STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 64

n

POV

The Next Step For BOPIS:
Automated, Self-serve Order Pickup
by KENT SAVAGE
Kent Savage is CEO for Apex

A

s ecommerce retail and mobile ordering
technology continues to disrupt the
traditional retail landscape, we are seeing
an impressive, industry-wide response
from bricks-and-mortar retailers. The
rapidly evolving shopping experience is
clearly becoming more convenient for the
consumer and the retailer - particularly
when it comes to click-and-collect/BOPIS
(buy online, pick up in store) services.
Armed with the latest technology and an
operational focus, retailers are flipping their
bricks-and-mortar presence into a hybrid
convenience by marrying the convenience of
digital ordering with automated, self-serve
pickup. Stores are becoming more flexible
than ever before by addressing consumers' passion for more
options in how they buy, pickup and return their purchases.
CUSTOMER-FOCUSED COLLABORATION PAYS OFF
Over the past year, a range of services were announced, tested
or rolled out across North American retail.
Larger retailers like Walmart and Target rolled out an array of
new order fulfillment options to ensure customers can order,
pay for and receive what they want, when and where they want
it. Capital expenditures are being invested by each brand to
physically integrate these convenience-focused services into their
store designs.
The pace of innovation isn't any slower for other retailers.
Regardless of category, most retailers are testing individual
services - grocery in particular. We're seeing everything from
BOPIS and BOSS (buy online, ship to store) to curbside pickup and
home delivery being tested to make purchase collection more
convenient. Collectively, these efforts are intended to counter the
impact of pure-play e-tailers like Amazon.
The big competitive advantage bricks-and-mortar retailers are
finding is that by offering self-serve pickup inside and outside
their stores, they can offer a better, faster and more convenient
experience than ecommerce merchants can provide. And each
one of these efforts have surely required an unprecedented level
of collaboration to create a seamless, unified shopping experience
across mobile, online, in-store and operations.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IS KEY
On the heels of this industry-wide "heavy up" on convenience,
retailers should now focus on making these services as simple
and lightweight as possible. Put differently, if 2017 was the year

64

STORES January 2018

of convenience in retail, perhaps in 2018 the
focus is expanding to automated self-serve
fulfillment.
Two words, borrowed from the
manufacturing world, explain how leading
retailers are already focused on what's next
- continuous improvement. Forward-looking
retailers understand improvements may be
incremental or breakthrough. Efficient order
fulfillment and quick, easy order pickup are no
longer options. There is no doubt that they are
necessary for retailers' survival.
A focus on fulfillment, shifting from the last
mile to making the last few inches as convenient
as possible - the physical hand-off between
retailer and customer - is where we're seeing
the next wave of innovation. The speed and simplicity of the online
ordering experience has raised customer expectations. These
expectations have been extended to order pickup.
Shipping options (standard, two-day, overnight, etc.) are no
longer a competitive advantage. Customers are willing to pick up
in store to get purchases more quickly while avoiding shipping
costs. Using self-serve automation, lines are eliminated and staff is
needed to provide customers assistance with pickup and returns.
By driving online purchases in-store, it's proven that retailers
increase foot traffic and in-store purchases. Customers spend
seconds, not minutes, getting their purchases and returning
unwanted goods. And all of these transaction details are tracked to
help improve the efficiency of a retailer's fulfillment operations.
For example, Kohl's introduced click-and-collect in 2014 and
today offers it at all 1,100-plus stores. Now the department store
is evolving and enhancing this program. Kohl's is using self-serve
automation to make in-store pickup and returns more convenient
for their customers, their stores and their store associates.
BEYOND BOPIS TO FULFILLMENT
For retailers still considering the best path to adding these
programs, they should use continuous improvement to their
advantage. Launching a project today means it can be improved
upon tomorrow - made more efficient based on what's been
learned through the implementation process.
By reimagining their stores as both merchandising and
streamlined, cost-efficient order fulfillment centers, retailers can
optimize the customer experience and effectively compete with
online retailers. This is certain to benefit the customer and the
retailer today and into the future.
STORES.ORG


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - January 2018

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
TRENDS
Retail People
Disruption Is the New Normal in Retail
20 Ideas Worth Stealing
Drug Store Cowboy
C2W
TECHNOLOGY
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
OMNICHANNEL
AI
MARKETING
FINANCE
BUSINESS OPERATIONS
STARTUP SPOTLIGHT
SECURITY
HUMAN RESOURCES
POV
Communities
End Cap
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - intro
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover1
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover2
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 3
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 4
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 5
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 7
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 9
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 10
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 11
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - NRF News
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - TRENDS
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 15
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 16
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 17
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 18
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 19
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Retail People
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 21
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Disruption Is the New Normal in Retail
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 23
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 24
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 25
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 20 Ideas Worth Stealing
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 27
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 28
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 29
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 30
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 31
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 32
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 33
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 34
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 35
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Drug Store Cowboy
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 37
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 38
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 39
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - C2W
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - TECHNOLOGY
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 42
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 43
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 45
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - OMNICHANNEL
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 47
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - AI
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 49
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - MARKETING
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 51
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - FINANCE
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 53
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - BUSINESS OPERATIONS
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 55
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - STARTUP SPOTLIGHT
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 57
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - SECURITY
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 59
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 60
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - HUMAN RESOURCES
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 62
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 63
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - POV
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Communities
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - End Cap
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover3
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover4
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