A variation of BOPIS that allows customers to reserve items online without making a payment and then try them on or examine them in-store before purchasing.
What is Reserve Online, Pick Up In-Store (ROPIS)?
Reserve Online, Pick Up In-Store (ROPIS) is a retail strategy that allows customers to browse and reserve products online through a retailer's website or app and then pick them up in a physical store location. This approach combines the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store pickup, providing customers with a seamless shopping experience. It's particularly beneficial when customers want to ensure the availability of a product before visiting the store or when they want to save time by avoiding traditional in-store shopping and checkout processes.
How ROPIS works
- Online Reservation: Customers browse products on the retailer's website, select the items they want, and choose the "Reserve In-Store" option.
- Product Availability: The system checks the inventory at nearby stores to ensure the selected items are in stock. If available, the customer can proceed.
- Reservation Confirmation: Once the reservation is confirmed, the customer receives a notification containing details such as pickup location, estimated time, and a unique reference code.
- In-Store Pickup: The customer visits the designated store, either at the specified time or within a designated window, and heads to a dedicated pickup area.
- Verification and Collection: The customer presents the reference code or their identification to store staff. Staff members retrieve the reserved items and hand them over to the customer.
- Payment: Payment is usually processed online at the time of reservation or in-store during pickup, depending on the retailer's policy.
- Customer Assistance: Store staff may offer assistance, cross-selling, or upselling opportunities while customers are in the store.
This approach blends online convenience with the ability to see products in person before finalising the purchase, creating a seamless shopping experience that bridges the gap between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail.
Pros of ROPIS
- Enhanced Customer Experience: ROPIS offers customers the convenience of browsing and reserving products online while also having the opportunity to see and touch products before finalising the purchase in-store. This seamless blend of online and offline shopping enhances the overall customer experience.
- Increased Foot Traffic: ROPIS drives customers to physical stores, increasing foot traffic and potentially leading to additional in-store purchases beyond the reserved items. This can help retailers build stronger customer relationships and foster brand loyalty.
- Reduced Cart Abandonment: ROPIS helps reduce cart abandonment rates that often occur in traditional online shopping due to shipping costs, delivery times, or uncertain product quality. Customers are more likely to complete their purchases when they know they can pick up items quickly in-store.
Cons of ROPIS
- Operational Challenges: Implementing ROPIS requires efficient inventory management and coordination between online and physical stores. Maintaining accurate stock levels and ensuring timely availability of reserved items can be complex and challenging.
- Inconsistent Customer Experience: If the customer experience is not seamless, it can lead to frustration. If a reserved item is not available in-store as promised, or if there are delays in preparing the order, it can negatively impact customer satisfaction.
- Cannibalisation of Sales: While ROPIS can increase foot traffic, it might not necessarily result in additional sales beyond the reserved items. Some customers might only use the service to secure a specific item without making additional purchases, leading to potential sales cannibalisation.
Below you will find answers to common questions
How does ROPIS benefit my customers and my business?
ROPIS offers convenience to customers by allowing them to browse and reserve products online before visiting the store. This enhances their shopping experience and increases the likelihood of a purchase. For retailers, ROPIS drives foot traffic to physical stores, giving them an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell products while minimising shipping costs.
How can I ensure a smooth ROPIS implementation without inventory discrepancies?
Implementing ROPIS successfully requires accurate inventory tracking. This involves integrating your online and in-store systems to provide real-time inventory visibility. Regular inventory audits and system updates are crucial to prevent any discrepancies between reserved items and available stock. Clear communication with customers about item availability and potential substitutes can also help manage expectations.