Online Review Customer Insights Can be Used to Greatly Improve BOPIS

Whether you were planning to implement BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) or not, the past year has forced retailers to adopt this method a lot quicker than possibly preferred. In order to thrive in this new normal, retailers must provide customers more options, which includes being able to make a purchase on a website and pick it up in store or curbside. Because of the quick adaptation and implementation, it’s possible you’ve put the process in place but is it a good customer experience? You better find out or risk losing customers.

If your customers aren’t having a good experience when picking up an item from your store, they will choose another retailer to purchase from next time. So how do you know if your BOPIS process is encouraging repeat customers? The answer can be found in your online reviews.

We recently conducted an analysis of online reviews for a national retailer because they were seeing a decrease in online sales and wanted to understand why. The DIY industry has been booming, and the retailer could not pinpoint exactly what was leading to this decrease.

Online Review Data Can Show Problem Points

We pulled customer reviews from the past three months to get a better understanding of exactly what may be happening. With natural language processing, we were able to see that “bad,” “customer service,” “curbside,” and “pick up” were some of the highest trending negative terms being pulled from their online customer reviews. In fact, there were ZERO positive reviews about the BOPIS experience for this retailer in the past six months. So we dug a little deeper to better understand exactly what was happening. Below are a couple of real customer review examples:

Not good.

We discovered that even though BOPIS was offered at their locations, employees may not have been trained well enough on the new process to execute it effectively, leaving customers with a negative experience.

With 94% of consumers saying a negative online review has convinced them to avoid a business, it’s easy to see how these reviews may encourage potential customers to choose a competitor. Not only that, an analysis of competitor reviews revealed customers had a much more positive experience with their BOPIS process.

So what do we do?

Using the Review Insights to Improve the Experience

After providing more detailed information to our client about why BOPIS was such a negative experience, we outlined these next steps:

  • Talk to managers about what was preventing the store from providing the best BOPIS experience possible and resolve issues
  • Create better BOPIS training processes for employees
  • Proactively gain more online reviews on the BOPIS experience from customers once new processes were implemented
  • Employ a mystery shopping program to score the BOPIS customer experience
  • Reply to all online customer reviews (since not replying to customer reviews puts you at risk of increasing churn by 15%)
  • Deliver a monthly report that pulls key insights from online reviews so we can more quickly identify potential problems before they become a huge issue that could negatively impact sales

Following these steps creates a better customer experience and provides more positive sentiment around the brand which attracts new customers, thus leading to an increase in sales.

Is your BOPIS experience a positive one for your customers? If you’re not sure, let’s find out.


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