Digital solutions that connect all aspects of the retail experience are now foundational pieces of success in telecom retail. Reserve Online, Pickup In-Store (ROPIS), Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), and Buy Online, Return In-Store (BORIS) are all vital pieces to an effective omnichannel strategy.
E-commerce and m-commerce sales are rising and trends show that they will continue to accelerate. According to a recent Forbes article, by 2024 m-commerce sales will be over $570 billion and represent 53% of total e-commerce sales.
Despite these sky-high numbers, we’re still seeing a rise in in-store trends as well. According to Adobe Analytics — featured in this article—BOPIS retail orders have grown 208% amid the pandemic. And according to JD Power’s recent survey, physical stores still account for 63% of all sales made.
This is all to further demonstrate the importance of maximizing efficiencies in each online and in-store channel to achieve a buy and fulfill anywhere strategy for your customers. This includes non-traditional retailing tools like ROPIS, BOPIS, and BORIS software.
While these terms and acronyms are often thrown around in conversations, there is typically confusion between them. There is even more of a lack of understanding when it comes to how a retailer should go about implementing them. These confusions can become especially complicated when it comes to telecom retail where you have added complexities around corporate websites, corporate stores, and authorized retailer channels.
So, let’s remove the barrier to understanding by breaking down what each of these terms means before digging into how your store can implement them into daily operations.
ROPIS is Reserve Online, Pickup In-Store… which allows customers to visit your website, reserve the item they want, and visit your stores with confidence to purchase their item. In the case of a device, this would allow them to know you have their desired item in stock, but still discuss rate plan options with a sales associate and receive assistance on the actual activation of the device.
BOPIS is Buy Online, Pickup In-Store… which allows customers to visit your website, purchase the item they want, and then visit your stores for quick and convenient curbside or pickup in-store. In the case of a device sale, your customer would have the ability to choose a rate plan and process the sale online before they ever visit the store.
BORIS is Buy Online, Return In-Store… which allows customers to visit your website, purchase the item they want, have it delivered to their home, and if unsatisfied, return that online item in a physical store. This return could even happen at a location the customer has never visited before.
While having items shipped directly to them is convenient and often preferred by customers, having to ship items back to companies isn’t. This is why a “return-to-store” process is an important piece of the omnichannel puzzle to achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Now that we’ve level set on the terminology, how do you go about implementing these strategies in telecom retail?
Start by Showing Availability Online
Everything starts by simply making your inventory available online. This is done by integrating your inventory management system with your website. If you’re a carrier with an authorized retail channel, you will want to consider integrating into the authorized retailers’ retail management system as well. This will ensure you’re showcasing all inventory across your entire authorized retail and corporate channel for a unified customer experience.
Next, Enable Customers to Reserve a Device
This takes next-level inventory availability and management to ensure customers can reserve a device with it actually being in stock. This is a great option if you’re not quite ready to get into the complexities of how individual stores handle rate plans but want to enable customers the peace of mind that their device will be waiting for them when they visit the store. All of this is possible by integrating the website into the retail management and point-of-sale system. That way, the item is held and the customer is notified when it’s ready for pickup.
Then, Move to Allow Sales in All Points of Presence
This step goes beyond the customer reserving an item and moves into the facilitation of the entire purchase of an item online — including choosing the rate plan for the device. Added integration with the website and the retail management and point-of-sale system gives customers access to rate plans and payment processing.
At iQmetrix, we’ve seen a 400% increase in BOPIS sales and a 422% increase in BOPIS orders year over year. Learn more.
Lastly, Remove Barriers Preventing Return Anywhere
According to a recent Deloitte report on last-mile delivery in electronics and telecom, telecom has some of the worst return policies. But by improving the policies and processes, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Integration into other areas of your business, including customer management, inventory, and retail management systems, enables this to happen and creates a return anywhere with every brand presence your company has.
At iQmetrix, we’ve evolved our technologies to respond to the rapid change in the telecom industry which includes enabling ‘anywhere’ purchase processes. Our solutions are helping carriers and retailers increase operational efficiencies, achieve omnichannel, and set themselves up for the future of buy and fulfill anywhere.
BOPIS is a part of the award-winning omnichannel suite from iQmetrix. See why this software was chosen as Business App of the Year in the 2020 Mobile Breakthrough Awards.