Curbside pickup: the long-term appeal for retailers

Blog

Curbside pickup: the long-term appeal for retailers

Curbside pickup offers retailers and customers more ways to stay connected with each other. It is not only a short-term solution for retailers given the disruption of the current climate, but a long-term investment that will increase business profitability and customer brand loyalty. 

2020 has changed the retail landscape seemingly overnight, with retailers quickly creating and implementing innovative solutions to stay connected with customers and to stay profitable during and post-pandemic. Customers are showing great interest in curbside convenience. In a recent NRF Spring 2020 Consumer View survey, more than three-quarters of consumers said they were interested in BOPIS, over 90% of those who have tried it said curbside was convenient. McKinsey reported that categories such as store curbside pickup are gaining many new customers who intend to stick with the behaviour post COVID-19.

We knew curbside pickup was always going to happen, however, with today’s climate, the urgency has increased dramatically resulting in an acceleration of curbside pickup adoption. It also comes at the right moment, where customers are demanding more convenience and more choices. Customers and retailers are both finding many benefits to using curbside pickup in the shopping journey. 

We explore some of the benefits for retailers to implement curbside pickup into their connected store.

Extends clienteling across omnichannel systems

By integrating curbside pickup into your POS system, retailers have the convenience of providing end-to-end shopping experiences from anywhere. Sales associates can provide shoulder-to-shoulder care over web or video chat, review in-store inventory, and then coordinate to meet and greet their customers with their purchased products outside of the brand’s store. 

Strengthens brand and customer loyalty 

Retailers offering curbside pickup provide customers with another choice that is convenient for the customer’s lifestyle. Retailers have the opportunity to personalize the curbside pickup experience with customized communication and recommendations so as to deliver a high-level shopping experience. By providing a similar in-store experience throughout the entire omnichannel platform, retailers are giving customers alternative ways to interact with their preferred brands. Curbside pickup continues to bring quality service to customers without sacrificing the personal interactions they would receive in store, thereby bringing convenience and ease of sales transactions directly to the customer.

Leverages in-store inventory and management

With a robust POS system, retailers have visibility to in-store inventory and employees availability to fulfill orders. Best Buy’s curbside-only policy allows any in-store products to be claimed by employees and sold curbside. Retailers can continue to sell in-store inventory to customers who prefer to shop curbside, while managing the store’s available inventory, and providing similar personalized in-store convenience online.

Shortens the fulfillment cycle and saves on shipping costs

By providing customers with options to pick up curbside, retailers can decrease the fulfillment cycle by getting the product faster in the hands of customers. Not only can retailers provide end-to-end delivery faster, they can also avoid lost or delayed packages by providing a direct delivery. With curbside pickup retailers can also save additional costs as they don’t need to include additional delivery and shipping fees that come with at-home deliveries. In a recent NRF survey, 70% of consumers who are aware of buying online and picking up in store had tried it, and the top reason for doing so was to avoid paying for shipping that comes with at-home deliveries.

Offers customers convenience and choice

Curbside pickup provides customers with yet another option to complete a purchase. Post-pandemic, some customers will still fear visiting a physical store and want the continued option to shop online. Customers have always wanted more flexibility when shopping and crave quicker methods to get products delivered to them. They want to be able to click or call for an order and pick it up without leaving their vehicles. Curbside pickup offers customers a similar in-store experience by seeing products in hand prior to pickup. 

Curbside pickup solution, a variation of Buy Online and Pickup in Store (BOPIS), when added with a digital experience, offers convenience and ease for customers when they don’t feel safe entering the store or want a quick and seamless checkout experience without visiting the store or waiting for their delivery to arrive. It provides customers with the ability to click, grab and go seamlessly and lets them interact with the brand in the way that they wish to and when they wish to. Retailers implementing curbside pickup into their omnichannel systems can increase online sales, streamline in-store operations, and provide customers with simple to use and convenient services across the entire connected store.