Click and Collect—Ordering Online, Picking Up In-Store Explained
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
In the face of challenging circumstances, whether pandemics or tougher competition, businesses have had to adapt to stay afloat. That’s why many traditional retail businesses are adopting some online capabilities and shifting to a “click-and-mortar” business model.
One of the most significant changes to come out of this shift is the “click and collect” model and its various subtypes.
Join us as we explore this topic by discussing BOPIS meaning, examples of implementation, and how to implement it yourself.
Click and Mortar Capabilities
The click-and-mortar business model has helped many businesses have the best of both traditional retail and ecommerce.
Nothing embodies click-and-mortar more than click and collect, but there are various types.
Although people often use them interchangeably, there are some key differences that business owners should note.
BOPIS stands for "buy online, pick up in-store." Many retailers offer a service that allows customers to purchase items online and then pick them up at a physical location.
This can be convenient for customers who want to avoid shipping costs or who need their items quickly.
It can also be helpful for items that require activation or set up, such as cellphones and other electronics. BOPIS helps retailers by driving traffic to their stores.
This is a variant of BOPIS but with one big difference.
Instead of picking up the item in the store, the customer doesn’t have to leave their car.
Instead, an employee will bring the item out and hand it to them or even load it into their trunk.
ROPIS stands for “reserve online pick up in-store.” It is similar to BOPIS, but the difference is that with ROPIS, customers pay when they pick up the item instead of in advance.
This arrangement allows customers to inspect an item before actually paying for it, but it can also benefit sellers.
With the customer being physically present, there’s an opportunity for further engagement, be that to upsell them on the product or with extras.
BORIS means “buy online return in-store.” This system allows customers to buy online, have the item shipped, but return it in-store if needed.
This makes the return process easier and cheaper for both parties, as there is no money down on either side for the return. As we’ve spoken about before, a good return process is vital to keeping customers happy.
Because the customer is coming into the store, there’s also the opportunity as a business owner to sell them something else after you find out what they didn’t like about the product, thus “saving the sale.”
Examples of Implementation
Next up, let’s look at some retailers and how they’ve implemented some of these strategies.
Dollar General Pickup
Dollar General is a supermarket with an app dedicated to BOPIS, called DGPickup.
With DGPickup, shoppers can purchase items, and when their order is ready, they go and collect them.
You don’t need an app dedicated to BOPIS, but you can easily implement it in your existing ecommerce site or even something like WhatsApp ecommerce.
Lowes Pick Up Lockers
The DIY retailer Lowes has a unique BOPIS setup.
The company offers shoppers the ability to have their orders put into lockers on store premises, which can be opened with a temporary QR code.
This is all the convenience of BOPIS, without customers having to interact with anyone.
This is great for speeding up shopping and allowing staff members to deal with other transactions.
Tools Needed To Succeed
Now that you know more about the various strategies let’s see what tools are needed to implement them.
An Online Contact Point
Of course, for a buy online pick up in-store strategy, you’ll need an online contact point.
This would normally be an ecommerce site, but it doesn’t have to be something so in-depth. It can also be a WhatsApp business account or a Facebook Marketplace store.
You simply need a way for customers to place orders online. Note that many shopping cart solutions include the ability to enable in-store pick up during checkout.
You’ll need a sound inventory management system that can keep track of what you have in store and reflect that online.
If a customer places a BOPIS order, only to be informed they’re out of stock or aren’t available yet, they’re likely to become frustrated.
This is especially important if you have more than one physical location.
Click and collect is a “type” of order fulfillment, so you’ll need to be mindful of that. Your fulfillment process needs to accommodate this type of fulfillment by having a system to keep track of these orders and keep them in an easy-to-reach place.
It’s an excellent idea to boldly label the orders with the order number so that the orders can be quickly located and handed over when customers come in.
Sending a confirmation text or email that customers must present is a good way to ensure a secure transaction.
Finally, think about how you will package these BOPIS orders.
They won’t need as much ecommerce packaging as items you ship out, but you still want to ensure everything is kept together, especially in the case of multi-item orders.
Consider choosing packaging that can be opened easily so that you can the customer can check the contents before they leave.
Click and collect is a solid way to get the benefits of both ecommerce and brick and mortar retail for customers and sellers.
Just be aware of the different forms it takes, and you’ll be able to cater to your customers' needs and unlock opportunities to boost business and enhance customer loyalty.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.