BOPUS and Your Queuing Strategy (Yes, You Need One)

BOPUS and Your Queuing Strategy (Yes, You Need One)

Last updated: December 27, 2018Perry Kuklin

In the consumers’ seemingly endless quest to have their cake and eat it too, buy online, pick up in store (BOPUS) has the ingredients shoppers are looking for. Not only can shoppers have the convenience of shopping online in the comfort of their own home, they can have their items today--sooner than most ecommerce brands can deliver.  Brands like Target, Home Depot, Apple, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and many others are leading the way with this omnichannel approach.

The growth in BOPUS is catching the attention of retailers large and small. As CNBC recently reported, according to Adobe Analytics, BOPUS orders grew an incredible 46 percent from 2017 during the Nov. 1 to Dec. 6 period. Meanwhile, eMarketer cited a recent Kibo Commerce survey which found 67% of U.S. internet users had used BOPUS in the past six months.

Why? The leading reason consumers chose BOPUS was to avoid shipping costs, according to 86% of respondents in the Kibo Commerce survey. Nearly as important (85%) was the ability to pick up the product when convenient. Other reasons consumers chose BOPUS? To avoid having to wait at home for a package that had no set delivery time; being able to see a product before taking it home (77%); and the efficiency of having a product waiting for them at a counter (76%).

While all of this is good news for retailers, they are still figuring out how to take advantage of this growth area while minimizing some of the issues consumers dislike about the brick-and-mortar experience.

Take, for example, what happens when consumers go to the store to pick up their items. Are they routed to a special pick-up area? Is it easy to get in and out? Are there long wait lines in the pick-up area? Is their order ready when the consumer arrives? And from the retailer’s point of view, are they taking advantage of the opportunity to turn these store visitors into impulse shoppers? 

When shoppers come to the store to pick up items ordered online, 37% make additional purchases that they were not planning on, according to new research from OrderDynamics. And so-called "superconsumers" – consumers who used buy-online, pickup-in-store (BOPIS) at least twice in the last 12 months – bought more items in the store 51% of the time.

Mobile Queuing + BOPUS Creates a Win-Win for Retailers and Shoppers

Mobile queuing systems can improve the in-store pickup experience by giving customers the opportunity to avoid the waiting line when they arrive in-store to claim their goods.  And retailers can benefit from an increase in impulse sales from shoppers who choose to browse the store while they wait for their purchases to be retrieved.  Two-way texting via mobile queuing can allow the retailer to notify the customer when their order is ready and for the customer to alert the retailer when they have arrived at the store. And since the queue is virtual, there’s no physical waiting line to bog down the process or create frustration among shoppers who expect little if any wait time to pick up their order.

BOPUS is here and growing. Is your retail operation primed to take advantage of this trend?


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