The opportunity for immediacy is one of the greatest advantages that brick-and-mortar retailers have over their e-commerce counterparts. There’s something distinctly pleasurable about leaving a store with a purchase in-hand, without having to worry about shipping delays or other hiccups in the fulfillment process. Increasingly, physical retailers are capitalizing on this value proposition by allowing shoppers to pick up their online purchases in-store.
The “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS) strategy isn’t necessarily new — major retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot have been offering their own versions for years — but it’s picking up steam as consumers continue to shift their spending online. Roughly 61% of retailers with online and physical outposts offer a way for shoppers to pick up their online purchases in-store, and the trickle down effect means more small and mid-size businesses are adopting the technology to make buy online, pick up in-store a reality.
Here are five examples of technology platforms that retailers of all sizes can use to fulfill online orders at their stores.
1. UniteU: Driving traffic to local outposts
An integrated ecommerce platform, UniteU includes a buy online, pickup in-store and ship-to-store option for retailers as part of its omnichannel suite. UniteU takes a store’s location information and real-time product inventory levels, and uses the resulting data to display inventory for nearby locations on a retailer’s website. Retailers can also give shoppers the option to buy online, pickup in-store or reserve online, pickup in-store. If an item is out-of-stock in the shopper’s local store, then the customer can choose the item from the website and have it shipped to his home or the store. UniteU customers include Joes Jeans and Hyde Park.
2. Zapiet: Giving shoppers the option to pay during pickup
Zapiet is a store pickup and delivery solution for brick-and-mortar retailers that use Shopify to power their ecommerce websites. The platform includes a full calendar and time picking functionality for a retailer’s website, including blackout dates, notifications, and the option for customers to pay online or in-store. Retailers can add multiple pickup locations, each with their own pickup times and rules. Zapiet’s platform includes geo-search functionality, so customers can find the closest pickup location when they lookup products on the retailer’s website. Unlike similar apps, Zapiet manages local delivery for retailers, as well.
3. Curbside: Efficient order packing with real-time prioritization
Some retailers want to give customers a way to pickup their online purchases, but they don’t want to deal with changing out their inventory software or building dedicated in-store pickup stations. Curbside handles the logistics of buy online, pickup in-store with a merchant console that runs on smart devices. Store associates fulfill orders as they come in through the merchant console, and they use location-based technology to meet shoppers at their cars as they arrive to pickup their online purchases. Merchants can setup their pickup stations without having to build new kiosks or add dedicated parking stalls.
4. Kibo: Fulfillment across every platform
Kibo works with retailers and branded manufacturers to unify the consumer shopping experience. The commerce platform uses predictive technologies and omnichannel fulfillment models for intelligent order routing, and it powers brick-and-mortar order fulfillment. Kibo serves as a single source of real-time inventory data across all customer touch points, including the retail store, the ecommerce website, and any customer call centers. This ensures that consumers are seeing accurate information when they search for products that are available for immediate pickup at their local stores. Kibo has worked with retailers like Modell’s and Cost Plus World Market.
5. Apex AnyWhere: Self-serve lockers for picking up online purchases
Apex Supply Chain Technologies takes a unique approach to the buy online, pickup in-store phenomenon. The company designed self-serve lockers that retailers and restaurants can use for the pick-up or carry-out of online orders. The self-serve solution, dubbed AnyWhere, is powered by Apex Trajectory Cloud, a business intelligence platform that integrates with a retailer’s existing ERP and mobile shopping systems. Apex Trajectory Cloud serves as the transaction platform. Retailers can place the lockers inside their stores, and customers who’ve purchased items online can skip the line and grab their items from the locker a completely self-serve way.
Know of other buy online, pickup in-store solution for retailers? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.