All the “Buy Online Pick Up In Store” BOPIS Strategies Explained

All the “Buy Online Pick Up In Store” BOPIS Strategies Explained

We frequently hear phrases like "click and collect" and "curbside pickup" used interchangeably. However, there are a few slight differences and subtleties that are important to note.

Setting up the appropriate delivery procedure for your store or restaurant can be made easier if you are aware of the exact meaning of each "buy online, pick up in store" strategy.

If you tend to favour precise language like we do and want more clarity over the different delivery options before making a decision for your company, then read on!

What Does BOPIS Mean and Why Do We Need It?

According to an Australia Post study from 2022, four-in-five Australian households (81 per cent) made a purchase online in 2021, spending a total of $62.3 billion on online shopping.

Not only that, but 93 per cent of the respondents said they would keep or expand their shopping habits in the following year.

The positive news for retailers comes with certain customer expectations too. Australian consumers value convenience, notably features like free shipping and same-day delivery. In fact, the same study indicates that BOPIS services — referred to as click and collect in the material — had grown to 13.6 per cent in 2021. For more information on recent industry trends, check out this article on Click and Collect from Business Insider.

So, what does BOPIS mean, exactly?

In short, BOPIS is an acronym for “buy online, pick up in store”. After customers buy from an online store, they can select the most convenient location to pick up their order. It could be a store, a drive-through, or some other specifically designated area. Customers typically have the option to choose a pickup time as well if the company uses an online booking platform.

The retail and hospitality sectors have seen a rise in the popularity of "buy online, pick up in store" over the past few years. The key reasons for that are:

  • By merging online and offline shopping, a good BOPIS strategy offers customers the best of both worlds. They can browse an online shop from the comfort of their home and even order things that are not in stock in the physical store. They also have the benefit of picking up the order themselves whenever it's convenient for them;
  • Because customers frequently purchase more items once they arrive at the store, many businesses experience an increase in sales. Also, by avoiding shipping costs, customers often indulge in more online shopping.

Many businesses were able to survive during the 2020 lockdown thanks to this delivery feature. Moreover, the "buy online, pick up in store" option continues to be a crucial component of the omnichannel marketing strategy because of its flexibility and focus on customer service.

What does BOPIS mean for retailers in terms of profit? Graph adapted from Business Insider

BOPIS strategies can also be discussed in a less formal way by using the phrase "click and collect". Typically, this is how companies inform their customers about the delivery options.

‘Click and Collect’ Variations

Besides the fundamental ‘shop online pick up in store’ strategy that refers to collecting an online order from a brick-and-mortar store, there are a few other possibilities to deliver a product to your customer.

Curbside Pickup or BOPIC (Buy Online, Pick Up in the Car)

This BOPIS strategy refers to making an online purchase and picking up the order at a drive-through. It’s a simple way to provide same-day delivery, too.

It has been used in quick-service restaurants for about one hundred years (minus the internet shopping bit). Retail stores have only started to use it over the last decade. The first retailer to try this service was Walmart, in 2013, and this trend was then picked up by many other large businesses worldwide. It turned out that having your order delivered to your car is quite a treat, whether you’re buying a pizza or just the ingredients for it.

Even though curbside pickup doesn’t really sound like a BOPIS strategy since you don’t collect your package in-store, it’s conveniently placed under this umbrella term. We need convenience in the language just as much as customers need it in practice.

Buy Online, Pick Up in Locker (BOPIL)

Secure lockers are an affordable way to bring your brand closer to your target market's homes. Not to mention that it's a fantastic way to avoid queues, especially on busy shopping days.

Once the order is confirmed via an appointment booking platform implemented by the shop, the customer receives a code to open the locker where their package will be delivered. They will also receive automated notifications about the delivery.

Another feature, which can be seen as both an advantage and a disadvantage, is the lack of human interaction.

Finally, BOPIL satisfies the need for fast shipping whether or not same-day delivery is offered.

Other Useful Phrases Surrounding “Shop Online Pick Up in Store” Strategies

At some point, you may have heard of a few other acronyms in this field as well. For instance, ROPIS (reserve online, pick up in-store). Essentially, it offers the client the possibility to reserve an item online without having to pay for it immediately. We will dive into this subject in a future blog to highlight the differences between this and offering BOPIS.

Since we’re enumerating all delivery-related acronyms, we’re going to throw BORIS in here too. This refers to Buy Online, Return In-Store. And last but not least, the BOSS strategy stands for Buy Online, Ship-from-Store — which is related to home delivery.

Take Your BOPIS Strategy to a New Level with Storeplay IQ

All in all, this article has covered the main differences between various BOPIS methods, also known as click & collect. We have the classic BOPIS strategy, followed by BOPIC and BOPIL. Despite the nuances, they all share the focus on customer service and convenience — which has become more than a nice-to-have feature over the past few years.

If this blog post has piqued your interest and you want to implement a “shop online, pickup in store” strategy at your shop or restaurant, we can make that happen. Our team at Storeplay IQ is working hard to improve and customise our online booking platform to meet any business requirement, anywhere in the world. We invite you to send us a message if you want to work with us and take CX to the next level.