Editor’s brief: While e-commerce has accelerated, consumers used to buy online and receive the items either at home or at the office. It is a rising social phenomenon these days, where you see consumers, especially younger ones, buying things online, and then picking the items up at some city location, through locked storage. This brings us to BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store), a new concept that is expanding the supply chain workflow and processes, and require more intelligent technologies. AutoStore, a pioneer in cube storage automation, has launched PickUpPort, which is great in supplementing an in-store pickup supply chain setup. Read more below.
SINGAPORE — Today AutoStore™ launches its latest innovation, the PickUpPort™, a public-facing port that lets customers shop online and pick up their order directly from the AutoStore System.
“It’s important for us to help retailers stay ahead in an ever-changing industry. With the new PickUpPort, retailers can offer a hassle-free pick-up option in-store, and customers can see how Robots pick, organise, and store items. When retailers adopt this technology, their customers get even more flexibility and freedom,” says Carlos Fernández, Chief Product Officer at AutoStore.
The PickUpPort is an intuitive technology that doesn’t demand extensive implementation and training. When a customer places an order and chooses in-store pickup, a Controller function asks the AutoStore Robot to pick the Bins that contain the products. The warehouse operator consolidates the order, and the order is stored in the AutoStore System. When the customer arrives at the store, a Robot will bring the Bin with the right products to the PickUpPort.
Adapting to the rising BOPIS trend in Asia Pacific
The shopping landscape in Asia Pacific has changed significantly over the last two years. Retailers are gradually shifting from brick-and-mortar businesses to online businesses. With the surge of digital services in the region, Asia Pacific has become the leader in the e-commerce market. In fact, the Asia Pacific e-commerce market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 10.24 percent from 2022 to 2027. The rising e-commerce industry is introducing new buying habits, one of which is the Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) trend. As retailers adapt to the changing consumers’ buying behaviours, the BOPIS trend has become a widely recognised strategy used in the e-commerce and retail industry. According to Research and Markets, countries in the Asia Pacific region are expected to witness a high growth rate in the BOPIS market.
“We have seen how the rapid rise of the e-commerce market in Asia Pacific created a new mindset among customers. At the same time, we are witnessing how the growing e-commerce market has introduced new sets of challenges for retailers. At AutoStore, it is crucial that we assist and ensure retailers are on the right side of the current market trends, in this case, the BOPIS trend,” says Philipp Schitter, Vice President Business Development, APAC, AutoStore. “Our new PickUpPort leaves tremendous room for flexibility around where customers order online and pick up from stores. We are not just offering robots, we are offering a flexible and efficient solution.”
Attractive alternative to “last mile”
The new technology is a direct response to the evolving demand for greater efficiency in the way customers receive products. Adding public-facing ports to stores can drive additional in-store purchases and enable retailers to provide a frictionless omnichannel shopping experience for customers.
“We are constantly piloting and rolling out new technology. People want more flexibility, and the buy-online-pickup-in-store trend is quickly becoming an attractive alternative to “last-mile” delivery, since it’s simple, fast and offers a lower carbon footprint,” says Fernández.
The technology has a user-friendly design. As this is the first public-facing Port from AutoStore, multiple safety measures were taken into account during product development. The PickUpPort is equipped with a warning label, safety bar, a damper, and stoppers.
“The PickUpPort is safe and easy to use. It’s always locked while waiting for the Bin to arrive at the Port, and a LED lamp signals when it’s ready to be opened. Safety is paramount at AutoStore,” concluded Fernández.
The PickUpPort is the fifth Port module offered by AutoStore and will be available worldwide from November 15th.