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BOPIS Series Part 3: Why RFID BOPIS offering is a Boon for Retailers?

The events of the past two years have resulted in inherent changes to the operational capacity of retailers and to corresponding customer expectations.

The events of the past two years have resulted in inherent changes to the operational capacity of retailers and to corresponding customer expectations. In particular, the pandemic led to a spike in demand for buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) offerings, as consumers wished to continue the retail experience in a way that was intentional about social distancing and allowed them to make their selections from the comfort of their homes.

This renewed interest in BOPIS offerings is now a permanent feature of the retail sector and adoption of this sales channel continues to grow. With reports indicating that 56% of consumers still plan on using such services, retailers ought to enhance and improve their BOPIS offerings in order to provide the best experience possible. Creating and maintaining an omnichannel approach should be a priority for retailers in today’s retail environment, where customer expectations demand agility and innovation.

Why do Consumers Prefer BOPIS

One benefit of retailers providing BOPIS as an option is to remain competitive in today’s increasingly digitized retail marketplace. With marketplaces such as Amazon and Shopify dominating the e-commerce landscape, the modern customer has become accustomed to convenience and often looks to begin their purchase process through online and mobile applications. Offering a successful omnichannel approach is key to remaining relevant and providing a convenient shopping experience that aligns with modern customer expectations. BOPIS used to be understood in the context of an advanced sales offering, but it is now a required sales channel in order to remain competitive and protect market share.

Additionally, BOPIS offerings have indirect benefits to retailers and their sales figures. BOPIS is critical for driving increased customer traffic into stores through the ‘pick up’ feature of this service, as it leads to incremental in-store sales as customers purchase additional items. It is increasingly apparent that an effective BOPIS offering can bring about an abundance of opportunities for retailers, and it should now be a top priority to enhance and refine these strategies.

How RFID Can Enhance BOPIS Offerings

One specific solution that can be utilized throughout the retail sector is item-level RFID technology. Accurate inventory management is key in providing an effective, seamless BOPIS offering and can help retailers reach and exceed the expected timeframes for these services. By utilizing an RFID inventory system, retailers can increase their inventory accuracy up to 93-99%. This accuracy is the critical component in providing an effective BOPIS offering and avoiding order cancellations while growing a loyal BOPIS customer base. Additionally, accurate inventory allows retailers to confidently expose on-hand inventory to BOPIS orders so that they can sell to the last piece without the risk of order cancellations increasing.

Significantly, RFID implementation can contribute to the development of a more personalized experience for customers, both in-store and online. Aside from the customer experience, it can relieve pressure from over-burdened retail staff, resulting in the delivery of an enhanced customer experience. After all, SML’s State of Retail Insight Report Part 1 indicates that retail staff dedicate an average of 14.6 hours per week to carrying out manual inventory monitoring including counting, finding, and transferring items. This is vital time that could be utilized in the development and execution of omnichannel initiatives. In addition, RFID-enabled item location features can help reduce the time store associates spend looking for items to fulfil BOPIS orders which saves labor for the retailer and improves order fulfilment time for a better customer experience.

The experiences of both customers and retail staff alike can be enhanced through RFID implementation, and retailers should not overlook the potential of leveraging retail technology across their operations.

Read our BOPIS Series

Part 1: BOPIS and BORIS for Better Customer Experience

Part 2:  Three Competitive Advantages Delivered By BOPIS & BORIS

To find out more about how item-level RFID can improve your BOPIS offerings, contact info@sml-rfid.com.