Buy Online Pickup In Store (bopis)
BOPIS was an enterprise-wide project to allow customers to purchase items through the website for pick-up in their local store. There were a lot of moving parts to get in order across several different departments.
Working with 2 other researchers (Suhani Mehta & Gibson Hall), we performed extensive discovery research and created mockups. We performed in-person competitive analysis (BOPIS’d from several competitors), built user journeys, flow diagrams, and lo-fi designs.
After 4 months of intense activity, the project was shelved by upper management based on cost-benefit analysis and our ability to execute a positive customer experience. The project ultimately failed due to:
a.) system architecture limitations and
b.) the potentially terrible in-store experience
The failure to launch forced management to reassess the enterprise systems that have been in dire need of updating.
One silver lining, is that our research provided the foundation for Special Order Firearms (SOF) later in the year, and will be used in the future for attempt number 2.
Many retailers already offer BOPIS, so we selected 6 retailers, ordered items from their website for pickup, and physically went to pick them up, documenting the process and noting the pros and cons of every step of each experience from landing page to pick-up to followup email.
This gave us an understanding of what features work best and what to avoid in order to put together the most ideal and comprehensive experience.
Lit Review and Forrester Consultation
We also performed some literature review and met with Forrester research to get some basics down.
Competitor Store Tour
We also toured a Toys-R-Us store to see how they manage inventory, item picking, staffing, and the customer-facing pickup experience in-store.
Target Pickup Counter
Target makes the mistake of combining the pickup counter with customer service and other services. Not only are returns a particularly slow moving process, the counter is understaffed and the wait time eliminates any efficiency gained by ordering items for pickup. Research indicates that if a customer has a bad pickup experience at your store, they won’t try it again.
Best Buy Pickup Counter
The Best Buy pickup experience was a breeze. The item was picked in less time than estimated, they provide a dedicated line for pickup orders, and there was plenty of helpful staff to keep things moving smoothly.
We shared our documentation in different meetings across the organization to provide a baseline for discussion and strategy across multiple departments.
Journey Maps / Requirements
Customer Journey Map
From our findings, we put together a spreadsheet that listed every potential feature of the experience and labeled them as a “must-have” or a “nice-to-have”.
From this spreadsheet, we built a customer journey map to provide the basis of a minimum viable product for the PMs and BAs (despite our best efforts, scope became a constant moving target based on limitations in IT and store ops).
Competitive Journey Map
We started with a customer journey, documenting a typical customer’s real world context and the most ideal journey for ordering a bicycle online and picking it up from an Academy store. We then did the same exercise with the 6 competitor stores that we investigated and created paths for them, to give everyone an idea of where our MVP would stand within the competitive space.
Team Member Journey Map
Because the quality of the customer journey depended so heavily on other departments within the organization (store operations, fulfillment, in-store systems, etc.), it was important that we also document a happy path for the store employee as well.
Flow Diagrams / Lo-fi mockups
Once high-level requirements were nailed down, we got down to the business of putting together a winning site design. Suhani and Gibson worked on flow diagrams while I worked on putting together lo-fi mockups and nailing down the various availability and fulfillment states that needed to be updated.
Lo-fi mockups and flow diagrams were done in tandem, each highlighting gaps in the other to create a complete picture. New functionality shown in red. These were used by the PMs and BAs to flesh out their requirements for IT.
Nailing Down Availability States
Not only did BOPIS add more availability states to our Local Store Inventory (LSI), it added functionality to what was previously just a displayed product availability. These availability states affected the PDP, the Find-a-store modal, and Add-to-cart buttons on PDP and Grid.
As scope continued to shrink based on store and IT limitations, it was decided that the minimum viable product would end up being a poor experience and not worth the cost of implementation.
The project was shelved and, while some of our designs served as a foundation for Special Order Firearms, the failure of BOPIS prompted a reassessment of our system architecture leading to a desperately needed replatforming decision – ETA: 2019.