What’s Better Than BOPIS? The Answer May Surprise You.


Logistics innovations

Our previous blog post explored seven reasons retailers need to embrace BOPIS as we return to normal and the pandemic subsides. In addition, research published in the Harvard Business Review provided sound evidence that buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) solutions give retailers an edge.

The seven key reasons include:

  1. Reduced delivery charges.
  2. Easy, no-cost returns for customers.
  3. Eliminates wasted trips to the store.
  4. Retailers can capture secondary sales.
  5. No product (damage) risk to consumers.
  6. BOPIS takes business away from competitors.
  7. Retailers gain an additional marketing channel.

Given the strong case for offering a BOPIS solution, retailers considering implementing or improving their solution need to consider the most cost-effective, efficient, and customer-centric options.

As the reality of the 2020 pandemic set in, companies scrambled to put in place a patchwork of BOPIS solutions. Early on, the two most common solutions included curbside pickup and in-store pickup. A few companies even created elaborate kiosks, carousels, and racking systems. However, as retailers look back and evaluate the success (or lack thereof) of their BOPIS solution, four challenges have become apparent:

  1. Labor market constraints in hiring retail service personnel.
  2. Labor costs for curbside pickup outweighed the benefits of BOPIS.
  3. Retailers unable to leverage BOPIS solutions to drive secondary sales.
  4. In-store BOPIS solutions resulted in customers waiting to pick up orders.

One very appealing solution that began to emerge in the latter half of 2020 was using Smart Parcel Lockers. Adopted initially by innovative and agile retailers, Smart Parcel Locker systems offer a way to automate the deposit, storage, and distribution of customer orders. All for a substantially lower cost compared to curbside or in-store pickup solutions.

The attraction of lower costs is only part of the story. By implementing the right Smart Parcel Locker solution, retailers and customers reap a variety of mutual benefits, including:

  • Security – Smart Parcel Lockers are very secure. Customers will know their order will be in the same condition the retailer intended, avoiding the potential of becoming damaged during a traditional package delivery via a common carrier.
  • 24/7 Access – Smart Parcel Lockers located outdoors or in “always accessible” locations allow customers to pick up orders or make returns on their own time.
  • Facilitate Returns – The ability to return items quickly increases customer loyalty and average spending. Smart Parcel Lockers can accept returns 24/7 for online or in-store purchases, simplifying customers’ return process.
  • Efficient Back Office – Smart Parcel Lockers integrate with back-office retail systems, allowing the drop-off process of orders to be automated. The result is that retailers gain the ability to deposit orders in bulk, reducing labor costs while maximizing customer adoption.
  • Quick & Easy Pickups – Facilitating pickups at Smart Parcel Lockers is accomplished with a quick scan or code entry. The technology allows customers to retrieve their goods in just a few seconds.
  • Customers Love Smart Lockers – After receiving over 20,000 feedback responses with an approval rating of over 99.3%, we know customers appreciate the ease of use, accessibility, and efficiency Smart Parcel Lockers offer.

The deployment of innovative technology continues to be a critical strategic imperative for companies wanting to compete and thrive soon and beyond. With retailers facing mounting competition from every angle, they need to constantly evolve to meet the changing and increasingly high demands from their customers. Smart Parcel Locker systems address today’s consumer demands by providing more flexibility in where and how they shop.

What started as buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) just over one year ago is already evolving through technology into “BOPIL” – buy online, pickup in locker and BORIL” – buy online, return in locker.

To learn more about how your organization can maximize smart lockers to reduce cost, increase revenue, and delight your customers, contact the ParcelPort team online by visiting www.theParcelPort.com, email at sales@theParcelPort.com or calling 1-800-818-0870.