Curbside Pickup: A Contactless Pickup Solution

Features like curbside pickup and contactless delivery became the standard these past couple of years. If you’re not taking advantage of these already, check out this article and see how your business can benefit from contactless curbside pickup.

Curbside Pickup (BOPAC) in Retail

Most of us are already familiar with the concept of “buy online, pick-up in store” (BOPIS), also known as “click and collect.”

If you haven’t yet, no worries. We’ve covered that in this Ultimate Guide To Buy Online, Pickup In-store (BOPIS), feel free to check it out.

The point is that Buy Online, Pickup At Curbside (BOPAC) works in a truly similar way.

Customers place orders online, choose the pickup location, receive confirmation via email or SMS, finally, pick up their order at curbside. Once you have all their order details, you can start to get everything ready to go and let your customers know when they can come and pick it up.

Besides, customers can also choose to pay online using their credit or debit card in advance for a safer, contactless experience, unlike paying in cash at the pickup location (i.e., curbside or local store of their choice). The curbside attendant simply puts the contents of the order in the customers’ cars, with little to no physical interactions at all.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?

That’s also what most people in the United States think. As a matter of fact, the number of grocery delivery and pickup in the U.S. grew exponentially from August 2019 to early 2020 and it kept going, as seen below:

Moreover, as the pandemic affected consumer behavior, we can see an increase in the number of online shoppers in the U.S. who turn to curbside pickup.

Contactless Curbside Pickup: Pros and Cons

Remember 2020?

One thing is for sure: it was a year full of surprises.

The convenience of the curbside pickup is undeniable. Thanks to this service, both merchants and their customers can enjoy an easy way to pick up items without having to put themselves at risk while shopping in-store during a global health crisis.

In fact, in Q2 of 2020, Target has seen incredible growth in the number of drive-up sales, more specifically an increase of 734%, and that figure has been held steady ever since then.

Curbside Pickup = Contactless Delivery Done Right

Businesses have had to adapt on the fly to meet the needs of their customers. Some companies, like grocery stores, were already set up for contactless delivery, while others had to scramble to put together a system that would work for them.

As a result, there isn’t one single model for how curbside or contactless delivery plays out. Each business has its own unique offerings and business processes, and each has had to find a way to make contactless delivery work for them.

In some cases, this has meant making small changes, like adding signage to indicate where customers should go for curbside pickup. In other cases, it has meant completely redesigning the way that orders are fulfilled.

Either way, curbside shipping still remains a fantastic way to make sure that products don’t get germs and dust on them when your customers bring them home. Contactless delivery helps keep the products away from any potential contagions, which could spread through human contact.

Benefits of Curbside Delivery

As mentioned above, one of the main issues that curbside pickup is aiming to solve is the need for social distancing. It’s one of the most effective contactless options, enabling retailers to make sure safety is a top priority for them.

Besides ensuring safety measures are thoroughly followed, curbside pickup comes with other benefits as well for everyone involved, including merchants, staff, and customers.

Some of the most notable advantages of using curbside delivery are:

1. Convenience and efficiency

Consumers nowadays have more options than ever, easier access to information, and less incentive to stay loyal to a single brand. This leads to higher standards and an increase in customer demand.

From 24-hour shipping to same-day delivery, a lot has changed in the retail and logistics industries. Lately, more and more consumers want to get their hands on the items right away, soon after placing their order online.

This is where curbside delivery comes into play. It enables customers to receive the products as soon as possible without having to put in too much effort. This also increases convenience and efficiency, allowing you to sell more, faster.

You don’t even have to believe us, facts speak for themselves— the number of online orders picked up at curbside and brick-and-mortar stores increased by 208% between April 1 and April 20, compared with the same period the previous year.

Moreover, there are also individuals who are less mobile, including the elderly, who might want to opt for a curbside attendant to place the packages directly into their vehicles.

2. Decreased feelings of uncertainty

On the other side of the spectrum, there are customers who don’t really care whether they receive their order the following day or a month after. They only care about actually receiving their order.

The fact that they ordered an item online (and probably paid for it virtually) makes them wonder if they’re going to receive it or not.

However, if you’re allowing them to come and collect their package themselves, you’ll take a load off them and remove uncertainty. Being able to choose the pickup location for their order makes them feel at ease.

3. Improved customer satisfaction

Once in a while, orders get damaged in transit between the warehouse and the recipient’s delivery address.

In this regard, curbside delivery reduces the risk of damage that can occur during transportation. In certain cases, customers can even check the order themselves before driving away to make sure everything is as expected.

Therefore, no damaged goods means increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty in the long run!

The Challenges of BOPAC & Contactless Delivery

Life is not perfect and neither is curbside pickup.

Curbside pickup services aim to make shipping and delivery more convenient for the customer but it doesn’t mean that things go according to the plan every single time.

Unless given proper instructions before and upon arrival, customers might have to call the store, exchange information over the phone, and wait longer for a store associate to answer and assist them with their issues.

For instance, what happens when a customer arrives and their order isn’t quite ready? Do they wait in their car for the groceries to be brought out, or do they go inside and shop while they wait?

Grocery stores also have to face the challenge of packing orders quickly and efficiently while making sure that certain items are kept cold, such as dairy and frozen foods. Restaurants also need to take into consideration some additional layers of safety measures when it comes to curbside delivery.

Participating restaurants that allow customers to select the contactless curbside pickup option need to properly seal orders in reliable food packaging.

For instance, in early 2020, Pizza Hut announced its contactless curbside pickup initiative nationwide, alongside new measures. As part of this new approach to delivery and consumer safety, Pizza Hut’s process requires tamper-proof safety seals will be applied to all Medium and Large pizza boxes.

In order to streamline curbside pickups, omnichannel retailers, grocers, and restaurant owners need to invest in the right technology and equipment and learn how to:

  • Prioritize orders by providing a pickup window for same-day pickup or offering next-day pickup while proactively notifying the customer every step of the way.
  • Alert staff on customer arrival by offering clear instructions of when the products are ready for pick up and when the customer has arrived at the designated pickup area through a check-in experience that is simple and engaging.
  • Proceed with the handoff by ensuring order details and instructions have been thoroughly followed both by the staff and the customers.

By following a straightforward procedure and using the right tools and post-purchase software, you’ll be able to avoid long wait times, overwhelmed associates, and unhappy customers.

Key Takeaways on Contactless Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup has become a popular solution for businesses and shoppers alike who are looking to minimize contact and follow social distancing guidelines

By definition, curbside pickup is a service that allows customers to order items online and then pick them up at a designated location without having to enter the store.

For businesses, curbside pickup is a way to continue operating during the pandemic while ensuring the safety of employees and customers.

And for shoppers, it eliminates the need to go into a store and come into contact with surfaces or people. In addition, curbside pickup is often faster and more convenient than delivery, making it a win-win for everyone involved.

And if you want to create a flawless, smooth curbside pickup experience, make sure you’re centralizing all data, provide virtual check-ins to reduce time spent on unnecessary calls, improve overall customer satisfaction.

This is exactly what WeSupply enables you to do, so start your free 14-day trial today to get a taste of BOPAC yourself!


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