Curbside pickup: what you need to know for retailers

Curbside pickup

Curbside pickup is a new delivery alternative that has recently become popular as the Coronavirus pandemic continues. A perfecting curbside pickup service helps your store another revenue flow as you cater to shoppers who are still adhering to social distancing in the short term, and who like the convenience in the long term. By building a smart workflow, you prepare your business to keep offering great service into the future

Curbside pickup

What is Curbside Pickup?

Curbside pickup means making a purchase remotely through eCommerce, typically, though in rare circumstance buys may be done over the phone and then choosing the products at the store without physically entering the store. It also is a safe way to skip the shipping costs for an online business without needing potentially packed stores, and it brings your customers a way to keep visiting their favorite local retailers even when in-store shopping was shut down.

The mixture of convenience means that purchasing online and picking up in-store isn’t likely to fade away as a physical distancing end. Shoppers appreciate the capability to shop with you wherever they are without needing to wait for or pay for delivery; curbside pickup is a great combination between convenience and speed that slots nicely into the busy schedules of your shoppers going forward.

Curbside Pickup Steps

If you have both a physical store and an online store, this is a great way to integrate online and offline. This will also prepare your business if your physical location store is unable to allow customers inside. Even when both purposes of your business is up and running full tilt, curbside pickup still offers some much-desired convenience for shoppers. Here is an overview of what a curbside pickup experience may look like for your store:

  • A shopper completes an order online.
  • The shopper chooses a curbside delivery time slot.
  • The shopper pays online by credit card or another payment method.
  • The retailer receives the customer’s order.
  • At the estimated time, the shopper drives up and parks.
  • Merchant takes the order to the customer’s car.

If you have a physical store, but don’t already have eCommerce, you will need to create your store for online ordering.

Pros and Cons of Curbside Pickup

Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup is especially convenient when one parent is running errands with some kids or when someone with mobility problems needs a few products from the store. But it’s also beneficial for merchants.

Advantages

For retailers

  • Help some businesses keep delivering with store locations closed
  • Protecting the safety of customers and employees when Coronavirus pandemic continues
  • Employees can be assigned to other jobs in between shipping, helping decrease labor costs.
  • Help retailers to save on shipping fees
  • Streamline and optimize your inventory management system
  • Some large merchants say the convenience of curbside pickup helped to boost sales.
  • Face-to-face interaction with your shoppers
  • Decrease in-store lines.

For customers

  • Allow customers to get their products into their hands faster and lets them pick it up on their timeline.
  • Customers have a chance to visually confirm that their merchandise is undamaged, the correct variant (size, color, etc),
  • Reduces stress and friction: Curbside pickup can dismiss the stress of their trip and provide an overall easier customer experience.

Disadvantages

  • Merchants struggle to track and show in-store inventory in real-time, yet the system only operates when products are available.
  • Customers never visit your store, therefore there’s no chance of them purchasing more related- products than what they came for. And impulse purchases usually account for a large percentage of sales.
  • You’ll need a well-functioning, user-friendly app for shoppers to place orders and schedule a pickup time.
  • It can be hard to be efficient for curbside pickup when your store is busy.

The good news for smaller retail is that the largest merchants are pioneering these methods and, in doing so, helping pinpoint the advantages and disadvantages of each one. That may make it simpler to determine which type of service makes the most sense for your store

Tips for Improving Curbside Pickup Experience

1.Designated in-store location for orders

Having a place to put orders once they’re filled and ready for pickup will help your internal logistics forcefully. That way when a shopper arrives and notifies you that they’re outside, your employee knows exactly where to go to take their packed order and make the delivery as effective as possible.

2. Speed up the payment process

Shoppers select curbside pickup because it’s fast and convenient. Asking them to wait while a staff member walks their card back inside to process the payment can lead to extra touchpoints and a lengthy wait — negating one of the primary advantages of curbside pickup. Instead, make it simple for shoppers to pay online so they can take their order and go. Or, equip your employee with a mobile POS system so they can process payments or upsell at the shopper’s vehicle.

3. Having a curbside pickup staging area

Curbside Pickup

Utilize a table, separate counter, or cart to generate a curbside pickup staging area. Stock it with products that to-go shoppers are likely to need so they are handy — combining to-go silverware, extra sauces, napkins, etc. Generating a designated area to prepare curbside pickup orders will streamline the process and prevent congestion during rushes.

4. Dedicated employee training

Ensure all of your in-store staff thoroughly understand the logistics for the new curbside pickup system. Will certain staff on a shift be in charge of monitoring and shipping curbside? What are the expectations for the shipping time? Ensure to document all processes and make sure all staff is clearly trained on them.

 5. Promote curbside delivery strategy

It’s very important to let your customers know you offer curbside pickup by posting on your social media channels or promotional email campaigns, and potentially in a pop-up on your website. Ensure to emphasize it on your checkout page as well.

Curbside pickup

Conclusion

Curbside pickup delivery option becomes an effective way to provide the required products fast, as well as protect shoppers and your employees while staying open and serving the community. By facing these unprecedented changes to daily lives, some good planning, and a reliable technical solution to rely on, the curbside pickup option will bring value today and in the future. Besides, to improve the overall customers’ shopping experience Store Locator extension, Delivery Date extension is a must-have extension for your eCommerce store.

Related post Store Locator: Simple solution for complex problems in the online store

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