More retailers are looking to offer buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS), or “click-and-collect,” to consumers as a way to reduce shipping costs and increase in-store foot traffic, but a recent study by Order Dynamics found that only 27.5% of American retailers offer BOPIS. Charles Dimov, Order Dynamics’ vice-president of marketing, believes this presents an opportunity for retailers. On this episode of The Commerce Marketer Podcast, Dimov discusses what Order Dynamics’ study, which examined the click-and-collect habits of thousands of retailers and shoppers, means for retailers. “Most of your retail locations are going to have what the customer’s already looking for, so you’re propping the store, you’re blending the physical and online side,” he said about BOPIS growth. “Working as a more holistic business to actually deliver a good service to a customer.” As last-mile shipping costs continue to rise, BOPIS allows retailers to blend the in-store and online shopping experiences, reducing costs while getting customers into brick-and-mortar locations to potentially make additional purchases — as 37% of BOPIS customers do. “A retailer’s best bet is to give their customers options, and that’s what the whole omnichannel retail space is about, making everything seamless,” said Dimov. Focusing on customer experience across all aspects of the shopping journey, including returns, can also improve sales. “At the end of the day, what you want to do is make your journey as easy as possible,” he said. “Make it convenient, give your customer options. Because that’s what they’re going to remember — that makes them more likely to return and buy more stuff.” So why aren’t more retailers offering BOPIS? Dimov believes it comes down to technological challenges. “Retailers really have to get their technology in place,” he said. “They have to make sure all their systems are integrated really well, because you have to convey that great experience to the customer.” The logistics and technology involved might make the initial transition a challenge, but Dimov’s prediction is that BOPIS will soon become the new norm. Having click-and-collect options may be a differentiator today, but not having it may be a liability tomorrow. “Focus on your omnichannel capabilities, give the customer flexibility,” he said, or else, “What ends up happening is you’re either one of the retailers who’s giving customers the convenience, or you’re not.”

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