Creating Fulfillment Choice with BOPIS and ROPIS

With smartphones now playing the role of supporting actor in all aspects of consumers’ lives, it’s no surprise they expect them to assist across the shopping experience, especially regarding when their stuff arrives.

Savvy retailers are capitalizing on this consumer preference by positioning smartphones front and center when it comes to in-store fulfillment with options like BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) and ROPIS (reserve online, pick up in store).

With Amazon and major retailers enticing consumers with same-day shipping, smaller retailers can utilize BOPIS and ROPIS to effectively compete with them. Utilizing their stores as fulfillment hubs, retailers can instantly offer items from the nearest location and eliminate shipping charges. However, in order to truly create successful fulfillment choices through BOPIS and ROPIS, retailers must consider the following factors.

Creating a Fulfilling BOPIS Journey

In order to help shoppers start their BOPIS journey off on the right foot, retailers should first create an enhanced in-store mobile experience that delivers real-time inventory visibility through the app. Given that consumers are now using BOPIS to shop for everything from groceries to electronics to last-minute items, providing accurate, real-time inventory visibility via app will improve the customer experience. Additionally, it will establish the expectation of providing reliable, enhanced level of convenience.

The last thing a customer wants is to purchase an item through the app and select BOPIS, only to arrive at the store and find the item isn’t available or has been substituted for something else. With real-time local inventory visibility, they can choose when and where to pick up their order. Retailers can also take it one step further by giving customers the ability to split the order for pickup at different locations if, for example, they’re purchasing a gift for someone else.

After checkout, the customer should be easily guided through next steps for pickup, including text messages or push notifications with a receipt or QR code as well as quick and easy instructions about where it will be in the store.

Retailers can also proactively communicate with customers using push notifications throughout the shopping journey, including order receipt, order prep and ready for pickup – all on their mobile device. This makes it easy for retailers to focus on end-to-end customer communication, maintaining satisfaction at every stage.

Taking Fulfillment Choice One Step Further with ROPIS

With ROPIS, shoppers reserve the item online and can see it in person before deciding to buy. Not only does this remove potential friction by avoiding a long checkout process, but it also avoids unnecessary returns, wasting valuable time and money.

For instance, when it comes to big-ticket items such as household appliances and luxury products, the ability to see and test before purchase can lead to increased conversions. According to a recent survey by PushOn, 82% of consumers said in-store purchasing gave them more security when shopping for expensive items because they could see exactly what it looked like before a purchase.

Allowing customers to see, feel and experience the item pre purchase has all the benefits of a BOPIS strategy while creating an even more hassle-free checkout process that minimizes returns. With retailers facing about $351 billion in annual returns due to wrong sizes, colors, etc., ROPIS makes it easier for shoppers to purchase the right product the first time, decreasing returns and increasing loyalty and satisfaction.

BOPIS and ROPIS Create Choice

With BOPIS and BORIS, customers gain choice through the ability to easily pick up what they need, when they need it, saving valuable time with a tap on their smartphone. Retailers also benefit from increased foot traffic and incremental sales, while enhancing the customer experience.

Casey Gannon is VP of Global Marketing for Shopgate

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