Do you know why your customers choose to abandon their online shopping carts?
All online retailers must deal with cart abandonment. There are many reasons why a browsing customer decides not to buy once they’re in the checkout process. Merchants should always be looking for ways to increase purchases and lower cart abandonment rates among their shoppers.
One way to increase online purchases is to offer more fulfillment options at check out. In this article, see why customers demand multiple fulfillment options and how you can provide them.
Cross-Channel Shoppers Want Multiple Fulfillment Options Online
66% of consumers say that providing multiple fulfillment options influences their willingness to complete their purchase.
Besides being able to ship items to their home, customers also want more fulfillment options like pick up in store. If you can provide the option, you might influence more customers to complete their purchase.
Take a look at Home Depot, a leader in merging their offline and online shopping experiences for customers. Not only do they offer buy online, pick up in-store, but they also display inventory by location and even let customers shop inventory by their chosen store location.
If you were there customer, wouldn’t this extra inventory and store pick up detail give you the confidence to buy now?
Offering Customers Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store
Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) is more than just a trend. Almost 2 in 3 people have used this fulfillment option. Customers want this option for a few reasons:
- Avoid shipping fees
However, being able to offer BOPIS for customers is a complex process for merchants. There’s a lot you must figure out before being able to offer this service. Despite its complexity though, many merchants are adding BOPIS services.
By 2021, 90% of retailers will offer BOPIS, according to Retail TouchPoints.
If you don’t consider offering multiple fulfillment options now, you could be left behind by your competition.
To get you started, we’ll take a look at what capabilities you need to offer buy online, pick up in-store for your cross-channel customers.
Getting Ready for Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store Services
Offering multiple fulfillment options can drive efficiencies and make for a better customer experience. However, this service does complicate your fulfillment operations.
If you choose to fulfill web orders out of your brick-and-mortar stores, you must develop processes for store associates to receive online orders, pick and pack those items, and notify customers when their orders are ready for pick up. Making changes in your operations to do just that will affect labor, store operations, inventory management, and accounting (when dealing with refunds and returns).
Think of the process that must happen for an online customer to place an order to be picked up in-store.
- Merchant displays inventory availability online by individual store location
- Customer finds and selects product online
- Customer selects in-store inventory option for fulfillment and pays for item
- System alerts store associate of new order
- Store associate picks item for customer
- Store associate alerts customer that order is ready for pick-up
- Customer picks up order
- Store associate marks order as fulfilled
That’s a lot of steps with multiple points where inventory, order, item, and customer data must be shared across your eCommerce, POS, ERP and/or order management systems.
Using Integration to Provide Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store
Merchants must implement new technology to support back-end processes for buy online, pick up in-store operations to create a smooth process for customers. Through integration of your eCommerce platform and order management system (ERP, POS or OMS), you can:
- Sync your store inventory with your website so you can display accurate inventory levels online
- Sync individual store inventory across all your stores
- Communicate your web and store sales across both channels
- Split online orders and fulfill each line item by a different fulfillment location (i.e., your store)
There’s a lot of moving parts to make BOPIS happen. Your online and offline systems must be able to communicate inventory by location, order status, item data, and customer information, which is also no easy task. The best way to guarantee the movement of accurate and timely data between systems is through real-time data automation. That’s why many merchants turn to integration providers to automate transactions between their endpoint systems (eCommerce, ERP, POS, etc).
Through integration, merchants can start building out the multichannel selling capabilities you need to compete for today’s fickle shoppers.
If you aren’t sure if you’re ready for integration yet, check out our top 10 signs that you need multichannel integration.