Buy Online, Pick Up in Store Services Are a Win for Both Shoppers and Retailers

Whether they are interacting with a retailer’s mobile app, website or physical store, today’s consumer expects the ability to move easily between all retail channels at any point in the buying process. They are looking for a cohesive experience—one that allows them to take advantage of the best elements of each channel. Due to this shift in shopper expectations, retail marketers have shifted their priorities. Many leaders in the industry have allocated significant portions of their 2017 budgets to improving their omnichannel experience.

For brick and mortar retailers specifically, one way to strengthen their omnichannel strategy is through in-store digital technology. Retailers who have deployed infrastructure for indoor mobile marketing, such as Bluetooth beacons, WiFi access points, or Visible Light Communication (VLC) can reach their customers with targeted mobile experiences at precise locations in their stores. These experiences can be anything from exclusive content to special offers that seamlessly blend the digital experience with the in-store experience. Whatever the omnichannel initiative is, it should add value for the shopper.

One of the simplest ways to add value through omnichannel is by offering a “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS) option to customers. The integration of online and brick and mortar channels in this way offers customers flexibility when making purchases. It also offers retailers an opportunity to increase sales through add-on purchases made in stores.

Across demographics, more than 60% of shoppers will make an additional impulse buy in-store when they go to pick up a product ordered online. This number rises to over 75% with millennials. Despite these significant numbers, and the fact that 3/4 of all shoppers have reported using BOPIS services before, less than half of retailers today offer this service.

This is where digital location signals can help. With indoor mobile marketing, retailers can easily implement great BOPIS programs. With the ability to message directly to shoppers on their smartphones, retailers can direct shoppers to where they pick up their purchases, let staff members know when customers have arrived, and even send related offers to customers that encourage additional in-store purchases.

With the promise of more foot traffic and potential sales, BOPIS services should be an early consideration for retailers when ramping up an omnichannel strategy. Walmart clearly believes in the benefits of BOPIS, as shown by their recent announcement that customers will now be able to receive discounts on thousands of online-exclusive items if they opt to pick them up in stores. It’s a win-win situation: shoppers feel like they’re getting the best possible price, while Walmart is getting more shoppers through their doors, increasing the chance for impulse buys.

As retail marketers continue with their commitment to omnichannel strategies and improved retail technology in 2017, BOPIS initiatives are a relatively simple place to start and see results. Shoppers will continue browsing and purchasing on multiple channels, and it’s up to brick and mortar retailers to take advantage of the opportunity, rather than see it as a threat. With the combined potential of BOPIS services and mobile marketing, retailers and customers will both come out with a win.

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