With so much investment put into new delivery methods brought about by the pandemic and lockdown measures, some retailers have started to wonder aloud whether it may be in vain as a post-pandemic world may mean curbside pickup being… well… kicked to the curb.
Yet research shows that new shopping trends tend to stick and evolve into default habits. And there are plenty of stats to back up the strength of the click and collect delivery service, which would see past experience influencing future shopping:
- 64% of ecommerce shoppers expect to order more online in the next half a year.
- 75% of shoppers carried out curbside pickup over the last half a year.
- 35% increase in curbside pickup over the last half a year.
These figures point towards a promising future for curbside as part of the broader omnichannel experience provided to customers. Fueled by the stress put on websites and order management systems, shoppers swiftly gravitated towards omnichannel options, including curbside.
Today, every segment of commerce offers curbside… and pretty much 9/10 ecommerce shops provide it. A pretty obvious signal for its future growth.
Here is why curbside has clicked so much for shoppers who have been looking for alternatives:
A time saver
Although technological revolutions promise to alleviate our time, to free us from the shackles of time-consuming tasks, we seem to be a society that is starved of time (where does our time really go?). Entangled in such an environment, we’re constantly searching for time-saving gadgets and tricks.
And in lockdown for so many months, we’ve sought to spend our time in more fulfilling ways; in more meaningful ways. Curbside provided shoppers with a contactless and quick way to reach goods. Importantly, pickup times are typically under 5 minutes.
The top three reasons that shoppers elected a BOPIS (buy online pick up in store) or curbside experience was time-related. While 46% specifically mentioned they can save time, wanting to avoid a store visit at 47% and the convenience of it all point directly to time-savings as well.
Does the shop even have what I’m looking for in stock? This is a question we’ve not been overlooking. Customers are increasingly checking online for inventory availability even when they head out to the store.
There are many stores still that have products on their site but are unable to communicate stock levels to their customers. And so the alternative if you’re buying from a store is to take photos and show them to store associates. What if they don’t have any left? A total waste of a journey to the shop. This is just one part of the omnichannel experience that a great ecommerce brand would offer, and a great function that many order management systems possess, such as Salesforce Order Management.
An additional indicator that is important to shoppers is same-day delivery and same-day pickup, as we hope to get hold of our goods as soon as possible. Avoid customer disappointment and ensure that products are available and visible for customers to check before they leave home.
Fast on the phone
The meteoric rise of ecommerce is accompanied by a similar surge in phone use. When we shop we look to our phone to save time and add convenience to our shopping. Mobile apps have exploded to the point where any big-playing ecommerce brand must have their own app.
In fact, almost 50% of ecommerce shoppers use a mobile app to buy goods, and almost 30% use apps for curbside pickup.
It’s clear that brands and retailers should be carrying out a mobile-first approach to their ecommerce strategy, and partner with digital platforms that enable it, such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, a powerhouse provider for ecommerce solutions and favorite among big-volume, highly-complex brands.
The entire shopping process from product search to curbside pickup deserves the love and attention of brands in order to deliver world-class digital experiences.