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Curbside and in-store pickup will win the holiday

Conquer Curbside Pickup for the Post-COVD Era

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BOPIS: Buy Online Pick Up In Store

Allowing customers to buy online and pick up in-store (known as BOPIS in the ecommerce industry) can significantly improve the customer experience – especially around the holiday season. The more options available for your customers, the merrier.

What BOPIS means for businesses

Offering the BOPIS option can help ecommerce businesses succeed this 2020 holiday season. For one thing, it helps to eliminate ecommerce retail friction. When customers pick up their orders instead of shipping the order to their houses, businesses avoid shipping issues, like products getting lost, damaged or delivered to the wrong address.

Since we’re expecting to see a huge increase in ecommerce holiday sales this year due to COVID-19, businesses can expect to see an increase in online conversions. Plus, when more people pick up in store, businesses don’t need to worry about shipping costs.

What BOPIS means for customers

It’s so convenient for customers to pick up their orders in store, especially around the holidays. We’ve all probably had a bad experience with shipping or delivery at some point, and it can be understandably frustrating when a package arrives late or damaged.

Impatient customers who would prefer not to wait three to five business days will turn to in-store pickup to ensure that they have their items in time for the holidays. BOPIS provides customers with the flexibility of choosing a pickup time that works best for them.

One of the largest benefits of in-store pickup is that customers don’t have to pay shipping – even if it’s only $5.99. Some online stores require a minimum dollar amount to qualify for free shipping, which is a great strategy to increase average order value. However, some stores don’t have any free shipping options, and people appreciate having the choice to pick up their items in store free of charge.

What you need to know
  • With a record-breaking holiday shopping season projected for ecommerce, omnichannel options like buy online pick up in store and curbside pickup will be a key to retail success.
  • Nearly 76% of consumers told Signifyd they intend to use curbside pickup (BOPAC) and buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) more this holiday season than they have in the past. More than 60% said they will be using the options more a year from now than they did a year ago.
  • Doing BOPIS and BOPAC right requires a holistic approach, including making sure your websites and mobile sites are optimized for design, SEO, high-quality content and performance.

Additionally, there may be better product availability in store than online, depending on inventory. For example, one of your most popular items could be sold out online but available at one of your store locations. If this is the case, the BOPIS option is immensely beneficial to customers looking to buy that popular item because they won’t have to wait for delivery.

Buy online pick up at curb (BOPAC)

With social distancing guidelines in place in many cities, buying online and picking up at the curb (often referred to as BOPAC) has been very prevalent in 2020. Data from Signifyd’s Commerce Network shows that retailers are seeing a 255% increase in BOPAC sales compared to life before COVID-19.

As we enter what we expect to be a record-breaking holiday season in terms of online sales, people all over the world are abiding by the recommended social distancing guidelines. Adapt your business to these tough times by offering curbside pickup to satisfy your customers’ needs, keep them safe and drive revenue.

Communicate with customers before they arrive

The curbside pickup process is fairly new to most of us. Before your customers arrive to pick up their orders, it’s critical that they understand how the process works. To cater to both the digitally advanced and not-so-tech-savvy customers, we recommend sending an email confirmation after a customer places an order. Be sure to:

  • Provide a timeframe for them to pick up their order
  • Tell them exactly what to expect when they arrive
  • Give clear directions on exactly where they should go

Move inventory outside

Since COVID-19 guidelines vary from state to state and country to country, there are still some retail stores that are unable to operate indoors or that must do so at a limited capacity. Therefore, when customers arrive to pick up their packages at the curb, it’s not a bad idea to leave some inventory outside for them to see. This way, they can browse a few items while they’re there – just like people do when waiting in line to pay at the cash register. Of course, this is dependent upon what your business sells and the weather.

Requirements to offer BOPIS/BOPAC

An optimized ecommerce website

In order for customers to place orders online, your business must have an optimized ecommerce website. We recommend using this Website Launch Checklist to see everything you’ll need before, during and after launching your site. One of the most important components of ecommerce websites that offer BOPIS and BOPAC is mobile optimization.

There are a variety of different online stores to choose from; when one website isn’t easily accessible on a smartphone, consumers will quickly find another store to order from. It’s critical to follow mobile ecommerce best practices to ensure your site is compatible on mobile devices and easily navigable for customers who pick up in store or at the curb.

At least one brick-and-mortar store

In addition to having an optimized online store, businesses that want to offer BOPIS or BOPAC must have at least one retail location for customers to pick up their orders. Obviously, an online store alone isn’t enough to sustain these business models, just like how a brick and mortar store is not enough on its own to support online orders.

An updated inventory management system

Businesses must analyze their operations to make sure that they’re keeping accurate track of inventory and fulfilling all orders that are placed. Just like how this B2B client uses the IBM iSeries Integration to streamline business operations and decrease web transaction errors that once consumed their internal resources, D2C companies must also put in place an inventory tracking system. This way, customers can see in real time the quantity left in stock for a particular item.

Conclusion

BOPIS and BOPAC are great business models to implement this for this upcoming holiday season. These uncertain times have certainly changed consumer shopping habits, and customers are more likely now than ever to choose BOPIS or BOPAC at checkout.


Looking for help building and executing your strategy for buy online pick up in-store or at the curb? The Groove Commerce team can help.

Dana LaBate

Guest blogger Dana LaBate is a digital marketing specialist at Groove Commerce, a full-service e-commerce agency with 13 years of experience helping mid-market retailers design, build and grow their ecommerce websites. As an Elite BigCommerce Partner Agency and Diamond HubSpot Partner Agency, Groove Commerce follows an inbound methodology and delivers bespoke, white-glove service to convert visitors into repeat customers.