BOPIS Vs. ROPIS: Which eCommerce Tool Best Fits Your Shop?
Facts and Tips About Buy/Reserve Online, Pick Up In Store
In a previous article, we discussed the "buy online and pick up in store" options for retailers and hospitality businesses. At the same time, we hope to have cleared up any confusion about the various eCommerce tools' terms and definitions.
This time, we'll go over the differences between offering BOPIS and ROPIS (reserve online, pick up in store) to your customers, as both have many advantages such as convenience and flexibility.
This article will answer all of your questions about whether a BOPIS strategy is better than a ROPIS strategy for your shop — or whether you should include in-store pickup at all!
Why Are More Retailers Offering In-Store Pickup?
Having been used for over a decade, in-store pickup has proven to give a competitive edge to retailers worldwide, particularly over purely online shops. In fact, due to its effectiveness, certain online-only brands, like Amazon, decided to open their own brick-and-mortar stores for a more rounded shopping experience.
There are countless benefits to offering buy/reserve online pick up in store to your customers, some of which are as follows:
1. Buyers Prefer to Conduct Online Research Before Shopping
According to a study by Synchrony Bank (formely known as GE Capital Retail Bank), 81 per cent of buyers do online research before making big purchases. This process is sometimes called “online discovery”. When they visit the retailer’s website, they look at warranty information, in particular, followed by pricing, specifications, financing information, special offers, availability, and lastly, shipping costs and information.
We can appreciate that a similar pattern exists for smaller purchases as well. There is no doubt that, as a retailer, it’s a wise idea to have an online shop with all the necessary information for your customers to make informed buying decisions.
Furthermore, customers can check to see if an item they want is in stock before visiting your shop.
2. In-Store Pickup Is Convenient and Time-Saving
The main reason consumers prefer in-store pickup is convenience. With the pace of our daily lives, being at home at the exact time the courier arrives should be the least of our concerns.
While online shopping with home delivery has its benefits, customers enjoy the ability to pick up online orders themselves when it is most convenient for their schedule.
Furthermore, in-store pickup simplifies logistics for your shop by saving you time and money.
3. Click & Collect with In-Store Pickup Increases Sales
It stands to reason that if customers don’t have to pay for shipping, they can afford to cross more items off their wishlists.
Lastly, with in-store pickup, they are more likely to make last-minute purchases — more or less based on impulse.
What Is Reserve Online, Pick Up In Store (ROPIS)?
ROPIS is an eCommerce tool that allows customers to reserve an item online without having to pay for it right away. Instead, they complete the transaction when they arrive at the store.
Most of the time, retailers employ appointment booking software in order to simplify and automate the process.
Similar to the diagram in the previous article that explained BOPIS, here is a diagram of what "reserve online pick up in store" can look like from the perspective of both a retailer and a customer:
BOPIS Vs. ROPIS: Which One to Choose for Your Shop?
In contrast to “buy online and pick up in store”, ROPIS allows customers to reserve a product rather than purchase it online. This can greatly simplify certain processes.
For one thing, by not having to take payments online, stores avoid the need to acquire additional software or implement other procedures for it.
Second, if the purchased items must be tested first, ROPIS makes the process easier in case the client changes their mind about an item. This may be more advantageous in the case of large purchases or certain clothing stores, in order to avoid returns.
Another advantage is that ROPIS can lead to more impulse shopping than BOPIS. Customers who have already paid for their products online are more likely to swiftly pick up their order and carry on with their day.
Therefore, in some ways, ROPIS can offer more flexibility in shopping, as well as encourage clients to spend a little more time in-store.
On the other hand, BOPIS givers the seller more assurance that the customer will pick up the order after paying for it online. If the customer doesn’t show up, the item is often blocked in stock for a period of time, preventing other clients from considering to purchase it. This is usually avoidable if the products do not need to be weighed, tested, or inspected in person.
In theory, while BOPIS is beneficial to stores of all sizes and industries, it may be more appropriate for certain shops in practice. Those that sell groceries, small appliances, accessories, tools, and supplies — products that do not need to be seen or tested before purchase — have a better chance of avoiding returns.
Overall, both BOPIS and ROPIS come with the benefits of automation and convenience, as well as offering the hybrid shopping experience that an increasing number of customers look for.
Some of the biggest brands that use click & collect effectively are The Home Depot, Best Buy, and Sephora — some of which have implemented ROPIS as well. In Australia, some popular examples are Target, Woolworths (Woolies), and Kmart. Smaller businesses benefit from adopting a BOPIS or ROPIS strategy too. You can find a list in this catalogue.
Buy/Reserve Online, Pick Up In Store — Easily Done with SocialQ
Any BOPIS strategy, as well as ROPIS, enables retailers to boost their business and connect with their customers better.
We hope that by outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each, retailers everywhere will be able to make an informed decision about which option is best for them and their clientele.
If you’re thinking about implementing a BOPIS strategy or a “reserve online, pick up in store” strategy in your shop but aren’t sure how it would work in practice, get in touch with us. Our team at SocialQ will gladly answer any questions and will help you streamline this service.