Is BOPIS degrading the in-store experience?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Retail Doctor’s Blog.
What if all the BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) distraction is really saying the in-store experience isn’t worth your time?
Enter Amazon.com and its two-minute snack pickup for students ordering on their smartphones. Amazon’s pickup lockers are even being put in other businesses.
It’s all part of a plan, I believe, to train us to forego the cash register, like in their Amazon GO prototype in Seattle.
Others are following suite. With Walmart’s Pickup Tower, customers scan a barcode and purchases arrives in about 45 seconds. The message: Leave as quickly as you can.
Recently, I received a question for my Friday Facebook LIVE video asking how part-time employees can connect with customers who are in a hurry and “just need this” to convert the visit into a bigger sale.
We’re seeing a push to click and collect, not browse and experience. That’s part of the transformation of stores into retail products warehouses. If you don’t offer something more inside your store, shoppers may as well skip the trip to your warehouse — uh, store — and buy direct from the manufacturer’s online warehouse. Nike, for one, is doing just that by going hard after direct-to-consumer.
Three steps to avoid turning your store into a warehouse:
- Be the opposite of click and collect: Customers may come in thinking they need just one thing, but an engaging conversation and a variety of products and displays can lead them to buy something else. Younger employees can’t default to what they’ve heard all their lives: “Can I help you?”
- Be the opposite of ask and receive: Shoppers respond to and process what they learned from a trusted human advisor more deeply than from a webpage. Particularly for premium items, employees have to understand they’re helping craft a lifestyle, not selling a hoodie.
- Be the opposite of stack it high and let it fly. Having more product isn’t your competitive edge. Having a crew who are relentlessly trained how to sell will.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Luddite. Yes, digital tools can help, but they should help you make more sales in store — not fewer. Find ways in your store to be more human with technology, not less.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is touting the ease and value of in-store pickup ultimately devaluing the in-store experience? How can discovery, engagement and upselling become part of in-store pickup?