What is BOPIS? How 'Buy Online, Pick Up in Store' Retail Works

What is BOPIS? How 'Buy Online, Pick Up in Store' Retail Works


Has your store or retail operation joined the BOPIS bandwagon? If not, now is the time to do so. There are plenty of reasons to implement BOPIS, but we’ll focus on the big one: disruption.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 65% of shoppers have changed their retail habits in the past year. Many shoppers are looking for increased safety or decreased exposure. What they’re finding is that newer service delivery models are also more convenient. Among those who have changed their habits, 6 in 10 intend to continue those changes even once the pandemic risks end.

This brings us back to BOPIS. Many of the shoppers who have changed their habits have experimented with or fully embraced BOPIS. If you’re not offering this service, you risk falling behind. Below, we’ll define this odd-looking term, explain why you need it, and show you how Anyline can help you implement it well.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Click and Collect

What is BOPIS?

BOPIS is an acronym that stands for “buy online, pick up in store.” Any scenario that originates with an online order and ends with a customer at or in front of your retail location qualifies as BOPIS.

Admittedly, the term isn’t well-known outside the retail industry. While you may not have heard it often (or heard it explained well), you’ve certainly seen it in action.

Walmart’s order pickup is perhaps the best-known rollout of BOPIS in the US. Customers use the Walmart website to place orders online. Local store staff pick the items and store them for the customer. In Walmart’s case, the items are loaded into lockers at the front of most stores, but there are plenty of variations on how this part works.

When employees complete the order, they mark it as such in the computer system, and the customer receives an email that their order is ready. The customer drives to the store, where they enter the store and claim their items. In some scenarios, like grocery pickup, staff will bring the items to the customer’s vehicle.

Is BOPIS only for Mega Retailers?

Not at all! This was a common misconception before COVID. Admittedly, implementing BOPIS well does require some infrastructure. Your inventory system and website have to be in sync, and you may need to make some physical changes to your store’s front end operations.

This isn’t so complicated in low-volume retail scenarios like specialty shops, but it can be challenging for full-sized grocery stores, for example. That said, once you get your online presence and inventory system functioning well and working together, implementing BOPIS is pretty straightforward.

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Simplify BOPIS with Next-Gen Barcode Tracking

One pain point for BOPIS can be the individual employee experience. If something’s wrong with a BOPIS order, your employees need the tools to quickly identify and solve the problem.

Anyline offers mobile data capture technology that works from any smartphone. Our next-gen barcode scanning system allows your employees to easily organize customer pickup orders and quickly solve any issues that arise in the process.

Are you curious to see more about how Anyline’s retail solutions can help you successfully roll out or improve your BOPIS offerings? Reach out today to learn more.

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