Did you know that BJ’s Wholesale experienced 300% year over year digital growth thanks to BOPIS efforts (Digital Commerce360)? The number sure is staggering, but it makes sense when you think about it. COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown have seriously altered customer perception. They want to avoid interactions in public spaces, especially long lines to enter stores or make a purchase.
So began the accelerated adoption of BOPIS, or pick up curbside. While lockdown restrictions may have gotten the ball rolling on this initiative, it won’t be going away anytime soon. In fact, retailers are beginning to take the concept to new levels by offering consumers more choices.
These new transactional choices can include:
Buy Online – Pick Up in Store
Buy Online – Pickup Curbside
Buy Online – Return/Exchange in Store
Buy Online – Return/Exchange Curbside
Buy in Store – Return/Exchange Online
Buy in Store – Return/Exchange Curbside
Theoretically it should be easy to make these additions, but the big challenge comes from internal process and tech. Trying to improvise and work around a system that was not meant to accommodate these features can be a nightmare. We’re talking confused store staff, order inaccuracies, long wait times, and mostly a sub-optimal experience for the customer.
Empower shoppers to handle everything in their customer portal. By offering digital receipts and allowing users easy selection when returning an item, you’re creating an effortless experience. You can also let them know when their order is ready for pickup to avoid long wait times.
Implementing a good backend system is important because the caveat to these initiatives is that they actually have to work! Monica Eaton-Cardone sums this up in her May 2020 article for Forbes. “Contemporary shoppers have little patience for apps and other digital offerings that are prone to lagging, crashes, and other errors.”