3 reasons why manufacturers and distributors should embrace BOPIS

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 29 Apr 2019

Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) model has been around for a long time and has been successfully applied by Amazon, Walmart and other leading retailers around the world. With advances in seamless omnichannel technologies and changing consumer preferences, many manufacturers and distributors are building their e-commerce capabilities to integrate BOPIS model into their business operations.

In this blog, we will focus on the benefits of BOPIS model for both light and heavy equipment manufacturing industry. In the past few years, auto parts, building materials, electrical/electronic components and other heavy equipment manufacturers and suppliers are responding to the multi-pronged strategy by embracing e-commerce while expanding their retail footprint and distribution hubs. 

What is BOPIS?

BOPIS is a retail strategy where consumers can take advantage of both online and in-person retail services while allowing manufacturers, retailers and dealers to capitalize on online sales at physical stores.

According to research from JDA, consumer use of BOPIS has increased 44% in the past few years.

A study from Zebra Technologies shows that 86% of retailers agree that BOPIS model will soon become the “default delivery method” and 93%  are expecting to apply the model within the next few years if they haven’t already. 

Can BOPIS model be a win-win for the heavy equipment manufacturing industry and consumers?

Absolutely, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the OEM, aftermarket parts, building, and other traditional heavy equipment manufacturers and suppliers lately. BOPIS as a model is being embraced to differentiate from aspiring competitors, including the likes of Amazon and Walmart. 

Better customer experiences and improved revenues

Large auto parts retailers such as AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Advance Auto Parts are expanding their retail footprint to turn stores into Omnichannel Fulfillment Hubs. For eg, Autozone runs over 6000 stores today and their BOPIS sales outperformed ship-to-home sales in 2017. 

BOPIS model drives foot traffic to their physical locations. It gives sales partners to engage better with the customer and sell more products to increase the value of the initial purchase. As many as 75% of BOPIS users make unplanned purchases within the store – says Agilence, a leading data analytics and reporting company

Moreover, by providing seamless online and in-store experiences, consumers get the convenience to shop online and visit the pick-up location to check their products to eliminate dealing with the hassle of returns. 

Cost Savings to both shoppers and sellers

In addition to convenience, the cost is also a driving factor for shoppers to choose the BOPIS model. Recent NRF study finds that free shipping for online orders is a high priority for US consumers and they are willing to pick up their order to avoid delivery charges. Shipping costs also impact decision making even before checkout. Over 70% in the NRF study tried BOPIS in order to eliminate shipping costs.

For sellers, the ability to ship directly to stores or regional distribution centres will help them save logistical costs of home delivery and potential returns. 

Improved Supply Chains

In addition to expanding the retail footprint and turning them into distribution hubs, manufacturers and suppliers need to focus on delivering better service, optimize inventories and create strategic supply chains to facilitate quick and reliable deliveries. By transforming your supply chain to effective omnichannel fulfilment, BOPIS helps organizations to manage their inventory better by providing a unified view of the inventory across stores, regional distribution centres and mega distribution hubs. For example, if a specific product isn’t selling well in one outlet, the stocks can be redistributed and sold at another outlet which increases cash flow. 

Implementing a successful BOPIS model requires restructuring the whole supply network in order to integrate both online and in-store experiences. Additionally, transforming online stores to facilitate product search and online inventory visibility will go a long way in making manufacturers and supplier’s digital sales successful

Ameex Technologies has helped leading organizations in the light and heavy equipment manufacturing industry transform their omnichannel operations.