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Home Outlet Exceeds Customer Expectations by Optimizing its BOPIS Feature

Home Outlet Customer Story

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Since its establishment in 1885, it’s no surprise that E.C. Barton has witnessed its fair share of shifting consumer behaviors and economic strains. However, the company has always successfully overcome these hurdles by staying true to the belief that top-tier customer service is the key to a thriving brand.

As E.C. Barton’s evolved from a one-person show into a thriving lumber company, it established two home improvement brands that operate according to this philosophy.

One of these is Home Outlet.

Home Outlet fully embodies what it means to be an E.C. Barton brand. The company prides itself on supplying building materials at the guaranteed lowest cost, accompanied by unmatched customer service.

On top of this, the brand welcomes anyone and everyone to shop from its store — from building professionals to your average owner. To further cater to a variety of customers, the company established a robust ecommerce presence that creates an effortless shopping experience for those who prefer to buy online.

With all of Home Outlet’s online orders being Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS), the company has gone to great lengths to ensure these shoppers have the seamless experience the brand is known for.

Building a solid BOPIS foundation

Home Outlet’s primary goal in creating an ecommerce presence was to reach new customers and provide them with a top-notch user journey. However, its online platform presented limitations that kept it from fulfilling this — specifically regarding the “Shopping by Store” feature.

The company experienced countless issues when it came to customers selecting the store they wanted to pick up their order from. The site would auto-select a customer’s store based on their IP address, often leading shoppers to place orders for items that weren’t at the closest store.

This not only negatively impacted customer satisfaction but also created significant work for the back-end team to troubleshoot these issues.

“We found a lot of limitations with the platform when it came to auto-assigning IP addresses. If a customer was working off an IP address in a certain city, but the site was picking up a different IP address, they might be shopping in a different city,” explained Shannon Russell, Ecommerce Manager at Home Outlet.

Home Outlet knew this didn’t align with its service standards and decided to re-platform the site to BigCommerce with the help of Elite agency partner Mira Commerce.

Together, they worked through the glitches shoppers encountered and devised a plan to create the BOPIS experience Home Outlet always dreamed of. To turn this dream into reality, Mira Commerce built a customization that lets shoppers effortlessly choose their preferred pick-up location. An accurate inventory and pricing representation is displayed based on the selected location — ensuring shoppers place their order at the correct store.

“This feature was 100% customized. We fetch the location list using GraphQL, and it’s saved in the user session. That specifies a location that the inventory has to be deducted from. The location also fetches live stock directly from Home Outlet’s ERP prior to processing a customer’s checkout. Metafields are also used for keeping custom prices per location,” explained Crystal Stevens, Client Success Manager at Mira Commerce.

As part of the BOPIS rebuild, Mira Commerce created a custom checkout process with Signifyd that triggers potential fraudulent orders. If a fraudulent transaction is flagged, online store managers, in-store personnel, and the shopper are alerted, and the transaction is put on hold so the customer is unable to pick up their order until a store associate reviews it.

Mira Commerce built this feature using BigCommerce’s Checkout SDK. To capture order status changes based on fraud indicators, the agency incorporates the Amazon Web Services Middleware Event Handler app and integrates it with Home Outlet’s PostMark event stream processing (ESP).

Satisfied shoppers make for a satisfied team

Since implementing the custom “Shopping by Store” feature, the BOPIS process has been optimized for both shoppers and the Home Outlet team.

Creating a way for customers to select the store they’d like to pick up from and see an accurate inventory representation gives them the easy and convenient shopping experience they crave. This also eliminates the need to correct orders that were improperly placed due to site glitches, saving the team time they can reallocate to further enhance the customer experience.

“This feature has created a seamless experience that lets shoppers place the order online, and when they pick it up in-store, they have curbside service. They pull up, our partners are ready to load things for them, and it gives us a chance to demonstrate the customer service we're known for,” explained Russell.

In addition, the fraud prevention measures not only minimize the risk of theft — saving the company money — but also create a more efficient and automated process for checking for fraudulent orders and improve the BOPIS connectivity.

With the help of BigCommerce and Mira Commerce, Home Outlet offers online customers the grade-A service it prides itself on offering. 

The final word

As a brand, it’s essential to put your shoppers at the heart of your business strategy so you can connect with them and build a loyal customer base. Ensuring your site is optimized to provide a seamless shopping experience is the best way to show your brand is invested in your customers.

With the help of an agency partner, companies can ensure their ideal customer experience comes to life in their online store.

Interested in learning more about Home Outlet’s success with BigCommerce? Check out our case study to learn how it's taken advantage of the platform’s variety of features and functionalities.

Annie Laukaitis

Annie is a Content Marketing Writer at BigCommerce, where she uses her writing and research experience to create compelling content that educates ecommerce retailers. Before joining BigCommerce, Annie developed her skills in marketing and communications by working with clients across various industries, ranging from government to staffing and recruiting. When she’s not working, you can find Annie on a yoga mat, with a paintbrush in her hand, or trying out a new local restaurant.