Why you should be paying attention to buy online return in store (BORIS)
As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard the term “omnichannel” before. It’s a way to expand your business, letting customers shop your inventory online or in-store. Giving consumers this opportunity to shop how they want can increase sales, creating a crossover between online and in-store shopping.
Omnichannel offerings can also solve customer pain points. One of the biggest pain points for customers is returns. The return process is overwhelming—from returning online orders to navigating a retailer's return policy, customers don't want to deal with this hassle. So in this article, we’ll take a look at an omnichannel solution—Buy Online, Return in Store, commonly known as BORIS. To start, let’s take a look at what BORIS is and how it can help your business.
What is BORIS and what are the benefits?
BORIS stands for Buy Online, Return in Store. It’s a strategy that allows customers to buy a product online at your ecommerce site and then return or exchange the product at a dropoff point or brick and mortar store. This helps streamline the customer’s return process. An easy return process creates repeat customers. In fact, one of the biggest customer objections to repeat purchases is a business’s return process and 92% of consumers said that they’d make a repeat purchase from a business if their return process was easy to navigate.
That’s a huge opportunity for small businesses like yours to garner repeat customers. On the flip side, a difficult return process is sure to drive customers away from your business because they won’t want to deal with the hassle of a return.
To illustrate this process, let’s take a look at an example. Let’s assume your business is Joe’s Sporting Goods. In addition to an ecommerce store, you have a few brick and mortar stores. A customer of yours, Frank, makes an online purchase from your ecommerce site. When his baseball glove comes in, it’s the wrong color. Normally, it would frustrate Frank to go through an online return process. But, luckily, Frank knows that Joe's Sporting Goods offers BORIS.
So instead of shipping it back to you and having to wait five or more business days for Joe's to process a return, Frank brings the glove to your physical store. Because the original tags are still on the product and he has the packing slip and original receipt, you’re able to refund the original purchase method or give him an exchange for the color he originally wanted. Instead of losing his business because of the hassle of returning his online order, your business still retains Frank as a customer. Frank leaves your store happy that he could exchange the glove for a different color and didn’t have to pay shipping fees to return it to you.
Now that you know the basics of BORIS, let’s list out the benefits for your business:
Higher levels of customer satisfaction
Without BORIS, customers would have to wait until after they ship the item back to the business and then wait for the business to process the return. This process could take a few days to a few weeks. However, returning items in-store lets customers start the return process right away, getting a full refund on their credit card or a gift card for the purchase price.
Save on shipping
Higher in-store sales
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the benefits of BORIS for your business, we’ll discuss the two different types of BORIS.
Traditional BORIS vs. Omnichannel BORIS
Traditional Buy Online, Return in Store
Omnichannel Buy Online, Return in Store
As you can see, the omnichannel BORIS strategy is a more effective and personalized option for customers and your business. It connects the customer to your business while providing your business with the best picture of your customer. We’ve talked about the best BORIS strategy for your business. Now, let’s talk about how to implement BORIS.
Setting up a BORIS strategy at your business
Set up a dedicated area for in-store returns
Behind the scenes, you’ll want to prep other areas for a possible increase in in-store returns. This might mean you need to allocate more storage space for returns and revisit your processes to ensure that any merchandise you accept as a return can circulate back into your inventory.
Ensure real-time inventory visibility
Buy Online, Return in Store is a great way for your business to start expanding your omnichannel presence. It’s a win-win for your business and your customers. For your business, it can help you cut costs while retaining customers. And for your customers, it can remove the headache of shipping returns and build loyalty with your brand. When it comes to attracting and retaining customers, their experience is paramount. Providing a customer-first, customized experience can help your small business stand out from the big box retailers. One good interaction with a brand can make a customer a customer for life.
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