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Stein Mart Is the First to Give Off-Price Shoppers This ‘Customer Experience Differentiator’

BOPIS has arrived in the off-price sector.

Stein Mart said Tuesday that customers can buy items online and them pick up them up in store (BOPIS) at any of its 283 locations, marking the first time an off-price retail has offered the omnichannel service.

Launching BOPIS is the latest step in the retailer’s “continued digital expansion.” BOPIS consistently has been pegged as one of the most reliable service technologies in modern retail and and an offering that can help maximize profitability at brick-and-mortar locations.

“BOPIS has been gaining momentum as a customer experience differentiator and we’re thrilled to be the first U.S. off-price retailer to offer this service,” Stein Mart president MaryAnne Morin said in a statement. “Customers want a quick and convenient shopping journey. They also want to save time and money with free in-store pickup. With BOPIS, we can provide both.”

Stein Mart said it expects around 15 percent of its online orders to be fulfilled in stores following the change. According to the retailer, BOPIS offers several advantages, including the higher likelihood a customer in a physical store will purchase additional items and drive incremental revenue during their visit. By creating these “incremental attachment sales” and reducing shipping costs associated with traditional online shopping, Stein Mart believes BOPIS can boost profitability.

“Expanding omnichannel capabilities is a priority for Stein Mart,” the retailer said. “Earlier this year, the company also rolled out Endless Aisle and Mobile Point-of-Sale technology which enables store associates to use a mobile device to locate and order product for customers and to perform mobile check-out to expedite line-busting during peak selling periods.”

The retailer also recently incorporated “smart fulfillment” logic into its distribution network, ensuring orders purchased through its website are sent to the best location, whether that’s a Stein Mart store or a nearby warehouse. Stein Mart said this ensures lower shipping times and lower DTC costs thanks to the “enterprise-wide” view of its inventory the program afford.

In another bid to pick up new business and boost foot traffic, Stein Mart invited Amazon Hub lockers into its stores in May. Citing many of the same reasons for the enabling BOPIS its own model, Stein Mart CEO Hunt Hawkin said the move was part of his plan to “identify potential strategic alternatives” in an effort to revitalize the business.