Curbside Pickup Is Taking Over The Market

06:30 AM August 06, 2019

The rate at which e-commerce has been growing is a threat to traditional brick and mortar businesses. Not only is shopping online convenient, but it also offers a great chance for comparison shopping. As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Millenials shop 60% of their products online.

For conventional businesses, tailoring their services to gain back this elusive customer base is the only way to survive.

One strategy that has been gaining some fruit is the establishment of curbside pickup services. Some of the brands that have embraced this innovation like Walmart curbside and HEB curbside have gained a fighting chance against retail giants like Amazon. Even better, curbside pickup is only gaining traction and is here to stay.

Here is why this innovation is expected to revolutionize the retail landscape:

Curbside Pick-Up in a Nutshell
Curbside Pick-Up in a Nutshell

Curbside pickup is a service aimed at attracting time-starved people who would love to pick up their shopping within the short time windows they have. Instead of having to walk into retail stores and wait in line to checkout, it allows such people to make an order online and pick it up from the store without even walking into the building.

In some cases, this innovation has been used in restaurants to reduce congestion and improve the number of customers the business attracts.

Some of the most notable brands that have been embracing curbside pickup include Nike, Walmart, CVS, Amazon, and Target.

These brands have an app that helps shoppers add items to a cart and check out while awaiting the processing of the curbside pickup orders.

For shoppers with vehicles, these brands provide reserved parking spots where one can park until the order is ready for pickup. Most applications will alert you through the in-build notifications, while others will also use your email address.

Why Curbside Pickup Is Poised For Success
Why Curbside Pickup Is Poised For Success

The idea behind this innovation can be summarized in one word- convenience. Often times, customers with kids have had to walk with their kids throughout a retail store, not to mention, carrying heavy bags of grocery shopping back to their vehicles.

Also, people with only a few minutes to spare for shopping per week are often demoralized by the long lines they find in retail stores. While innovations such as the in-store pickup, which preceded curbside pickup, are still in place, they haven’t been effective enough in promoting convenience.

Curbside pickup helps such customers evade long checkout queues and reduce the time it takes to finish shopping errands.

The bigger picture is that it improves the competitiveness of these businesses. The fact that HEB curbside pickup is a reality places the brand ahead of other stores that only have drive-through or in-store pickup options. Even better, it gives the business a fighting chance against e-commerce giants like Amazon.

The Threat That Other Online Retailers like Amazon Pose To Conventional Stores
The Threat That Other Online Retailers like Amazon Pose To Conventional Stores

For some time now, Amazon has been looking to improve the speed of delivery for its goods. What started as a two-day free shipping program has now graduated into same-day delivery, with services like Amazon Prime gaining traction. In some cases, customers who pay for a delivery order have actually received their products within a few hours.

In comparison to the conventional brick and mortar stores, this is quite inviting to customers.

All they need is to click a few buttons, and they will have the order at their doorsteps. Curbside pickup changes the game entirely. Businesses can leverage the one thing that doesn’t play in favor of online retail giants- the lack of specific store locations.

What Makes Curbside Pickup Even Better Than Amazon Prime?
What Makes Curbside Pickup Even Better Than Amazon Prime

Curbside pickup proves that it is no longer about rushing to the customer’s doorstep but offering convenience by all means necessary.

It covers the flaws that come with Amazon Prime’s last-mile delivery program. First of all, it caters to those customers who prefer to choose their own meat or want to add something else to their shopping list despite already having placed an order.

Second, since most people prefer using Amazon for non-perishables, grocery pickup services make the grocery shopping quite streamlined. Customers can buy from their local market instead of online. Lastly, it is cheaper than last-mile delivery in many ways since it is almost free.

Other than eliminating the costs of delivery, it eliminates the time needed to coordinate delivery agents and the legal aspects of it all.

In retaliation, Amazon too has been trying to get into the curbside pickup game. It has launched a few physical locations at Whole

Food stores that will offer whole foods pick up services to Amazon Prime users. Also, their drone delivery initiative can easily battle this innovation, as long as they can get the nationwide drone airspace restrictions waived.

Curbside Pickup Is Meant To Build Customer Loyalty
Curbside Pickup Is Meant To Build Customer Loyalty

Some retailers fear that keeping customers out of their stores is counterintuitive. It is confusing to champion a strategy that does so while trying to defend brick and mortar store models at the same time. The fact that 79% of impulse buying cases happen in retail stores might rub some retail managers the wrong way.

It seems like they are closing the doors for more sales and upselling opportunities.

However, businesses have to shift their focus from profit generation to customer satisfaction. As long as customers are satisfied with what the retail business offers, the chances are that they will become repeat customers.

Furthermore, a strategy such as launching the curbside program for specific products in the store will invite people into the stores to shop for the items that aren’t included. This has been the 2019 Walmart’s strategy for getting people into Walmart stores.

SUMMARY

Businesses can also use rewards to draw customers into their stores, with CVS’ extra care rewards being a great example. The health brand offers CVS curbside pickup services through a program known as CVS express, but the services can only be accessed through the CVS pharmacy app.

With it, customers can buy up to 75% of all the merchandise located in the CVS stores. Another strategy would be to accept diverse credit cards as well as using promo codes to attract more customers.

The only way that retail stores can survive in today’s brutal marketplace is to offer convenience. While curbside pickup is in its years of infancy, brands that incorporate it into their sales strategy will be among the biggest winners. The innovation simply looks to blur the lines between online and offline shopping experiences.

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