Improving Retail Revenues with BOPUS, ‘Buy Online Pick Up In Store’
In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is key. And when it comes to shopping, consumers are looking for quick and hassle-free options that fit into their busy schedules. That’s where BOPUS comes in. BOPUS, or Buy Online, Pick Up in Store, is a growing trend in the retail industry that allows customers to shop online and then pick up their purchases in-store. Major retailers like Target and Best Buy have been quick to embrace this trend, recognizing the importance of offering a seamless shopping experience that meets the demands of modern consumers.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how these retailers and others are utilizing BOPUS to stay competitive and meet the changing needs of their customers. From the benefits of BOPUS to the challenges retailers may face, we’ll explore all aspects of this innovative shopping approach.
So, whether you’re a retailer looking to stay ahead of the game or a consumer curious about the latest trends, read on to learn more about BOPUS and its impact on the retail industry.
What is BOPUS?
BOPUS, as previously mentioned, stands for ‘Buy Online, Pick Up in Store’. It’s a shopping approach that enables customers to purchase products online and pick them up at a physical store location. With the rise of online shopping, BOPUS has become increasingly popular as it offers customers an alternative to the traditional shipping model. Instead of waiting for days or even weeks for their products to arrive, customers can pick up their purchases at their convenience.
BOPUS is not new to the retail industry, as it has been around for several years. However, its popularity has grown significantly because of the pandemic. Customers now opt for shopping online and picking up their orders in-store to avoid shipping delays and to reduce contact with others.
Benefits of BOPUS for retailers and customers
BOPUS has several benefits for both retailers and customers. For retailers, it can help reduce shipping costs and increase foot traffic in their stores. Retailers can also benefit from the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell products to customers when they come to pick up their orders.
On the other hand, customers can enjoy the convenience of shopping online without the added cost of shipping. They can also save time by picking up their orders at their convenience. Additionally, customers can avoid the hassle of returning products if they decide to pick up their orders in-store since they can inspect the products before taking them home.
BOPUS statistics and trends in the retail industry
BOPUS has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years, and the pandemic has only accelerated its growth. According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 68% of retailers offered some form of BOPUS in 2020, up from 44% in 2019. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, with more retailers adopting BOPUS to meet the changing needs of their customers.
The popularity of BOPUS is also reflected in consumer behavior. According to a survey conducted by Adobe, BOPUS orders increased by 259% year-over-year in May 2020. The same survey also found that 40% of customers who used BOPUS made additional purchases while picking up their orders in-store, providing retailers with the opportunity to increase their sales.
Challenges retailers may face with implementing BOPUS
While BOPUS offers many benefits to retailers and customers, there are also challenges to consider when implementing this shopping approach. One of the biggest challenges is managing inventory, as retailers need to ensure that products are in stock and available for pick-up. This requires real-time inventory management, which can be challenging for retailers with a large number of products.
Another challenge is ensuring that the pick-up process is seamless and efficient for customers. Customers may become frustrated if they have to wait too long to pick up their orders or if they encounter any issues during the process. Retailers need to ensure that their staff is trained to handle BOPUS orders and that pick-up areas are clearly marked and easily accessible.
Best practices for implementing BOPUS
To successfully implement BOPUS, retailers need to follow certain best practices. One of the most critical is to ensure that inventory is accurate and up-to-date. Retailers should also provide customers with clear instructions on how to pick up their orders and what to bring with them.
Retailers can also consider offering incentives to customers who choose BOPUS, such as discounts or free gifts with their orders. This can encourage more customers to use BOPUS and increase sales for retailers. Finally, retailers should ensure that their staff is trained to handle BOPUS orders and that they can provide excellent customer service during the pick-up process. This can help ensure customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
Examples of successful BOPUS strategies from major retailers like Target and Best Buy
Several major retailers have successfully implemented BOPUS strategies, including Target and Best Buy. Target was one of the first major retailers to offer BOPUS, and it has since become a significant part of its omnichannel strategy. Target offers several options for BOPUS, including curbside pick-up, which has become increasingly popular during the pandemic.
Best Buy has also been successful with its BOPUS strategy, which it calls ‘Store Pickup.’ Best Buy offers customers the option to pick up their orders in-store, curbside, or even at a locker. It also provides customers with real-time updates on the status of their orders to ensure a seamless pick-up experience.
How BOPUS fits into the larger trend of omnichannel retail
BOPUS is just one aspect of the larger trend of omnichannel retail, which aims to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. Omnichannel retail recognizes that customers want to shop in different ways and provides them with the flexibility to do so.
BOPUS is an important part of this trend as it offers customers another option for shopping online and picking up their orders in-store. By embracing BOPUS, retailers can provide customers with a more comprehensive shopping experience that meets their changing needs.
Customer experience and satisfaction with BOPUS
Customer experience and satisfaction are critical to the success of BOPUS. Customers expect a seamless and efficient pick-up process, and any issues can lead to frustration and a loss of business.
According to a survey conducted by JDA Software (now BlueYonder), 69% of customers who used BOPUS were satisfied with the experience. However, 31% of customers encountered issues during the process, including long wait times and difficulty finding the pick-up area.
To ensure customer satisfaction, retailers need to invest in real-time inventory management and provide clear instructions to customers. They should also ensure that their staff is trained to handle BOPUS orders and that they can provide excellent customer service during the pick-up process.
Future predictions for BOPUS in the retail industry
BOPUS is expected to continue growing in popularity in the coming years, as consumers continue to demand convenience and flexibility when shopping. Retailers that have not yet adopted BOPUS may need to do so to stay competitive and meet the changing needs of their customers.
As BOPUS continues to evolve, retailers may also experiment with new strategies, such as using drones or robots to deliver orders to customers. These innovations could further streamline the pick-up process and enhance the customer experience.
Conclusion: The importance of embracing BOPUS in today’s retail landscape
BOPUS is a growing trend in the retail industry that offers customers the convenience of shopping online and picking up their orders in-store. Major retailers like Target and Best Buy have embraced this trend, recognizing the importance of providing customers with a seamless shopping experience that meets their changing needs.
While there are challenges to implementing BOPUS, retailers can follow best practices to ensure success. By investing in real-time inventory management, providing clear instructions to customers, and offering incentives, retailers can increase sales and enhance the customer experience.
As BOPUS continues to grow in popularity, retailers that have not yet adopted this shopping approach may need to do so to stay competitive. BOPUS is an important part of the larger trend of omnichannel retail, which aims to provide customers with a comprehensive shopping experience across multiple channels. By embracing BOPUS, retailers can meet the changing needs of their customers and stay ahead of the game.
I have 15 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a speaker, consultant and former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.