What’s Better Than BOPIS? The Answer May Surprise You.

In our previous blog post, we explored the 7 reasons retailers need to embrace BOPIS as we return to normal and the pandemic subsides. Research published in the Harvard Business Review provided sound evidence that buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) solutions give retailers an edge.[1]

The seven key reasons include:

  • Reduced delivery charges.
  • Easy, no cost returns for customers.
  • Eliminates wasted trips to the store.
  • Retailers can capture secondary sales.
  • No product (damage) risk to consumers.
  • BOPIS takes business away from competitors.
  • Retailers gain an additional marketing channel.

Given the strong case for offering a BOPIS solution, retailers considering implementing or improving upon their own solution need to consider the most cost effective, efficient, and customer centric options.

As the reality of the 2020 pandemic set in, companies scrambled to put in place a patchwork of BOPIS solutions. Early on, the two most common solutions included curbside pickup and in-store pickup. A few companies even set out to create elaborate kiosks, carousels and racking systems. However, as retailers look back and evaluate the success (or lack thereof) of their BOPIS solution, four challenges have become obvious:

  1. Labour costs for curbside pickup outweighed the benefits of BOPIS.
  2. Retailers were unable to leverage their BOPIS solution to drive secondary sales.
  3. In-store BOPIS solutions often resulted in customers waiting to pick up their orders.
  4. Labour market constraints in hiring retail service personnel.

One very appealing solution that began to emerge in the latter half of 2020 was the use of Smart Parcel Lockers. Originally adopted by innovative and agile retailers, Smart Parcel Locker systems offer a way to automate the deposit, storage, and distribution of orders to customers. All for a substantially lower cost compared to curbside or in-store pickup solutions.

The attraction of lower costs is only part of the story. When the right Smart Parcel Locker solution is implemented, retailers and customers reap a variety of mutual benefits including:

  • Quick & Easy Pickups – Smart Parcel Locker pickups are facilitated with a quick scan or code entry allowing customers to retrieve their goods in just a few seconds.
  •  24/7 Access – Smart Parcel Lockers can be located outdoors or in “always accessible” locations allowing customers to pick up orders or make returns on their own time.
  • Facilitate Returns – The ability to return items easily increases customer loyalty and average spend. Smart Parcel Lockers can accept returns 24/7 whether purchases were made online or in-store, simplifying the return process for customers.
  •  Efficient Back Office – Smart Parcel Lockers can be integrated with back-office retail systems allowing for the drop-off process of orders to be automated. This provides retailers the ability to deposit orders in bulk, reducing labour costs while maximizing customer adoption.  
  • Security – Smart Parcel Lockers are built to be very secure. Customers will know their order will be in the same condition the retailer intended, avoiding the potential of becoming damaged during a traditional package delivery via common carrier. 
  • Customers Love Smart Lockers – After receiving over 20,000 feedback responses with an approval rating of over 99.3%, we know customers appreciate the ease of use, accessibility, and efficiency Smart Parcel Lockers offer.

The deployment of innovative technology continues to be a key strategic imperative for companies wanting to compete and thrive in the near future and beyond. With retailers facing mounting competition from every angle, they need to constantly evolve to meet the changing and increasingly high demands from their customers. Smart Parcel Locker systems are addressing today’s consumer demands by providing more flexibility of where and how they shop. What started out as buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) just over one year ago, is already evolving through technology into “BOPIL” – buy online, pick-up in locker and “BORIL” – buy online, return in locker.

The future of omnichannel product delivery is here with Smart Parcel Lockers. To learn more, contact Parcel Port at www.theParcelPort.com or call 1-800-818-0870 today.


 [1] https://hbr.org/2021/05/how-buy-online-pick-up-in-store-gives-retailers