How can retailers differentiate curbside delivery?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the blog of Aptos.
The “new” last mile of the customer journey emerging from the pandemic is positively rife with opportunity. Once curbside execution is mastered, attention can be turned to surprising — and, yes, delighting — your shoppers.
Already, a few retailers large and small are smartly innovating:
- Target’s execution of curbside pickup in the U.S. would make even a finicky Nordstrom shopper happy. Instructions are easy to follow and everywhere. Communication is consistent throughout the process. Location tracking alerts the store as the shopper approaches and, in my experience, an associate is waiting in their reserved space with the order as the car approaches. No great surprises, but flawless and seamless execution.
- Rather than stickers on the sidewalk to mark two meters of separation for social distancing guidelines, London’s Notting Hill Fish Shop has set up folding chairs to let people sit and socialize while waiting in line. Shoppers have taken to the idea and fallen in love with the ability to socialize while social distancing. Low effort, low tech, but lots of surprise, and lots of delight, apparently.
- Hatch, a maternity wear retailer with stores in Los Angeles and New York, is experimenting with shortening that last mile by opening a pop-up shop in the Hamptons exclusively dedicated to curbside pickup. Taking the cost of shipping and the long trek into the city out of that last mile is sure to delight many “moms to be.”
Regardless of how orders are fulfilled — whether they are delivered from the store, shipped from the warehouse or picked up curbside — there are numerous legitimate, tangible and attainable opportunities to not only improve the experience, but differentiate the experience.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you assess the transition to curbside pickup that has taken place at stores in recent months? In what ways can retailers bring “surprise & delight” to curbside pickup?