How retailers can tap the benefits of BOPIS

Whether you refer to it as buy online pick up instore (BOPIS) or click and collect, the ability to order a product online then pick it up instore has become a mainstay of the modern retail environment.

But with BOPIS now commonplace across the retail landscape, there is infrastructure and technology required to ensure the process is convenient for the customer and efficient for the retailer.

So, let’s look at some of the tools required and what’s involved.

benefits of bopis, online orders
February 01, 2022

The rise and rise of BOPIS

According to a recent report by ShipStation, BOPIS has enjoyed widespread adoption by consumers, with customers now seeing the service as a necessity that offers retail convenience.

Their US data indicates 62 per cent of consumers now expect retailers to offer curbside pickup, and 71 per cent expect BOPIS to be permanently available.

Driving this adoption is the convenience the service offers, along with social distancing and safety concerns brought about by a global pandemic.

The same ShipStation survey notes over two thirds of respondents have used curbside (69 per cent) and BOPIS (57 per cent) since the start of the pandemic.

In addition, more than four in 10 respondents will be less likely to shop with retailers that do not offer BOPIS (44 per cent) or curbside pickup (43 per cent) options indefinitely.

Meanwhile, a recent report by Agilence found offering BOPIS can increase sales revenue by up to $40 per purchase.

For retailers, this makes the benefits of BOPIS clear, both in terms of the customer experience and revenue, but implementing effective BOPIS systems requires infrastructure and resources.


The retail challenge of BOPIS

Delivering an effective BOPIS service requires the retailer to unite the online retail environment with a real-world experience.

the retail challenge of bopis

And that can result in a range of challenges that need to be overcome to get the experience right.

As Agilence explains, these challenges can be broken down into three key areas: location, labour and technology.


When retailers initially began offering BOPIS, the pick-up location was often located instore, requiring the consumer to walk through the retail outlet to obtain their order.

That shifted quickly during the pandemic when contactless and curbside pickup became the collection method of choice.

The challenge for retailers then became offering a suitable location onsite where customers could effortlessly obtain their order without walking into the store.

This location also needs the ability to scale up and down as required in order to meet the shopping demands of consumers at various times of the day and year.


Retail staff are at the heart of the BOPIS experience – receiving orders, collecting them, reconciling them, and ensuring they are ready for pickup at the desired time.

As Agilence explains: “Store management must make BOPIS fulfillment and pick-up a priority and train staff to serve both BOPIS and in-store shoppers”.

“Excuses like ‘I couldn’t find your order’, or ‘The website had the wrong price’, won’t serve the customer who is giving BOPIS a try for the first time and will certainly test the loyalty of long-term customers,” they note.

In addition, customers have little patience when it comes to ordering a product, which is then out of stock.

Retailers either need to look to their inventory management, or come up with a policy that ensures the customer gets exactly what they expect, or something similar.



While location and labour might be challenges, technology is the tool that facilitates a frictionless BOPIS experience.

technology for bopis

This technology is evident throughout the BOPIS pipeline – from the retailer’s website to its eCommerce platform, flexible mPOS, and tools used instore to assist staff pick then dispatch each BOPIS order.


The retailer’s website is the first stage of the customer’s journey when they seek to use BOPIS. The site should be mobile-first, easy to navigate, feature real-time inventory and effortlessly lead the consumer to a frictionless purchase.


A state-of-the-art checkout experience is essential to BOPIS. Customers need to be able to pay using the payment method of their choice in the knowledge it is simple and secure.

And this security is critical. Agilence notes as convenient as BOPIS is, the percentage of fraudulent purchases is above average, with retailers indicating a loss of 3 per cent to 5 per cent, with some losses as high as 10 per cent or more.

They note the top reasons retailers may be prone to loss include the following:

  • Use of a “guest” ID.
  • Use of a fraudulent ID of the person picking up the item.
  • Use of a stolen credit card
  • No shipping address (since it is an in-store pickup)
  • Limited online shopping behaviour (immediate purchase without spending time searching reviews or comparing prices)
  • Purchase of high-ticket items
  • Employees who enter several pickup ID’s, the same credit card, for pickup at multiple store locations
  • “Synthetic ID’s” – a combination of multiple shoppers’ emails, addresses, and phone numbers

The best way retailers can combat this threat is through robust payment verification systems and attention to existing store procedures such as returns policies.

Flexible mPOS

Mobile Point of Sale is also critical to the BOPIS experience. This POS allows online and in-store purchases to be recorded and offer instant insight into inventory availability.

flexible mobile point of sale

It also facilitates a better experience for customers shopping in-store.

Inventory management

On that note, effective inventory management is a must for retailers looking to span both the online and real world.

Best practice inventory management includes a mobile Point of Sale that is enhanced by up-to-the-minute inventory counting, as provided by tools like RFID.

Meanwhile, many retailers are arming their staff with tools to facilitate the BOPIS process, including handheld tablets that allow them to gain insight into stock availability, see orders as they come in, find the product location, and check orders off as they pack them for pickup.


The final word

BOPIS is no longer the domain of the major retail players, with consumers expecting this service wherever and whenever they shop.

For retailers, it offers the opportunity to provide an exceptional customer experience while bridging the gap between online and in-store.

But getting it right is imperative. Customers have little patience for a cumbersome experience that proves hard to navigate or does not result in them receiving what they want.

For more insight into the trends emerging in retail, see here. Or view our range of tools available to assist the BOPIS experience including mPOS, inventory management and more.