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What is BOPIS? Buy online, pick up in store.

Across industries, consumers now expect omnichannel shopping options. This goes beyond wanting the ability to shop in-store and online; customers increasingly want hybrid options that incorporate both. In new research from PYMNTS, 87% of consumers said they use digital features to search and pay for purchases, even when shopping in person. The same study also found that, compared with 2021, 26% more consumers opted for a particular hybrid shopping trend in 2022: BOPIS.

What is BOPIS?

BOPIS stands for “buy online, pick up in store,” and it’s sometimes called “click and collect.” It’s a popular shopping option for customers who like the e-commerce experience of browsing products online and making a purchase through a website or app but want to get their items faster without paying for delivery. If they don’t mind making a trip to the closest store in person, they can have their order in hand that same day, often at no extra cost.

How BOPIS works

Any store that offers BOPIS operations will need to consider how best to handle several main stages of the process. These break down into the following steps:

1. The online purchase

Each BOPIS order starts with the customer making an online purchase. At this stage, there are a several important factors involved:

  • The checkout process. A customer may check out from one of multiple channels, such as your website, your app, or a third-party delivery platform like Uber Eats. On each channel, you want to enable an intuitive, convenient checkout experience that makes it easy for customers to choose their preferred fulfillment method.

  • Location options. Your online channels should ideally match the customer with the closest locations where their items are available. That may include nearby stores, warehouses, or other pickup points like smart lockers.

  • Inventory check. To provide a good customer experience, you’ll want to use technology that helps provide up-to-date inventory information to customers across all your online channels. A tech stack that includes inventory management software, especially one that integrates with all your online channels, can help with this.

2. The order pickup

Once the order comes through, you want to make sure the pickup goes smoothly. To do that, consider the best process and options for:

  • Double-checking inventory. Make sure you have the items the customer ordered in stock at the location they selected so you can proactively contact them to arrange a substitution or cancellation if needed.

  • Communicating in real time. Determine how best to reach customers if an item is out of stock and how to enable seamless customer support at the pickup location should they have a question or concern.

  • Packaging the order. Determine the best way for staff to manage pickup orders so it doesn’t complicate other workstreams. That may include clarifying a process for when and how to prioritize BOPIS orders or having staff members dedicated to preparing pickup orders (if the BOPIS order volume is high enough).

  • Creating a designated pickup spot. Determine and communicate where customers can get their BOPIS orders. This may be a dedicated section of the checkout area or a curbside option (where a staff member brings it out to their car).

3. Return options

Many customers will value having flexible, omnichannel return options as well. Consider providing different ways for customers to handle returns, such as the 2 below.

  • In-store returns. Make it easy for customers to bring items back to the store (or another location) for returns. This option has the benefit of making exchanges or replacement purchases just as easy for them (so you still get a sale from the process).

  • Package returns. Offer customers the option to use a label you provide for the carrier of your choice. If you’re working with a third-party delivery platform, they may offer a white-label solution that will help manage picking up customer packages and delivering them back to your warehouse, store of choice, or post office.

The advantages of BOPIS

Offering BOPIS as an option is beneficial for customers and businesses. If you’re on the fence about enabling BOPIS for customers, consider some smart reasons for making it a priority, including these:

Improves the customer experience

Shoppers like BOPIS. It allows them to get their orders on their own terms and skip the cost of delivery. Plus, it gives them the chance to confirm in person that they like the items, reducing the likelihood of having to deal with a return. In an NRF survey, more than 90% of consumers said they consider BOPIS convenient and 70% said it improved their experience.

Increases operational efficiency and reduces costs

BOPIS orders tend to be easier on the business as well, since you don’t have to worry about the challenges that can come with last-mile delivery. As long as you can develop a system to fit BOPIS orders seamlessly into your larger fulfillment processes, without straining your staff or existing operations, they can potentially lead to fewer logistic considerations and costs for your business.

Provides opportunities for increased sales

By offering BOPIS, you’re more likely to win the business of customers who need items sooner rather than later, which can increase your overall online sales. Plus, when consumers pick up orders in person, they have the chance to browse the store and grab any other items they need. And many do just that. In a 2022 PYMNTS report, over 37% of consumers said they make additional purchases when picking up BOPIS orders.

The challenges of BOPIS

The benefits of offering BOPIS make it a logical choice for most businesses, but the option does present challenges that you want to be prepared for

Inventory management

If someone shows up to your store only to find that the items they ordered are out of stock, any convenience the BOPIS model normally offers goes out the window. For BOPIS to be an option that creates a good customer experience, you need a way to ensure that the inventory the customer sees when browsing your website, your app, or any third-party platform they use matches what you have available. Investing in the right technology—and setting up integrations between relevant technology products—can help with that.

Pickup logistics

Every BOPIS order creates a bit more work for your staff. On busy days, preparing these orders alongside their other responsibilities can be a challenge. You want to consider in advance how BOPIS orders will fit into employees’ current workloads.

You also want to think about how to make the pickup process as seamless as possible. If customers show up long before the order is ready or have a hard time figuring out where to go, they could leave more frustrated than satisfied. Technology can help you make accurate estimates for when orders will be ready and communicate them to customers in real time. And you can provide BOPIS customers clear instructions on where in the store to go once they arrive. When customers know when their orders will be ready and exactly where to go to collect them, you create a streamlined experience.

BOPIS tech considerations

For BOPIS to work well, you need the right technology. Some of the functionality you need may already exist in the tech products you have now, but you may need to add new technology or figure out how to connect products that don’t work together by default. Making sure you have the tech right before you start offering BOPIS is important.

The role of technology in enabling BOPIS

With the right technology to support BOPIS, everything will work more smoothly. Check out the 4 main types of technology products you might need to add (or upgrade) to offer BOPIS effectively:

  • Online ordering platforms and apps. BOPIS only works if customers have a way (ideally, multiple ways) to place orders online. Online ordering platforms provide the e-commerce functionality required to let customers place orders, securely check out, and select their preferred fulfillment method on your website or branded mobile app. You may also want to consider using third-party apps that give customers an additional way to find your business and place online orders.

  • Inventory management systems. One of the biggest challenges of successfully offering BOPIS is ensuring that every online channel shows current inventory information. An inventory management system helps you stay on top of how much inventory is present in each location you have. Choosing a product that integrates with all the other tech involved in placing and fulfilling BOPIS orders is crucial for making sure customers only place orders for items you have in store.

  • POS (point-of-sale) systems. You probably already have a POS system, but it’s worth considering whether yours offers the best features to enable BOPIS. You want a POS that integrates well with all your online ordering channels and your inventory management system so that you can easily track and manage BOPIS orders in the same place as all your other orders.

  • OMS (order management systems). Managing orders that come through different channels and have different fulfillment methods can get complicated. An OMS is a valuable technology tool for helping you bring all your various orders into one interface. OMS products often offer features to help you better organize the workflow of filling various orders and track and update inventory as orders come in.

Examples of BOPIS in retail and e-commerce

Many businesses across industries—from retail and grocery stores to restaurants and beyond—have successfully added the click-and-collect option for e-commerce orders. Here are some top examples of brands doing BOPIS well:


Apple offers click-and-collect options for orders through its website and Apple Store app. Customers can view and select the closest Apple Stores that have the items they want in stock and select the pickup option when checking out. BOPIS orders are typically ready within an hour, or customers can choose a specific time window to schedule their pickup if they prefer.


Starbucks offers BOPIS on its website, the Starbucks app, and some third-party delivery apps. Customers can pay online and, at most locations, go straight to the designated BOPIS area at a nearby store. Some locations also offer curbside pickup as an option.


Target was an early adopter of BOPIS, starting all the way back in 2013. The company now offers both in-store pickup and drive-up options for customers who place orders through the retailer’s website or app. Target recently began accepting returns by drive-up at many locations as well.

How Uber makes BOPIS seamless for business owners

Uber may be known primarily for helping businesses fulfill delivery orders, but we offer a number of solutions that help with BOPIS orders as well, including those below.

  • Webshop enables you to add online ordering functionality to your online channels, while giving customers both pickup and delivery options when they check out.
  • Joining the Uber Eats marketplace gives you an additional online sales and marketing channel that lets customers select either pickup or delivery.
  • With Uber Direct, our white-label delivery-as-a-service, you can offer a premium package return service from your own sales channels. If a customer wants to return a pickup order, you can save them a trip back to the store with the help of couriers in Uber’s network.

These tools are designed to integrate seamlessly with most major POS systems to make using them easier on your end. They’re also designed to offer a convenient, intuitive experience to customers. By providing an option many customers prefer, you can potentially increase your sales, improve the customer experience, and win loyalty in the process.

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