
2. Reduced shipping costs
Shipping orders from your distribution center to your customers’ doors can add up. BOPIS lets you send bulk shipments to your retail store or pickup point. When shoppers pick up orders from your store, you save on last-mile shipping costs.
3. Improved inventory management
With click and collect, it’s important to streamline your inventory management and get real-time stock updates.
Merging online and in-store inventory tracking lets you fulfill orders from your store or distribution center—whatever the faster option is. This gives you more access and control over a larger assortment of inventory. It also gives you better insights into what products are available in real time.
Image source: Offers.com
So, how do your customers benefit?
1. No shipping costs
Unless you offer free shipping for online orders, it can be much more expensive for shoppers to have products shipped to them. Conversely, with BOPIS, consumers can save money and time by picking up their purchase in-store or at a pickup point. They can save the $5 they might have spent on shipping, but can still take advantage of ordering online.
2. Speedy service
For shoppers who need an item urgently, it’s faster to buy it online and pick it up an hour later versus waiting one to three days for delivery. People want instant gratification, and providing the option to buy online and pick-up in store is a way to offer it.
3. Guarantee that the item is in stock
With click and collect, you pick and pack the customer’s order before you send them a notification that it’s ready for pickup. This makes it 100% guaranteed that when the shopper arrives, the product will be available.
💡 PRO TIP: With Shopify, you can show shoppers using Google which products your store has in stock. List your products on Google for free, show pickup availability to increase store visits, and measure how your listings impact store sales from Shopify.
4. Quick returns and exchanges
If the product doesn’t fit—or doesn't meet a customer’s expectations—returns or exchanges are processed immediately rather than having to ship the order back.
BOPIS examples: 6 retailers excelling at click and collect
Want to see the BOPIS model in action? Here are some examples of retailers excelling at click and collect.
Lululemon offers fast and easy click-and-collect pickup for its customers. First you select your preferred store location, then you can choose to pick up your order. Lululemon’s simple BOPIS landing page makes it easy for shoppers to understand the buy online, pickup in-store process.
Buying a bicycle is an incredibly personal choice. For tokyobike, offering BOPIS allowed it to encourage online shoppers to visit its shop, ensure they made the right choice, and also explore essential accessories like a bike lock and helmet.
For Juliana Di Simone, tokyobike’s partner in America, click and collect helped create a synergy between online and physical stores. “You have to be able to bring the physical into the digital, and the digital into the physical,” she says. “From an experience perspective, but also in terms of systems. Connecting the two is important.”
📚 READ MORE: Learn how tokyobike used BOPIS to doubled its sales while offering shoppers more convenient order fulfillment.
Outdoor Voices’ BOPIS options are also a good example of how you can test buy online, pickup in-store. When a customer shops online, there’s a note in the order summary letting them know that if shop pickup is available, it will display at checkout.
The brand uses technology to expand its omnichannel selling strategy, including more same-day delivery and buy online, pickup in-store options.
The goal is to make sure the buying journey is seamless, quick, and friction-free.
Throughout the pandemic, Shopify merchant TC Running expanded its online store so customers could order products online for shipping or opt for click and collect. The brand saw a 110% uplift in sales each month after implementing BOPIS.
For Nalata Nalata owners Stevenson Aung and Angélique Chmielewski-Aung, giving shoppers the flexibility to pick up their orders in store or have goods shipped directly to their home aligns their service with what customers expect in a competitive space.
“On our website, [customers] have an option of shipping or selecting the in-store pickup option,” Angélique explains. “It allows us to stay competitive in a world where, with Amazon Prime, for example, shipping is free. [BOPIS] definitely allows us to play in that market.”
📚 READ MORE: Learn how home goods retailer Nalata Nalata uses BOPIS to unify its online and physical stores and offer superior service to its customers.
GAP is offering two click-and-collect options:
- Buy online, pickup curbside
- Buy online, pickup in-store
GAP’s BOPIS landing page provides step-by-step details about how it works, plus an FAQ section at the bottom.
4 BOPIS challenges and best practices to overcome them
BOPIS is a great omnichannel retail strategy that can result in increased sales and happier customers. But it still has its challenges. It’s important to make sure the buy online, pickup in-store model doesn’t create a mind-boggling or disappointing customer experience.
This research from NAPCO confirms that the biggest challenges originate from retail stores themselves
Here, we’ll look at a few of these challenges in more detail and how you can overcome them:
1. Fulfillment speed and in-store space
Many of your customers may suddenly take advantage of your new click-and-collect model. It's not a bad problem to have, but orders pile up and you could run out of space in-store if numerous shoppers pick up at the same time.
Consider assigning BOPIS orders to specific employees and create a designated area in your store where people can line up to collect their purchase.
2. Inventory synchronization
If your inventory isn’t synced properly with your online store and your brick-and-mortar shop, the BOPIS model could be a nightmare. You want to avoid having to call or send emails telling click-and-collect customers that the item they just ordered is out of stock.
Not only can it take your time away from helping in-store shoppers, it’s also not a great experience for your customers.
3. Investment to set up and manage BOPIS
For the BOPIS model to be successful, someone needs to be available to pick and pack the buy online, pickup in-store orders. Depending on the size of your business, you may want to hire additional staff who focus on reviewing and fulfilling click-and-collect orders.
Of course, this requires a financial investment, but it’s worth it. If your regular staff is constantly tasked with fulfilling online orders for pickup, it can hurt your in-store customer experience.
4. Lack of customer awareness for BOPIS
Spending money on a new sales strategy won’t yield a positive return on investment (ROI) if shoppers don’t know about it.
Boost customer awareness by creating a BOPIS campaign and sharing it across your marketing channels, including email and social media. You can also put up signage in your retail store so customers know they can pick up online orders in the future.
Get started with BOPIS and click and collect
Are you a brick-and-mortar retailer with an ecommerce store but not offering BOPIS yet? It’s time to get started!
Embracing this omnichannel retail strategy gives your customers a more convenient shopping experience and a proven track record of increasing sales.
Getting started isn’t complicated. Make sure you have the following three requirements set up to provide an outstanding click-and-collect experience:
- A website or mobile app for online ordering (you can start a free three-day trial of Shopify to build your website today) that can easily sync with your in-store POS system (using Shopify for your ecommerce and in-store selling makes this seamless)
- Real-time inventory capabilities so stock is synchronized across all locations
- At least one brick-and-mortar location
Shoppers frequently look for convenience, which makes it key to test and implement new customer experiences like buy online, pickup in-store. It lets you compete with the Amazons of the world by using your physical retail store as a fulfillment hub.
With BOPIS, you can put products in the hands of your customers at a faster rate.