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What Does “Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store” Mean in Retail?

You’ve probably come across the term “buy online, pickup in-store” (BOPIS), or click and collect, but implementing this order fulfillment method in your retail store might seem daunting.

Fortunately, with Shopify, setting up local pickup is straightforward. In just a few steps, you can offer BOPIS as a delivery option on your ecommerce checkout page.

But before diving in, it’s crucial to understand the operations, best practices, and benefits of BOPIS. This ensures you don’t end up with unhappy click-and-collect customers due to operational issues.

So, let’s explore.

What is BOPIS in retail?

BOPIS is a convenient strategy for retail stores where customers can shop online and collect their orders from a physical store or pickup location once they’re ready.

This approach is particularly beneficial for retailers with both brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce websites. It allows them to offer local pickup as a delivery method at checkout, enhancing the omnichannel retail experience.

💡 Looking for examples of successful BOPIS implementations? Check out retailers like Gym+Coffee and Earl of East, who have launched effective click-and-collect programs.

How does BOPIS/click and collect work?

The BOPIS shopping experience gives customers flexibility in fulfilling their orders. It allows them to make a purchase online and pick it up immediately if they prefer.

Here’s how the BOPIS process typically unfolds:

  • Customers make purchases online: During checkout, customers should be able to select the pickup time and location for their products. Real-time local inventory updates inform customers when and where the products will be available for pickup.
  • Retailers fulfill online orders: There are two scenarios for order fulfillment with BOPIS in retail:
  • If the item is in stock at the local store, the retailer locates, picks, and packs the order, setting it aside for pickup. The customer receives a notification when their order is ready.
  • If the item is not in stock locally, the retailer may order it from another store location or warehouse. Once available, the customer receives a notification to pick up their order.
  • Customers pick up their orders: Pickup may occur in-store or at a designated location, with some retailers offering curbside pickup for added convenience.

Regardless of the pickup method, the process should be clear and seamless, from order confirmation to pickup instructions.

BOPIS is growing: statistics to prove it

BOPIS has gained popularity among consumers, as evidenced by the following statistics:

  • According to our data, 59% of consumers are interested in BOPIS shopping options.
  • Insider Intelligence projects that click-and-collect retail sales will reach $154.3 billion by 2025, indicating sustained growth in this shopping method.

The Advantages of Click and Collect (for You and Your Customers)

Consumers increasingly seek convenience, time-saving options, and cost-effective shopping experiences. Recognizing these preferences, retailers are embracing the benefits of click and collect, integrating this approach to remain competitive in the market.

Research by The National Retail Federation reveals that 83% of consumers prioritize shopping convenience more today than five years ago. Furthermore, 70% of respondents affirm that BOPIS enhances their shopping journey.

For brick-and-mortar retailers, BOPIS offers a strategic advantage in competing with ecommerce giants like Amazon. It serves as a pivotal component in fortifying your omnichannel retail strategy and elevating customer experience.

Now, let’s delve into the advantages click-and-collect provides for retail store owners:

Enhanced Store Traffic and Sales

By encouraging customers to collect their orders in-store, retailers can capitalize on increased foot traffic. Customers visiting to retrieve their orders often engage in additional browsing, leading to impulse purchases. Studies indicate that nearly half of online shoppers end up buying more products when picking up their ecommerce purchases in-store or curbside.

💡 Tip: Implement local pickup in Shopify to offer in-store pickup as a delivery option. This not only reduces last-mile delivery expenses and speeds up local order fulfillment but also drives more visitors to your stores.

Reduced Shipping Costs

Shipping orders directly to customers’ homes incurs significant expenses. With BOPIS, retailers can consolidate shipments to their stores or designated pickup points, minimizing last-mile shipping costs.

Improved Inventory Management

Effective click and collect operations necessitate streamlined inventory management and real-time stock updates. By integrating online and in-store inventory tracking, retailers can fulfill orders from either their stores or distribution centers, based on the most expedient option. This provides greater access to a wider range of inventory and enhances insights into real-time product availability.

Now, let’s explore the benefits for customers:

Elimination of Shipping Costs

BOPIS eliminates shipping fees, enabling customers to save both money and time by collecting their purchases in-store or at designated pickup points.

Expedited Service

For shoppers in need of immediate gratification, BOPIS offers a swift solution. Purchasing online and collecting items within hours is faster than waiting for traditional shipping, aligning with consumers’ desire for instant fulfillment.

Guaranteed Stock Availability

With click and collect, retailers prepare and reserve customers’ orders before sending pickup notifications. This ensures that products are readily available when customers arrive for pickup.

💡 Tip: Utilize Shopify to showcase your store’s in-stock products on Google, enabling shoppers to view pickup availability and boosting store visits and sales.

Efficient Returns and Exchanges

BOPIS facilitates prompt processing of returns or exchanges. Instead of shipping items back, customers can swiftly handle exchanges or returns in-store.

Examples of Retailers Excelling at Click and Collect:

  • Lululemon: Offers a seamless click-and-collect experience with clear pickup instructions on its website.
  • Tokyobike: Utilizes BOPIS to encourage online shoppers to visit its physical store and explore complementary products.
  • Outdoor Voices: Incorporates BOPIS seamlessly into its omnichannel strategy, providing customers with quick and friction-free buying experiences.
  • TC Running: Witnessed a substantial sales uplift by expanding its online store to include BOPIS during the pandemic.
  • Nalata Nalata: Aligns its service with customer expectations by providing flexible pickup or shipping options, enhancing competitiveness in the market.

On our website, customers have the choice of shipping or opting for the in-store pickup option,” Angélique explains. “It enables us to stay competitive in a world where shipping, for instance with Amazon Prime, is often free. BOPIS definitely allows us to compete effectively in that market.”


GAP offers two click-and-collect options:

  • Buy online, pickup curbside
  • Buy online, pickup in-store

GAP’s BOPIS landing page provides detailed step-by-step instructions on how it operates, along with an FAQ section at the bottom.

Four BOPIS Challenges and Solutions to Address Them

While BOPIS is an effective omnichannel retail strategy that can boost sales and enhance customer satisfaction, it comes with its own set of challenges. It’s crucial to ensure that the buy online, pickup in-store model doesn’t result in a frustrating or confusing experience for customers.

According to research from NAPCO, the main challenges stem from retail stores themselves.

  • NAPCO research on BOPIS

Here are some of these challenges in more detail, along with strategies to overcome them:

  • Fulfillment Speed and In-Store Space
  • With the surge in BOPIS orders, it’s essential to manage fulfillment speed and optimize in-store space. Assign specific employees to handle BOPIS orders and designate a dedicated area in your store for order pickups to prevent overcrowding.
  • Inventory Synchronization
  • Poor inventory synchronization between your online and brick-and-mortar stores can lead to issues with BOPIS orders. Ensure seamless inventory management across all locations to avoid disappointing customers with out-of-stock items.

💡 Shopify POS Pro offers robust inventory management features and omnichannel capabilities, simplifying BOPIS and other retail operations.

  • Investment in Setting Up and Managing BOPIS
  • To effectively implement the BOPIS model, allocate resources for order fulfillment, including hiring additional staff if necessary. While this entails financial investment, it ensures a seamless customer experience and prevents disruptions to in-store service.
  • Lack of Customer Awareness of BOPIS
  • Investing in a new sales strategy won’t yield results if customers aren’t aware of it. Increase awareness by launching targeted marketing campaigns across various channels and displaying signage in your store promoting BOPIS.
  • Get Started with BOPIS and Click and Collect

If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer with an ecommerce presence but haven’t yet adopted BOPIS, now is the time to do so. Implementing this omnichannel strategy enhances convenience for customers and has been proven to drive sales.

Getting started with BOPIS is straightforward. Ensure you meet the following prerequisites for a seamless click-and-collect experience:

  • A website or mobile app for online ordering, synced with your in-store POS system (consider starting a free three-day trial of Shopify to build your website)
  • Real-time inventory capabilities to synchronize stock across all locations
  • At least one physical store location

As customers increasingly seek convenience, it’s essential to test and implement new shopping experiences like BOPIS. Leveraging your physical store as a fulfillment hub allows you to compete effectively with ecommerce giants and provide faster product access to your customers.