BOPIS and BORIS (and no, it’s not Boris and Natasha)


I’m sure everyone has seen the changes in parking lots and customer service counters at retailers lately. Special parking and special places reserved for people who are picking up items that they’ve ordered online. BOPIS is Buy Online and Pickup In-Store. BORIS is Buy Online and Return In-Store. I recently used both of these options when shopping for a dress for a wedding, and it worked out wonderfully.

I bought two different dresses from two separate stores online.  The first dress had a delivery charge with it that I did not want to pay. I know there’s no such thing as “free delivery”, they do work the delivery charges in somewhere, but there was an option to stop by the mall and pick it up with no delivery charge, so that is what I did.  The next dress arrived and the zipper wasn’t working very well (no, not because of my size!).  I didn’t want to struggle with it every time I put it on.  I could have popped the dress back in the package and drove to the post office to return it, but it was more convenient to return it at the store that I was going to anyway.  So that’s what I did – both BOPIS and BORIS for one dress.  I even used BOPIS for a pair of shoes recently and while I was picking them up, I found a perfect birthday present for my grandson!  It worked great for me and for the store.

In the early days of BOPIS, the retailer would put the pickup service desk in the back of the store in order to capture more sales from the person picking up their items. This practice went away when there was more competition from other retailers who decided to make it more convenient for the customer.  Heck, now you can sit in your car, send a text and they’ll bring your purchase out to your car!  I personally need the exercise, so I go into the store and take a look around to see if anything else catches my eye while I’m there.  Another advantage for customers of Amazon is the ability to return their orders at Kohl’s, and there are a lot of Kohl’s locations!  I find myself at a retail location more often than a FedEx, UPS or post office, so I like the BORIS option.It’s a great feature than many of the big box stores have worked out and something that customers have come to expect.  In rolling out this option in your store, don’t forget to walk through the journey in the customer’s shoes to make it as seamless as possible.  Customers don’t want to walk to the back of the store or wait in a long check-out line when they take advantage of the BOPIS or BORIS option. Don’t be a Boris and Natasha, scheming to think up deed that are of no good.  Put your customers first!

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