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The Future of BOPIS and Curbside Pickup

August 16, 2022
 
woman picking up order in store

BOPIS and curbside pickup have come from virtually nowhere to become a mainstay of modern retail fulfillment.

And what might have been seen as a temporary reaction on the part of consumers to pandemic-era conditions has become a routine part of today’s shopping experience.

So how can retailers adapt to the shifting landscape?

What’s the difference between BOPIS and curbside pickup?

Let’s start with some definitions: 

  • BOPIS Stands for Buy Online Pickup In-Store. Customers may be more familiar with click-and-collect as the name for this fulfillment method.
  • Curbside pickup is like BOPIS, only customers don’t have to leave their vehicle: a store associate will bring their order out to them curbside.

The rapid recent growth of BOPIS and curbside pickup can be seen as part of the growing dominance of omnichannel retail and the convergence of the online and offline shopping experiences. 

How have Covid and supply chain constraints affected BOPIS and curbside?

Before the pandemic, BOPIS and curbside barely registered on the dials of many retail brands, with only 4 percent of major retailers offering it. Now the figure is 44 percent

Despite many of the covid-era restrictions being lifted throughout the past year, BOPIS and curbside pickup continue to expand both in terms of customer usage and resources allocated by retailers.

Bloomberg recently noted that supply chains are starting to return to normal as the post-pandemic demand surge weakens. However, there may now be a risk of demand tapering off as consumers return to much loved, but neglected social activities, and services outstrip goods in terms of customer spending. 

While BOPIS and curbside exploded as fulfillment methods over concerns about face-to-face contact during covid, they’ve become integrated into a more general expansion of omnichannel shopping. Customers prize convenience and speed and demand a variety of fulfillment options and visibility into inventory availability and location.

Speed is particularly important: 53% of customer orders are ready within an hour of them being placed, according to a survey conducted By RIS News.  

However, the main supply chain issue for retailers is their limited ability to fill vacant roles. Your customers need the same level of customer service in-store that they would receive online, but this is a challenge for retailers when they’re struggling to hire new staff.

The state of BOPIS and curbside in 2022

Questions over demand and supply chain constraints do not seem to be hampering the expansion of BOPIS and curbside pickup this side of the pandemic. Both continue to expand rapidly despite the relative drop-off in demand for home delivery of goods since the 2020 high.

  • In 2021 the global BOPIS market was worth almost 244 billion USD. This is expected to grow to over 700 billion USD by 2027, according to a new report by Research and Markets. 
  • US consumers will spend almost 96 billion USD on goods with BOPIS fulfillment in 2022.

So what does the future hold?

The things that made BOPIS and curbside popular in the first place will continue to drive its growth into the future. The ability to see a product in-store, the convenience of picking from a range of locations, and bypassing extra shipping costs continue to be major benefits to customers. 

With technical innovations like composable commerce continuing to drive outstanding digital experiences and providing smooth, fast, seamless customer journeys, fulfillment solutions like BOPIS and curbside pickup will continue to play a significant role in online retail for the foreseeable future.

And the benefits to customers are mirrored in benefits to retailers. BOPIS and curbside:

  • Reduces the need to pick up, transport, and process returns as customers can see products before they take them away.
  • Increases Average Order Value as customers often buy additional items in-store.
  • Eliminates the final delivery phase of shipping.

How do retailers succeed in this environment?

To deliver a fast, efficient, and convenient omnichannel service to your customers, you need visibility into your entire inventory – in your stores and warehouses. To keep up with the growth of online orders and in-person fulfillment, retailers need access to tools that remove barriers between online and offline inventory management.

Inventory visibility can be provided in part by an intelligent POS system that integrates with the rest of your inventory management software.

Linking up your inventory in this way gives you a better view of your stock levels, which you can use to leverage your omnichannel strategy — boosting or burying products with high or low inventory levels — when customers search your site.

To succeed with BOPIS and curbside pickup now and in the future, you need to provide outstanding customer service across touchpoints and channels, and adapt to changing customer behavior while maintaining consistency of experience – regardless of where the order is placed or where it is picked up.

Kibo Commerce provides outstanding BOPIS and curbside pickup capabilities. It offers a single view of your entire inventory, order management, POS, and ecommerce services. 

Kibo also provides dedicated BOPIS and curbside services:

Curbside pickup – Go live with curbside pickup in 30 days thanks to lightweight integration requirements and swift deployment. 

Omnichannel fulfillment – Integrate BOPIS into your omnichannel fulfillment operation, and provide outstanding customer experiences while delivering speed, flexibility, and convenience with your fulfillment options.  

Ready to learn more about Kibo Commerce? Schedule a demo with a member of the Kibo team to see how the solution works and can fit into your eCommerce and order management needs.