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Stein Mart bolsters BOPIS experience with virtual agents

Stein Mart

A specialty off-price retailer is making its buy online-pickup in-store (BOPIS) service more engaging for its customers.

Stein Mart envisions 15% of its online orders will shift to in-store pickup — and the company wants to be ready. In early 2019, the specialty retailer added BOPIS to give its customers more fulfillment options. Now the company wants to ensure that every step of the process is smooth and interactive.

Through a partnership with long-time partner Inference Solutions, Stein Mart now offers virtual assistants developed on the technology provider’s cloud-based code-free platform. As shoppers arrive in the BOPIS department, they push a button that triggers an overhead page, alerting store associates to welcome the customer and help them retrieve their order.

"We didn’t want the [BOPIS] experience to be anonymous, or to miss an opportunity to connect with our customers,” said Maurice Louwerse, director of IT technical services at Stein Mart. “We wanted in-store pickup to be a unique touchpoint, where store associates could interact with customers and provide engaging experiences.”

The technology has been added chain-wide to all 283 stores.

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