Today, it’s hard to find an eCommerce retailer that hasn’t experimented with Buy Online Pick-Up In Store (BOPIS). It’s often the natural first step within the omnichannel retail journey and – when it’s done right – it offers key advantages to retailers and shoppers alike, including higher conversion rates, increased foot traffic, and an improved customer experience.
This blog is Part II of our series on the top challenges Shopify merchants face when rolling out Buy Online Pick-Up In Store. At HotWax Commerce, we work specifically with Shopify retailers of all sizes to facilitate same-day BOPIS and drive the best return on their inventory. As a result, we understand the key challenges that Shopify merchants face and, more importantly, how they can be overcome!
Challenge 1: Offering Mixed Carts
One of the most common complaints we hear from Shopify merchants is the platform’s inability to allow mixed shopping carts, or orders that contain some items for store pick-up and others for home delivery. Per Shopify’s documentation, “customers must complete two separate transactions, one with only the products that can be shipped and another with only the products for pickup.”
This issue is compounded by the fact that shoppers have no visibility on the product detail page (PDP) regarding which items are available at the store and which are not. As a result, shoppers will continue to the checkout page without knowing which items in the cart are eligible for Buy Online Pick-Up In Store fulfillment.
If they try to check out with a mixed cart order, an error message will be displayed telling them that products are out of stock. This causes understandable confusion and frustration for the customer. They may:
- Abandon their whole cart
- Remove all items not eligible for BOPIS, reducing their order size significantly
- Reselect all the items and opt for only home delivery
- Go back and place two separate orders, one for BOPIS and one for home delivery
No matter what, their shopping experience has been broken. This might cause them to switch to your competitor or never place a BOPIS order with you again, negatively impacting your brand’s reputation and profitability.
Solution: How can Shopify merchants overcome this major roadblock and allow customers to place both Buy Online Pick-Up In Store and ship-to-home orders in the same cart? It's one of the capabilities that our clients are most excited about when I tell them about HotWax Commerce’s OMS.
Our BOPIS app integrates with Shopify merchants' eComm and POS. As a result, whenever Shopify gets an online order with both BOPIS and home delivery shipping methods, our OMS automatically splits the order. The BOPIS order is allocated to the relevant store, where it is processed and prepared for customer pick-up. The home delivery order is allocated to the warehouse and sent to the customer via last-mile delivery.
This fundamental capability decreases cart abandonment and increases average order value, all while enhancing customer satisfaction.
Challenge 2: Notifying Store Personnel Effectively
We recently connected with a Shopify retailer who was excited to implement BOPIS, but worried that it would add too much strain to his store staff. This merchant mentioned that his associates needed to check the Shopify POS over and over again to make sure they didn't miss any BOPIS orders. This is not only a waste of time, it also comes with a lot of risks. If associates forget to check in for an hour, a customer may arrive in-store and find that their order hasn't even been picked and packed.
This retailer is not alone. Putting too much of a burden on in-store associates is an area of concern for many brands we speak to, especially those with smaller teams. Overworking store associates and inundating them with complex systems can lead to a variety of challenges, including:
- Higher employee churn
- Negative customer experiences
- Reduced productivity
How can Shopify merchants combat this and design an efficient Buy Online Pick-Up In Store program that notifies store associates effectively and does not create added strain?
Solution: A seamless BOPIS experience – for customers as well as staff – comes down to enabling your store associates with the best tech. Based on the feedback we hear from Shopify merchants looking to roll out BOPIS initiatives, we have determined the minimum criteria for a BOPIS notification application:
- Sends push notifications to store staff as soon as the BOPIS order is received
- Includes all the pieces of BOPIS order information in the push notification itself to streamline the process
- Provides a dashboard that helps store staff check how many BOPIS orders are in queue
Every second matters in BOPIS. That’s why HotWax Commerce’s BOPIS App meets these guidelines, helping store personnel pick and pack orders right away instead of wasting precious time digging for information.
Challenge 3: Ensuring a Smooth BOPIS Roll-Out
Many Shopify merchants struggle to decide how to roll out BOPIS initiatives in the most productive way across their store locations. One retailer we spoke to had a few dozen stores across the United States, and they were unsure whether or not they should roll out Buy Online Pick-Up In Store across all of their locations at once. We told him that, since a successful BOPIS program requires buy-in and collaboration across lots of teams, rolling out the strategy for that many stores at once could be a recipe for disaster.
Solution: We advise Shopify merchants to run a multi-phase BOPIS pilot to ensure smooth adoption of the new systems and processes. In the initial phase, implement Buy Online Pick-Up In Store in a few select stores to test the workflow and discover any issues on a smaller scale.
Don’t pilot the initiative at your top-performing store, where the staff may be used to experiments and new technology. This can skew the pilot performance, and the new initiative will likely encounter fewer problems at a location that is used to adopting new technology. If you take this approach, when you eventually roll it out to the company at large, there will likely be many unexpected challenges. Instead, select a store that truly represents an average location, both in terms of sales and team composition.
At the end of each phase, evaluate if the BOPIS program is working or not with the help of key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:
- Time taken to fulfill each BOPIS order
- Average cost per BOPIS customer
- BOPIS order rates
- BOPIS order collection rates
- BOPIS order values
Once you can make BOPIS profitable on a small scale, it’s time to scale up.
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In our experience working closely with retail brands to implement Buy Online Pick-Up In Store on Shopify, we’ve seen all of these challenges time and time again. We work with brands to overcome these issues (among many others) to increase conversion rates, drive customer satisfaction, and ultimately achieve a better return on their inventory. Request a consultation with the HotWax team of experts to learn more.