5 Key Questions to Shape a Winning BOPIS Strategy

4 min readJun 23, 2021

When COVID-19 hit, offering digital order-ahead experiences suddenly became a necessity for many brands. Store pickup of online orders grew by triple digitsas consumers embraced the safety and convenience of options like Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS), also known as Click and Collect. And it seems there’s no going back, with 59% of consumers now saying they’ll continue using BOPIS long-term.

Yet, to implement a successful strategy, brands must revamp elements of operations and customer engagement to deliver a seamless experience that meets high customer expectations. Inspired by our recent Radar + Airship webinar, here are 5 key questions brands must ask to help address that challenge and shape a BOPIS program that drives customer satisfaction and business impact.

Making the Business Case

How can you build internal momentum?

61% of retailers say BOPIS is at the top of their omnichannel plans and investments. But, before making that investment, you need to pull together all the right pieces to make the business case. Airship Director of Technical Services Ramsey Kail suggests several focus areas. First, identify key teams such as in-store operations, ecommerce, order management, marketing, the app dev team and potentially impacted supply chain sources. Next, determine which systems are impacted, including ecommerce, inventory, and internal systems such as POS or in-store mobile apps. You’ll also need to plan for measurement and get alignment around the metrics you’ll use to measure ROI. We’ll take a closer look at measurement later in this post.

Communicating with Customers

How will you ensure customers are informed and engaged?

Next, think about the channels, touchpoints and messages that will keep customers informed and engaged throughout the BOPIS process. What do they need to know at each stage, from order confirmation to post-pickup? What channels make the most sense? And are you able to identify your customers across those different channels?

Several specific channel pairings are ideal for BOPIS customer communication. One is Email + Mobile App. If you email an order confirmation with a link encouraging a customer to download your app, you can then trigger a push message when their order is ready for pickup. Another perfect pairing is SMS + Mobile Wallet. Send a SMS order combination with a link to a mobile wallet pass so customers can find order info and pickup details anytime on their mobile devices. Plus, consumers tend to hang onto those mobile wallet passes, giving you another way to stay connected.

Building a Great Pickup Experience

How will you ensure a great experience once customers arrive?

Long wait times, unclear instructions or poor communication between customers and your associates can derail any click and collect experience. Simple solutions like signage can help (even the most humble of BOPIS efforts benefit from clear signage letting customers know where to go and what to do). However, according to Radar CEO Nick Patrick, consumer expectations for more seamless experiences are driving brands to invest in what he calls a V2 approach. BOPIS V2 experiences are digitally enabled, leveraging tech like Radar’s location tracing and Airship Live In-App Chat to facilitate clear instructions, two-way communication and greater value for customers (and staff!). Brands that get it right see dividends in the form of increased engagement, repeat purchases and improved operational efficiencies.

Keeping Customers Engaged Post-Purchase

How will you leverage post-purchase opportunities?

Follow-on messaging is an essential and often overlooked opportunity for getting customer feedback, upselling and cross-selling, and building customer loyalty.

Use SMS, email or in-app surveys to understand customer sentiment from your digitally engaged customers. Drive add-on and repeat purchases by deploying post-purchase customer journeys with personalized offers or other tailored content. You can also enhance CX through automated messages with valuable information like assembly instructions, preparation details, or by educating customers about your loyalty program.

Measuring Your BOPIS Service

How will you measure success?

BOPIS 2.0 spans physical and digital experiences. That’s why effective measurement requires looking at both customer engagement and operations metrics.

From an engagement perspective, you’re likely to incorporate existing methods and metrics such as customer satisfaction surveys, repeat purchase behavior, average order value or loyalty sign-ups. On the operational side, focus areas include wait times, order quality, and order prep timing. These data points can help drive a virtuous cycle that generates improvements in both CX and operational efficiency. For example, adjusting when you trigger order preparation to ensure customers’ meals are fresh when they arrive can drive improved customer satisfaction.

For more ideas on how to create BOPIS experiences that deliver incredible value for your customers and brand, check out our How to Build Better BOPIS Experiences blog post as well as the webinar with Radar and Airship.

Originally published at www.airship.com.




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