Using Omnichannel as a Solution During COVID-19: BOPIS
Businesses Turn to Omnichannel
As social-distancing sweeps the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses face economic backlash. Both nonessential and essential businesses have been forced to alter their strategies, with many turning to omnichannel to keep their businesses afloat. With nonessential businesses forced to close their doors to the public and essential businesses suffering due to safety concerns, merchants are increasingly offering consumers the option to buy online and pickup in store, as a way to stay in business, keep associates employed, and limit human interaction.
BOPIS as a Solution
BOPIS and curbside pickup has increased by 62% in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing guidelines enforced in cities across the nation, what shoppers used to consider a perk is now a necessity for consumers and merchants alike. By implementing BOPIS and curbside pick up retail stores can continue to employ their staff and customers can continue to shop without risking their health.
Some retailers have completely closed their stores, relying solely on curbside pickup during this time. Merchants feel this is a safe alternative to in-store shopping, as it minimizes the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Similarly, many essential businesses who have typically relied on in-store shoppers are turning to BOPIS and curbside pickup as a way to minimize human interaction and create a safe environment for their customers. While most of these essential stores are still open to the public, they are seeing a surge in e-commerce orders as customers have an increased concern for their health and the health of others. Business Insider Intelligence predicts that 43 percent of American consumers will have used online grocery services by the end of June 2020.
Retailers Stay Flexible
Both BOPIS and curbside pickup options have been implemented by merchants across the country, including high end jewelry retailer Kendra Scott and Michael’s craft store. Texas based jeweler Kendra Scott invested in an order management system last year, which allowed for an easy rollout of BOPIS and curbside pickup to it’s stores, and prevented associates from being furloughed. Michael’s craft store experienced a “significant uptrend” in its online sales, for delivery and for BOPIS, said CEO Mark Cosby. The store also launched curbside pickup this month.
What to expect following COVID-19
These omnichannel solutions won’t fade away once the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Because omnichannel solutions like BOPIS allow for easier shopping experiences (and therefore lead to higher conversion rates), it’s likely that merchants testing BOPIS during this time, will adopt the strategy long term.
Additionally, Brendan Witcher, principal analyst at Forrester Research, predicts that a lot of customers currently using BOPIS will appreciate the convenience of the option and seek it out in the future.
Magento’s Omnichannel Capabilities
Magento Order Management System allows businesses to bridge the gap between their online and physical worlds. When businesses connect their site, retail stores, and warehouses with Magento Order Management they make the shopping experience seamless by allowing customers to shop, buy, and ship their purchases in a multitude of ways. Magento order management makes complex fulfilment needs such as BOPIS and curbside pickup more manageable. Check out how we helped implement Magento Order Management for our client, Rural King.
Furthermore, Magento also has advanced inventory management capabilities, most notably Magento MSI. Magento’s Multi-Source Inventory (MSI) is designed for merchants with multiple inventory locations and sales channels, and allows them to manage these sources from the Magento 2 admin panel, without the need for a third-party extension. Magento MSI allows merchants to track inventory quantities across multiple locations or sources, ensuring that all virtual and on-hand products are accurately accounted for across multiple channels. MSI is flexible, with capabilities to support multiple warehouses, complex shipping networks, stores, drop shippers, and distribution centers.
Creatuity Can Help
In order for businesses to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic, omnichannel strategies such as BOPIS and curbside pickup must be implemented. These solutions allow merchants to provide their customers with the smoothest path to purchase, thus increasing conversion rates. If you’re a business owner looking for a solution during this time or wanting to optimize your business strategy, consider omnichannel commerce.
Interested in learning more about omnichannel commerce? Talk to our team of Magento experts today to see how we can help elevate your business.