Fast fashion retailer rue21 has tapped cloud commerce enabler Kibo to support a planned expansion of its fulfillment capabilities, including buy online, pickup in store, order management and in-store associate training, according to a Kibo press release.
Early next year, the retailer will install Kibo's cloud-based OM order management platform to support inventory tracking, and integrate with rue21's existing inventory system solution and ERP system. The system also has order-routing capability that determines the best location from which to fulfill a customer order.
Kibo added that 67% of the more 3,000 U.S. consumers it surveyed recently said they have used BOPIS in the last six months. Those who were surveyed recognized that they can benefit from the service because fulfillment is free and they enjoy greater control and flexibility compared to home delivery.
The high usage rate of click-and-collect services discovered by Kibo's survey matches up well with another recent survey from GPShopper that found that 67% of holiday shoppers were interested in using BOPIS capabilities this season to help the reduce their holiday stress.
Availability of BOPIS services is growing among retailers. The planned deployment by rue21 follows recent news that Petco is expanding BOPIS capabilities to 1,500 stores. Several other retailers already have set up these capabilities, changing the dynamic between retailers and their customers, as an online order brings foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores that can result in additional sales. That makes online ordering something that is actually in the best interests of retailers, while also giving shoppers more faith in fulfillment and more control in the process.
Still, despite the great potential, there remain many retailers that haven't adopted an in-store pickup option yet. A recent Order Dynamics study estimated that less than 30% of U.S. retailers offer the capability. Are some of them unsure how to proceed, even if they have tested and evaluated the technology to enable BOPIS?
Putting systems like Kibo's platform in place to track inventory and introduce new flexibility into fulfillment processes is key to offering BOPIS, but organizations also have to commit to a fundamental change in how they operate and manage stores. Even with clear benefits, that can be a difficult and scary decision. However, it's starting to look like shoppers are going to shop more and spend more with the retailers that take that plunge. Rue21 is ready to do that next year, and more retailers should prepare to do the same.