If You Want to Be Competitive in the Digital Age, You Must Do This!

While BOPIS (Buy Online Pick Up In Store) is not a new concept (primitive versions, like Sears in-store counters for catalog pick up, have been around for decades), SIGNIFYD points out that changes in technology, competitive strategies, consumer habits and customer expectations have driven the BOPIS boom.

In fact, major retailers have reported that double-digit percentages of their online orders are now filled in-store. Read on to find out why BOPIS has exploded in popularity and learn why you can’t compete in e-commerce without it.

What’s The Big Deal With Buy Online Pick Up In Store?

According to the Forrester report, Omnichannel Mastery: Optimize Fulfillment and Engagement, published in February 2018, 77% of consumers were interested in picking up online orders in the store or at the store’s curbside.

Forrester’s Research further indicates that the reasons consumers turn to BOPIS include:

  • 40% want to avoid delivery charges
  • 33% want to get their items quickly
  • 12% like the convenience
  • 8% want to see their merchandise while still in the store
  • 7% are more confident their items will end up in their hands if they pick it up themselves

Whatever their reasons for embracing Buy Online Pick Up In Store, consumers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the service. SIGNIFYD discovered that BOPIS accounts for 30% of online sales for 28.8% of the retailers surveyed.

SIGNIFYD points out that these numbers make it pretty clear that as e-commerce grows, so will the importance of BOPIS revenue on retailers’ balance sheets. After all, BOPIS customers are turning out to be a source of fairly high average order values. In fact, 43.2% of BOPIS orders that digital consumers are picking up at a retail location range from $51 to $250.

That’s not to say that BOPIS isn’t without its challenges, some of which include logistics and inventory tracking, training staff, fraud, and return on investment.

Still, retailers recognize that other than gaining a competitive advantage and getting more shoppers into their stores, the shopping habits of Millennials, alone, is a good enough reason to offer BOPIS.

Why Retailers Can’t Compete Without BOPIS

More than two decades into the e-commerce era, providing Pick Up In Store is more than a “nice-to-have service.” It’s now a must-have service. Here’s what retail strategist, Carl Boutet, has to say about BOPIS’s importance:

“If you can’t do this, then you shouldn’t be in ecommerce. And if you’re not in ecommerce, you shouldn’t be in retail.”


About 44% of retailers surveyed admit that providing BOPIS is a “competitive imperative” and another 12.4% said that the service gives them a competitive advantage over Amazon.

Another 37.6% of survey participants indicated that the biggest boost from BOPIS was due to the additional purchases made by consumers who were in the store to pick up their orders. This phenomenon is further backed by eMarketer research which found that the majority of shoppers in all age groups said they made additional purchases when picking up online orders in stores.

Of course, knowing the value of BOPIS and doing it successfully are two very different things. Still, Retailers who have launched BOPIS programs are confident in their ability to deliver, according to retailers surveyed by SIGNIFYD. Here are 7 things retailers need to do in order to provide Buy Online Pick Up In Store experiences that customers demand:

  1. Thoroughly train associates
  2. Keep communication lines open with the customer
  3. Integrate online and in-store inventory management
  4. Dedicate space for in-store pickups only
  5. Implement technology that helps automates the in-store pickup process
  6. Use best practices for fraud protection
  7. Test BOPIS procedures


Retail stores are becoming the epicenter for customer experience, according to Matt Leach, a vice president at NTT Data Services. He goes on to say that retailers are steering away from the “We’re just going to give you a product” mentality to one that’s more “We’re going to give you a product and provide you with a service.”

BOPIS is one of those services that retailers must now provide if they’re going to survive in e-commerce. If your business isn’t already making strides in this regard, keep in mind that it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to adapt.

“Success in the future will depend increasingly on the creation and delivery of experiences that accommodate customers’ desire to work seamlessly between physical locations and online,” says Forbes.

With Rain Retail, since your Point of Sale and E-Commerce is integrated into one system, customers can buy online and select to pick up in store. Orders are marked with this option so you can know to have the order ready for when they get there. Get a competitive edge, with Rain Retail.

Also published on Medium.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.