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How Buy Online Return In Store (BORIS) Makes Returns Blessings in Disguise

by Anil Patel |

Nowadays, instead of “going” online, consumers live online, constantly scrolling and navigating the web for new products and experiences. It’s no surprise, then, that a majority of retailers depend heavily on online purchases for their overall revenue. However, online conversion rates are notoriously lower than in-store (1-2% compared to 20-40%), customer acquisition costs are much higher, and the average online return rate is a whopping 30%.

So, what is a retailer to do, particularly about the high return rate that cuts into profits and resources? BORIS to the rescue. If you’re not familiar with the acronym, BORIS stands for Buy Online Return In Store, and it’s a source of revenue that is often overlooked by retailers struggling to make the numbers work for their online shopping.

In this blog, we delve into the benefits of Buy Online Return In Store for your organization, and the difference between traditional BORIS and its omnichannel counterpart.

The Benefits of BORIS

There are many benefits to BORIS, so let’s take them one by one.

Increase Online Conversion Rates
Remember when we said online conversion rates are much lower than their brick-and-mortar counterparts? BORIS can help. Studies show that 62% of shoppers are more likely to shop online if they can return an item in-store, thereby increasing online conversion rates whilst also increasing customer satisfaction. Customers like the BORIS option because they can get their money back right away, as opposed to shipping their item back to the retailer and waiting several days until the item is received in the warehouse, processed, and the money reimbursed.

Save on Shipping Costs
You can blame Amazon for this, but 79% of modern shoppers want or expect free shipping. Unfortunately, only about 49% of retailers currently meet this demand, though this number is expected to rapidly rise over the coming years. Providing free shipping labels for customer returns is a logistical nightmare and very expensive. The benefit of BORIS here speaks for itself: if the customer returns their item in-store, you save on shipping expenses while still maintaining customer satisfaction.

Up-Sell and Retain Revenue
92% of customers will buy something from a retailer again if their returns and exchanges process is easy. Most customers that buy from you want to keep their item, but return it because of sizing issues or color preferences. By allowing for in-store returns, you give your customers the chance to try on the same item in a different size or color, thereby retaining revenue. Furthermore, once the customer is in-store, they are likely to make an additional purchase. (Remember how we said in-store conversions are much higher than online ones?) Getting the customer to physically walk into your store to make a return greatly increases the chances of customer retention.

What’s The Difference Between BORIS and Omnichannel BORIS?

Omnichannel is another one of those buzzwords in the retail industry today. There is a difference between traditional Buy Online Return In Store and Omnichannel Buy Online Return In Store, and it’s the difference between a good customer experience and a phenomenal one.

Traditional BORIS refers to the process of accepting customer returns without having any background as to who the customer in question is. This is because legacy Point of Sale systems do not provide a 360-degree view of the customer, including the customer’s online and in-store purchase history, browsing behavior, wishlist, and so on. It’s still great that you’re offering the option to buy online and return in store, but you’re lacking an element of personalization.

Omnichannel BORIS, on the other hand, is powered by mobile tools such as clienteling apps, which allow store associates to not only process online returns in-store (allowing customers to skip the line) but also provide a full view of the customer that enables upselling and cross-selling. Based on the customer’s browsing and purchase history, store associates can make informed product recommendations that are likely to stick. But wait, it gets better. The omnichannel retailing strategy made possible through Distributed Order Management Systems enables retailers to re-sell any returned items at full price by fulfilling online orders from the store.

It may be hard to believe since the digital world consumes so much of our lives nowadays, but brick-and-mortar stores have an advantage over digitally native brands. Retailers are able to provide their customers with a superior shopping experience in-store, whilst also increasing their conversion rates and profit margins. So why not combine the online and offline shopping experience for the best of both worlds? According to ICSC, for online sales with Buy Online Pick-Up In Store (BOPIS) and Buy Online Return In Store (BORIS) services, retailers can expect a net sale of 107%. (ICSC’s full article outlines the methodology of this input.).

Reduce returns and increase revenue- omnichannel returns

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If you’re ready to provide your customers with omnichannel options whilst increasing your profit margins, contact the HotWax team today to discover our solutions, including clienteling, distributed order management, and more.