Tips to Improve Retailers’ BOPIS and Curbside Pickup Programs

The growth of omnichannel fulfillment programs such as online purchase, in-store pickup (BOPIS), and online roadside order pickup has been trending for several years. This trend reached a tipping point in the last 12+ months as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed consumers to seek safer, contactless shopping experiences. Adopted by consumers and retailers alike, and for many of the same reasons (e.g., cost savings on last mile delivery), BOPIS and roadside collection of nice to have services have become a must for brands with physical store fronts developed. Consider the following:

  • According to Accenture Strategy’s Holiday Shipping study published in December 2020, 65 percent of retailers offer either BOPIS or curb pickup (or both), up from 52 percent in 2019.
  • If you look specifically at the roadside pickup, the growth is even stronger. According to Digital Commerce 360, the percentage of the top 500 North American ecommerce retailers offering roadside collection increased from just 6.9 percent in December 2019 to 43.7 percent in August 2020.
  • According to a study by Invesp, half of all consumers have decided where they want to shop online, whether they can pick up their order in the store. In addition, at the time the Invesp study was published (June 2020), 67 percent of buyers in the US had made a BOPIS transaction in the previous six months.

With this data in mind, Total Retail, in partnership with omnichannel commerce technology and operations provider Radial, recently produced a report to help retailers optimize their BOPIS and curb pickup programs. The How to Guide for Doing BOPIS and Curbside Pickup Right report provides valuable information for retailers looking to improve on existing BOPIS and Curbside operations, as well as those looking to introduce such services for the first time.

For example, the report describes the value of integrated data and technology systems within the supply chain, which retailers should monitor and measure to assess the effectiveness of existing BOPIS and curb programs, a case study of leading sports brand Hibbett Sports and its path to adopting roadside collection in its branch network and best practices to improve BOPIS and roadside collection performance. Regarding the latter, here is a selection of these tips:

  1. Gather the right data including customer, inventory, and order. Many retailers were quick to roll out BOPIS and roadside pickup at the start of the pandemic as they were forced to offer the types of contactless shopping experiences consumers were looking for. Now, a year later, you should have valuable data on BOPIS and curb performance (e.g. customer satisfaction, time to complete a BOPIS / curb order, inventory accuracy for BOPIS / curb orders, etc.). Use this data to identify areas of strength, double them, and areas of weakness that require additional resources.
  2. Invest in technology systems that integrate customer, inventory and order data that enable a seamless BOPIS and roadside shopping experience. Technologies such as order management systems, inventory management systems, and predictive analytics provide the level of real-time inventory visibility that is at the heart of any successful BOPIS and / or curb pickup program. Integrated technology systems can lead to better decision making, optimized experiences, happier customers and increased loyalty. In addition, the right technology solution can not only lead to increased sales, but also to cost savings through improved requirements planning, inventory allocation and work optimization.
  3. Collect customer feedback and use it to make program improvements. Post-purchase surveys, emailed or SMS sent after the customer picks up their order, are a great way to learn how your customers think of the BOPIS and curb experiences in your stores. This first-party data is valuable for the refinement and optimization of processes, which can lead to an increase in the repurchase rate.

Download the full How to Guide for Doing BOPIS and Curbside Pickup Right report with additional data, best practices, and more here.

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