When deciding how to improve sales in retail, store owners should not overlook certain ‘buy online, pick up in store’ strategy best practice tips. In this case, what’s a better way to learn than from other managers’ experience when optimising their ‘buy online, pick up in store’ service?
1. Create an Effective Inventory Control Policy
If you have several stores and warehouses, the inventory should be perfectly in sync so that customers know exactly what is in stock and where to find it.
Not only that, but as a retail manager, you must always preserve enough inventory for both walk-in and BOPIS customers. Maintaining this balance can be difficult, not to mention that BOPIS orders can cause delays in replenishment requests (your inventory status is practically on hold until the order is picked up), which can result in lost sales.
While studies in this field are scarce, one 2020 study makes a couple of useful recommendations for setting up a proper inventory control policy:
- If the online and physical stores have the same owner, then the inventory control policy should treat both types of orders equally;
- If the management is different, then the store may prioritise walk-in orders over BOPIS.
2. Have a Functional Platform or Mobile Application to Facilitate the Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) Service
Your BOPIS service should integrate with your other business tools and provide a friction-free experience for employees and customers. This is something that our team at SocialQ can assist you with, by integrating the service into your website without the use of any additional applications.
3. Establish a Proper Location for Distributing Orders
This can be done at your local store, in your shop’s parking lot (curbside pick-up), or at another click and collect location.
4. If Possible, Buy or Rent a Space for a Traditional Brick-and-Mortar Location
Because you are physically closer to your customers and save time on shipping, you will have an advantage over exclusively online stores like Amazon. In particular, in a strategy like ‘buy online pick up in store’, ‘same day delivery’ is only possible if you have access to a traditional store.
Furthermore, when picking up their online orders at the store location, many customers make additional impulse purchases.
5. Provide a High-quality Online Shopping Experience
Here is how to improve store sales with several BOPIS good practice tips for your shop’s website:
- Send out personalised offers through newsletters;
- Optimise your shop’s website;
- Offer coupons to customers who opt for click and collect. If they receive the coupon along with their order, that will incentivise them to return to your shop;
- Install a virtual queue system. Because the primary goal of offering BOPIS is to save time, having an online booking system in place would be extremely beneficial for your shop. That way, your customers will avoid physical queues when picking up their orders;
- Send customers the order confirmation and other timely updates about their orders.
6. Have a Fraud Prevention Strategy in Place
Because BOPIS activities take place both online and offline, you can put in place a variety of solutions to prevent fraud during the buying process (such as reviewing suspicious buying behaviour or inconsistent IP characteristics), as well as during pick-up (such as training staff and asking for customers’ identification at pick-up).