True story: Winter arrived early this year in Minneapolis, and somehow, there was not a shovel to be found anywhere at our house. I bought one online and reserved it for pickup in store and headed out to retrieve my merchandise because we were shin deep in snow and there was more coming.
Upon arrival the associate couldn’t find the item. I waited 10 minutes before returning my online purchase and picking another shovel off the shelf. I was empathetic to the retailer because I know what it takes to get buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) right. But I am not like most consumers who will either never shop with a retailer again (13%) or at minimum look for an alternative retailer (50%) when promises for delivery (or in this case pickup) go unmet.
According to Auburn University RFID labs, the average inventory accuracy for US retailers is 65% – with figures estimated to be similar in the UK. This means that retailers have no ability to see or act upon over 30% of their inventory. BOPIS traffic surged 73% (from Thursday to Friday) on Black Friday weekend in 2018. In 2019, Black Friday sales for buy-online-pickup-in-store outperformed non-BOPIS by 64%. What retailer can afford the risk of missing out on nearly 30% of those sales? I don’t know one.
Store Inventory Operations Cloud Service (SIOCS), is critical to an effective BOPIS strategy. SIOCS is designed to scale to SKU/store volumes that many large format stores struggle with and is functionally rich enough to cover store-level “front-end” supply chain activities to maintain accurate store inventory.
In the run-up to Black Friday, Boxing Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and all the celebrations that take place during peak trading, retailers can bet on an increase in BOPIS traffic. If you’re not already thinking about how your store is the first point of entry to your supply chain, or you don’t have the requisite technology and processes to support this shift, come see us at NRF2020.