From a consumer point of view, “Buy Online and Pick Up in Store,” or BOPUS makes complete sense. It takes the advantages of online shopping (‘tire-kicking’) and inventory checking, and marries them to the advantages of traditional stores, namely the ability to get a product quick and to see and touch it and in the case of instruments, try them out. Especially when talking guitars and other string instruments,playing one is essential. The way the body feels under your rhythm arm, the neck action, the width, the size, the sound, the fret settings, dreadnaught, cut-outs, arch top – so many things to consider and experience. The benefits of online buying are mostly financial.
The downside of online purchasing early on in the internet technology was, that customers had to wait a taunting two weeks or longer to get their hands on that long awaited product, while in addition paying for shipping, packing and delivery. Alternately, customers who headed to an old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar store to make a purchase were provided same-day satisfaction—unless of course the desired product is not in stock. As the world started turning faster and time became of premium value, online buying became a way-out. Amazon in particular forced the world of retail to start thinking differently.
It took monumental technological changes and adjustments to move online sales into the forefront of retail. While technological advancements of the worldwide web made shopping online convenient for customers to find exactly what they want and at what price, distribution and logistical shipping companies were scrambling to meet growing on demand services.
Considering that there is a point where physical logistics can not keep up with the desires of an on-demand society,(except for music streaming) it turned actually into a natural progression that a couple of years ago, retailers began to offer a third option—called Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (or BOPUS for short) — a hybrid shopping method that gives customers the best of both worlds. Customers find the item they want online, where they also check specifications and availability. If available at a nearby brick-and-mortar store, they can purchase it online and find it ready for pick-up at the store, generally within the same day.
These days customers might often be using BOPS as a dependable way to check brick-and-mortar inventory, go to the store to see if the product is to their liking and then go home or on their mobile while in the store, access the store’s website and click on purchase.
Many customers may be disinclined to purchase an instrument online, where they cannot inspect the product. But given the option of purchasing the product online, even while in the store, and walk out with the instrument, is still considered an online sale with all its benefits in place.
So if you’re a Jerry Lee’s Music Store customer planning an online purchase, now you can buy online and pick up in the store,” saving on shipping with no wait time at all. Besides in store you may find a list of other savings.
As a small business, our advantage is that we do not have to compete with large block store competitors, who because of quantity can afford to offer Free Shipping. But buying online from our store give cost savings plus the sales tax advantage for out-of-state customers to purchase online and picking up in store. Some states are questioning these exemptions, but for now it is legal. Either way, with or without that potential bonus, the practice of Buy Online and Pick Up in Store is a win-win for both retailer and customer.
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