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BOPIS Series Part 2: Three Competitive Advantages Delivered By BOPIS & BORIS

Convenience has become a vital component of retail in the past 18 months. COVID-19 caused stores to close their doors, meaning customers became accustomed to shopping from home.

Convenience has become a vital component of retail in the past 18 months. COVID-19 caused stores to close their doors, meaning customers became accustomed to shopping from home. The return to physical stores has required stores to give consideration to how they could make the physical shopping experience the most convenient it can be to track the online experience of their customers.

One key way stores have recognized they can improve convenience significantly is through the implementation of RFID technology, and subsequently buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) and buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS) offerings. BOPIS & BORIS can offer a multitude of different benefits to stores including inventory management, enhanced customer offerings, and improved business performance.

How BOPIS & BORIS enhance inventory management

One key way that BOPIS and BORIS can give you an advantage over your competitors is enhancing your inventory management and therefore enhancing your offer of a full omnichannel experience.

BOPIS and BORIS models allow customers to purchase items online, and then either pick them up or return them to the store. These processes combine the ease and specificity of online shopping with local in-store availability, allowing for fast order fulfilment and the convenience of avoiding shipping return products back via mail carrier. The prerequisite for consistently high levels of BOPIS and BORIS execution is an accurately stated inventory and that is where item-level RFID establishes the foundation for success in these growing sales channels.

How BOPIS & BORIS enhance customer offerings

The key to BOPIS and BORIS is a convenient and seamless shopping experience. COVID caused a forced migration of customers to online shopping when that channel was the only viable option during the pandemic. Now as customers return to stores, it’s vital that retailers consider how they can streamline the physical shopping experience too. BOPIS and BORIS directly improve the speed of service and leverage online visibility of stock to drive additional traffic to stores, with higher average basket sizes than traditional in-store shopping trips.

Research has shown that waiting in queues at the point of sale has a major negative impact on customer experience for retailers when customers are conditioned to having everything on demand. In fact, according to research, the average UK shopper spends over one year of their lives waiting in queues. To make matters worse, 86% of shoppers report they would avoid a store if they perceive queues to be too long.

It takes a substantial amount of time to build up customer loyalty, which can be further enabled by implementing a BOPIS and BORIS model. This will help retailers who have issues with wait times to reduce the time spent queuing, ultimately building greater customer satisfaction moving forward.

How BOPIS & BORIS enhance business performance

There are significant benefits to a retailer’s business performance – namely reduced shipping costs and sustainability benefits, increased customer flow through stores, and a quicker turnaround from returns to resale.

BOPIS and BORIS give retailers the opportunity to reduce their last-mile shipping costs and help to improve margin while leveraging owned inventory. We’ve discussed how RFID technology can give retailers better visibility of their supply chain and this sets the stage for robust BOPIS and BORIS models that can win over early adopting customers and avoid unfulfilled orders. When items are returned using a well-operated BORIS system, the overall turnaround time from returns to resale is reduced, helping stores to restock returned items to the sales floor quickly where they can be resold.

Overall, the benefits of a well-oiled BOPIS and BORIS omnichannel offering are widespread and ultimately benefit customers and retailers alike, as convenience and value proposition come together. This rapidly growing sales channel is critical to ensuring brick and mortar retailers can retain market share in an era of unprecedented e-commerce growth. The benefits of RFID are intrinsically linked to the operational execution of BOPIS and BORIS models, as both stated inventory accuracy and the ability to find specific items tied to orders are necessary to facilitate success.

Read Part 1 of our BOPIS Series: BOPIS and the Customer Experience

​​To find out more about how item-level RFID can give you a competitive advantage, contact info@sml-rfid.com.