Let’s start with the most obvious question: what are BOPIS and BORIS?
BOPIS and BORIS stand for buy online pick up in-store and buy online return in-store. In a world where the line between our digital lives and our physical lives is becoming increasingly blurred, BOPIS and BORIS allow retailers to utilise the best aspects of both their online and physical presence.
The battle for customers in retail is often fought over customer experience, and BOPIS and BORIS capabilities can play a big part in this. While they might seem easy to implement, there are challenges to successfully offering BOPIS and BORIS, but as always, technology can help with this.
People love shopping online. In 2011, eCommerce sales represented less than 5% of all sales in the US, but by the beginning of 2020, that number had jumped to around 12%. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, this number has skyrocketed to well over 15%.
We like shopping online, and in almost every situation, it’s convenient.
However, despite the benefits, there are some clear drawbacks to shopping online versus shopping in-store. The main one is the fact that when you pay your money, you don’t get to walk away with your product. Instead, you’re relying on the shipping company to get your product to you.
Not only do you have to pay for this privilege, but it can also be a bit of a game of roulette. You never know quite what you’re going to get with shipping, and this can often lead to a lot of disappointment, and worse, extra hassle.
So what if you could allow people all the benefits of online shopping - being able to see the entire catalogue at your fingertips, never having to wait in line, and not having to leave the house, but with the ability to pick up your product at the moment of your choosing?
This would make online shopping much more convenient for a lot of people, and that’s exactly what BOPIS does.
Automated Lockers for BOPIS
BOPIS is only convenient for people if it offers the same benefits that led people to shop online in the first place. Standing in line, fighting through crowds, and having to come in at an inconvenient time are things people want to avoid, so your BOPIS needs to be flexible.
Automated lockers put the finishing touches to your BOPIS offering because they allow consumers to pick up their orders at any time with absolutely no waiting around.
All your customers need to do is turn up at the lockers, which can be placed indoors or outdoors, with their QR code, and they can grab their items and go. They don’t have to go into the store, and they don’t have to wait in line to speak to a customer representative.
BOPIS only works if it’s more convenient than a normal return and this is what automated lockers ensure.
The benefits of automated lockers for BOPIS don’t stop at customer experience though; they can also make your business more efficient.
If you’ve got lots of people picking up in-store, then this can turn into a full-time job for multiple employees. You’ve got to check the confirmation, pick the order, and give it to the customer, all while they wait.
However, when you’ve got automated lockers, all you need is for someone to pick the orders for the day in the morning, and fill the lockers. The interactive display will take care of everything else, meaning your employees are free to take care of other important duties.
Your automated lockers can be managed remotely, ensuring complete security, boosting the efficiency of your BOPIS process, and most importantly, making it more convenient for your customers.
Returns are a huge part of eCommerce.
When you buy something in-store, you can feel it in your hands, see it with your own eyes, and try it on. When you’re buying online, you don’t have this luxury, so you’re relying on the returns policy if things don’t work out.
There’s much more doubt in people’s minds when they make an online purchase, but these doubts are allayed through the knowledge that they can easily return their items if they choose to.
When it comes to getting their money back, people want to know that their package gets to where it needs to go, and one of the best ways for them to do this is to drop it off at the physical store - buy online, return in-store.
Automated Lockers for BORIS
While this ability to return products is a key part of making online sales, it also presents challenges for your business.
First of all, to maximise the value prospect of returns, you need to make them as convenient as possible. While many people will be comfortable returning their items to the local Post Office, there will be others for whom it’s much simpler to stop by the store and drop the package off in person.
Again though, this puts an extra strain on your resources because employees have to be there to deal with returns and sort them - except, they don’t when you have automated lockers. All people have to do is access the QR code which can be sent out through an automated email, and a locker opens for them to put their return in.
At the end of the day, a member of staff comes around and empties the lockers, sorting the returns and processing them ready to be resold. This process couldn’t be simpler for your customers and it’s one less thing your employees have to worry about.
Shipping and returns are an essential part of eCommerce sales. The more options you can give your customers in this area, the less reason you give people to abandon their cart or choose to shop somewhere else.
BOPIS and BORIS can play a big part in this offering, giving customers greater flexibility and eliminating some doubts they might have about buying your products. Shopping online is great, but it does have it’s limitations, however, BOPIS and BORIS can help you to overcome those limitations and improve your customer offering.
As with anything you offer your customers though, BOPIS and BORIS have to work for you, and you need to find ways of making them efficient processes. One way you can immediately achieve this is through automated lockers that make life easier for you, your employees, and your customers.
At Meridian Digital Solutions, we specialise in creating bespoke automated lockers for our clients, so why not get in contact and find out how we can take your BOPIS and BORIS to the next level?