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'BOPIS' is here to stay, but are we ready?

By Retail4Growth Team | June 25, 2019

In the journey of omni-channel retailing, the concept of BOPIS (buy online pick up instore) would be a critical milestone says, Vishal Kapoor, Chief Design Officer - Future Group India Ltd.

Vishal KapoorRetail, the final interface between a customer and product, is no more just a transaction. With changing customer preferences and expectations, innovations in service experiences also need to evolve.

In the last decade in India, online retail has made big inroads into our life as a value add built around convenience and price. The ever evolving customer expectations also have resulted in a merger of the boundaries between offline and online, leading to emergence of various technologies and service models around omnichannel ; BOPIS being a critical one - a term used for ‘buy online pick up instore’.

In the journey of omni-channel retailing, this would be a critical milestone and compliments the philosophy of being available anytime, anywhere and hence in complete sync with retail’s core mantra of being at the right time and at the right place.

It’s also a highly customer centric proposition built around speed, convenience, choice and interface with multisensory experiences while the customer ventures in store and high degree of personalisation (of built in services ) .

The bipolar worlds of online and offlne which at one point were adversaries seem to have merged with BOPIS and this omni-channel fulfilment is becoming one of the ways by which brick and click retailers can give consumers integrated service options.

In countries like US, approximately, 67% of shoppers have already been using this medium of shopping from retailers who have have integrated this platform succesfully into their service model and the expectancy is that 10% of sales would be fulfilled by click and collect model by 2025.This technology adoption by retailers is increasing year on year with companies like Amazon spearheading the innovation.

The trend of integrating this service also seems to be catching traction in India, though we are still at a nascent stage. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that our changing social and economic conditions catalysed by the stretched infrastructure specially in urban locations lead to a huge paucity of time as a currency and in this scenario, platforms like these would be a huge value-add, both as a possibility of exploration and redemption. Reduction of friction is one of the biggest value-adds in the customer experience journey.

The speficity and surity of product availibility brings in the confidence in the customer journey, while retailers, apart from having a confirmed walkin, also have a huge opportunity of inducing impulse and other services to further bond the relationship.

Read the full article in the June 2019 issue of VM&RD.



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