Championing BOPIS Implementation with Worth Darling

January 31, 2022



This episode’s special guest, Worth Darling, discusses the importance of leveraging your stores and store associates to create seamless BOPIS and ship-from-store omnichannel initiatives.

  • How can retailers implement BOPIS & ship-from-store initiatives without risking the experience of their walk-in customers? Does BOPIS actually increase retail brands’ top-line revenue? Why should retailers take the leap of faith to implement a BOPIS strategy without having all the answers up-front?
  • We dive into these questions and more with this episode’s special guest, Worth Darling, Senior Director of DTC Innovation & Technology at Vans. Speaking from his vast experience in the world of omnichannel retail, Worth discusses the importance of injecting a human touch into your omnichannel eCommerce strategies and how brands can rethink their retail strategy to foster a seamless integration of in-store and online fulfillment initiatives.

Conversation Rundown

[ 4:18-7:39 ] Post-pandemic retail trends
We all know that the pandemic has driven shoppers to digital platforms in unprecedented numbers. Amazon single-handedly shifted customer expectations for convenience and the rest of the industry has been struggling desperately to keep pace. But despite this digital revolution, there's a growing counter-movement that's reverting back to the deeply human experience of retail. Without neglecting their digital investment, smaller brands have a real opportunity to leverage their human talent alongside their digital retail strategies.

[ 13:13-16:17 ] How retailers should approach post-pandemic BOPIS implementation.
"If you're still thinking about it, you're late to the game." BOPIS has become table stakes for retail brands hoping to keep up with the digital revolution. The first step is to acquire the necessary technology to enable cross-channel and real-time inventory tracking. Without these capabilities, don't even think about being able to successfully connect your digital and in-store processes.

[ 17:29-19:41 ] Does implementing BOPIS actually increase top-line revenue?
Despite study after study showing that omnichannel retail strategies are the way of the future, retailers are weighing the strategy's ROI. Teams can overcome hesitancy and champion a successful BOPIS strategy. As Worth puts it, "At the end of the day, we know that the omnichannel consumer is a more profitable consumer."There's no denying the work brands need to put in to make BOPIS a profitable model. But this work is a worthwhile investment.

[ 20:33-23:33 ] Taking the leap of faith with a BOPIS strategy.
How can retailers implement BOPIS initiatives without risking the experience of their walk-in customers? It's only natural for retailers to worry that heavy digital investment might mean neglecting their in-store services. But with the right tools, this risk is surmountable. If BOPIS is set up correctly, with the right tech enablement, your in-store operations won't be hurt. In fact, BOPIS will only make your full omnichannel retail operation run more smoothly and create a more seamless shopping experience for your customers.

[ 28:45-32:27 ] Handling inventory inaccuracies in your BOPIS Strategy.
No one likes dealing with canceled orders. But ultimately, cancellations are an inevitability in any omnichannel retail strategy. Some tips on how to gracefully handle cancellations and turn a negative customer experience into a positive one. It all comes down to real-time inventory accuracy and calibrating your levels of safety stock. Furthermore, it's incredibly important to use up-front messaging on your eCommerce site to clarify the process for order cancellation and offer other sources of fulfillment.

[ 33:42-35:49 ] Optimizing store layout within a BOPIS strategy.
What should the customer journey look like for BOPIS shoppers once they arrive at the store for pick-up? Once you implement BOPIS, how can you adjust your store layout to optimize the strategy? This is an ongoing discussion among leading retail brands. Some argue that you should prioritize convenience and have store pick-up right at the front of your store. Others say that you should leverage the in-store experience and bring shoppers deep into your store when they come to collect online orders. Above all, Worth Darling stresses the importance of inserting your staff into the pick-up process. A serviced pick-up is a "real opportunity for branded retailers that really invest in their associates as brand ambassadors."Inject that human touch, no matter where the BOPIS pick-up location is in your store.

[ 38:44 - 40:11 ] Ship from store strategy for small retailers.
Many retailers are rethinking their assortment strategy to hit the lightning-fast delivery times that customers now expect. One of the key strategies brands are adopting to achieve these delivery rates is ship-from-store. For smaller brands, implementing such a strategy can be a daunting task. Some tips for small retailers looking to build out a ship-from-store strategy. Most importantly, brands need access to real-time inventory data. That way, you know that inventory is close to the customer prior to the purchase journey and can promote that messaging on the product detail page, driving a higher conversion rate.

Meet the Experts

Worth Darling is the Senior Director DTC Innovation & Technology of Vans - A VF Corp. and one of the leading omnichannel experts in the world, with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries. He is well-versed across nearly every discipline within retail, including omnichannel, digitization of retail, to experiential retailing, and flagship store design and architecture.

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