The landscape of shopping has been undergoing continuous transformation lately and the last few years have seen remarkable changes. While people have started shopping online to save time and benefit from the convenience of purchasing products from anywhere, they have not completely given up shopping from conventional "Brick & Mortar" stores yet. Whereas shopping online is more convenient, the need for immediate gratification often forces the customers to buy products from physical stores. However, one of the recent trends that has been gaining immense adoption and appreciation among customers is BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store), which radically changes the way e-commerce companies handle product delivery and customer satisfaction.
BOPUS refers to the combination of online and offline shopping, where customers prefer to Buy Online Pick Up from the store. As per a report, last year, around one-third of the shoppers in USA opted to buy the products online and then pick them up from the store.
A newer type of e-commerce business model, BOPUS is also referred to by the retailers as "Click and Collect". It is a one-of-a-kind of business model, where customers get the best of both worlds. They get the benefits of online shopping and combine them with the advantages offered by the traditional shopping.
While it is easier to understand the benefits offered by the BOPUS model for customers, very few realize the business benefits of this model for the retailers.
The brick & mortar retailers, who are always in quest of the strategies which can ease the pain from coming second to successful online retailers like Amazon who are taking up their market share as more and more customers prefer to shop online, consider BOPUS as a great business strategy. Though its implementation is not easy, but, it makes sense as the retailers with physical stores can gain their customers back. By acting as more of distribution centers, the physical stores can cater to the needs of their customers with BOPUS while delivering them the advantages of buying online.
Many business experts believe that BOPUS is here to stay, as it eliminates the disadvantages of offline shopping and offers the benefits which customers feel they do not get when they shop online. With structured planning and efficacious execution, BOPUS can be transformed into a successful e-commerce business model.
Here are the top 5 reasons which signify that BOPUS is going to become the next big thing in the retail business sector and is going to lure customers for long.
One of the biggest advantages that BOPUS delivers is supporting retail store owners and helping them sustain viably. First of all, the customers who are offered the flexibility of buying online enhance the sales of retail stores and secondly, when shoppers step into the retail stores to collect the purchased products, they can make impulse purchases which can also aid in driving higher sales.
As per the International Council of Shopping Centers', 69 percent of customers who preferred to buy online and pick up in store in the last holiday season, purchased additional items when they arrived in stores to pick up their products. Also, 36 percent of the shoppers who leveraged the BOPUS facility made another purchase in the stores adjacent to the one where they came for pick up.
Every new business model brings a plethora of opportunities with it and the same is the scenario with BOPUS. Many retail store owners that offer the facility to buy online and pick up from the store later said that it is one of the features that their customers love and use quite often.
Others also said that a significant part of their sales come from the intersection of their stores and their websites. Many renowned brands such as Kohls, Home Depot etc. have said that the BOPUS business model has delivered quantified results. Owing to the success delivered by BOPUS, its capability to drive higher sales and scope for more innovation makes it a business model which is here to stay.
Localization of online stores, as made possible by BOPUS is expected to continue to play a significant role in driving success for merchants in 2017 and the following years to come. By deviating from the conventional one-size-fits all strategy, the retailers who have indulged in sourcing more locally are enjoying the benefits. Localization of the inventory and the option of faster collection of products from the retail stores, right after placing the order online not only saves time for customers, but also ensures that they get their products much faster compared to the time taken by the conventional online stores for delivering the products through couriers.
As compared to online shopping, where product delivery takes a few days or sometimes even weeks, the BOPUS business model offers much faster delivery of the products. The local collection of the products ensures that the customer can get the products as & when they want, and they do not have to wait endlessly for the product. Also, when you buy online and pick up at the store, you can check the product and collect it after being completely satisfied. Owing to the convenience of both online shopping and the benefits of physical shopping, it is one way of buying products that customers are not only going to love but will also prefer to shop this way for years to come.
The BOPUS shopping model ensures a consistent customer experience, and thus, better customer retention & loyalty, which in turn, are reflected in the higher sales. When the retailers started adopting the e-commerce channels, they encountered several problems, one of which was inconsistent user experience. Undoubtedly, when you sell the products online and the only medium of interaction with customers is the website, sometimes customers may feel disappointed. Buying a product just by looking at it on a website can be one of the reasons of dissatisfaction, as sometimes, the actual product differs from the one that is being shown on the website. Apart from these, there can be several other factors which may lead to an inconsistent customer experience with the online stores.
On the flip side, BOPUS initiatives deliver improved customer satisfaction by augmenting the assortment and enabling the customers to get their products where & when they want. Furthermore, when the shoppers get to see the products at the time of collection, any issues or queries can be resolved easily. As a result, customers are highly satisfied and loyalty of the customers also increases.
All these factors ensure that the BOPUS is not just a trending way being used by people to shop recently, but, possesses the capability to become one of the most preferred ways to shop in the years to come.
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