Carl Boutet is a leading retail strategist in Canada.
He knows the value of buy-online-pick-up-in-store for brick-and-mortar retailers. Providing in-store pickup means retailers are meeting customers where they are when it comes to how they want to shop. It brings customers into the store, who otherwise might not stop by. Once customers are in the store, they tend to buy items beyond the online order they came to gather up. And BOPIS makes up a significant — and apparently increasing — percentage of ecommerce revenue at major retailers.
But he also knows that BOPIS is a lot of work.
Boutet provided his insights for an in-depth report examining BOPIS that Signifyd recently published. I also had the chance to talk to him at Shoptalk about the challenges that retailers offering BOPIS face — including logistical concerns and threats from bad actors. You’ll hear some of that conversation in the video below.
During our conversation, Boutet tapped into the BOPIS anxieties cited by enterprise retailers who responded to a Signifyd survey fielded by market research company Survata. In particular, Boutet touched on the logistical considerations, the difficulty in attributing the value of BOPIS sales, and the potential for added fraud risk — all problems that came up in the survey in one form or another.
More than 45 percent of retailers said logistics and inventory tracking — the back-end work Boutet mentioned — were the biggest challenges to getting BOPIS right. The next toughest thing to do was managing and training staff, according to the 250 decision-makers at retailers with more than $100 million in annual revenue.
And lest you think Boutet is focused solely on the difficulty buy-online-pick-up-in-store brings retailers, we also spent time talking about the reasons retailers have embraced BOPIS.
“It’s critical, especially for retailers that are focused on convenience,” Boutet told me. “It’s really, I think right now, the best example of integrating the digital and the physical.”
And that freedom to alternate between the physical and digital, and to mix the forms and formats at will, is something that customers have made clear they want. BOPIS, therefore, is a key to providing an excellent customer experience.
And what retailer doesn’t want to provide an excellent customer experience?
Photo by Mike Cassidy
Contact Mike Cassidy at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.