Is curbside pickup just getting started?
With scores of retailers introducing curbside pickup and continuing to offer it as stores reopen, more consumers are getting accustomed to the convenience of the service overall.
Among the research showing curbside’s appeal during the pandemic:
- The number of orders placed online and picked up at stores by customers surged 208 percent between April 1 and April 20 compared with a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics.
- A survey of over 1,500 consumers from CommerceHub taken over a two-day period in April found 59 percent were more likely to use curbside pickup following the coronavirus outbreak. Of those who subscribed to multiple delivery services (including Amazon Prime), 75 percent said they were still likely to opt for curbside delivery once the pandemic subsides.
- An online survey of retailers from RIS News conducted from April 2 to 16 found 44 percent offering curbside pickup, just below the 47 percent offering BOPIS via counter pickup. A third of retailers not offering curbside pickup were rushing to get the service up as soon as possible.
The findings come as major chains, including Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gap and Kohl’s, as well as multitudes of local stores and restaurants have introduced curbside delivery after forced store closures.
All the retailers new to curbside pickup are offering the service for free. Kroger, which had charged $4.95 for the service, is also offering it for free during the pandemic. Walmart and Target had long offered the service as complementary.
In a note, “Curbside, Connected & Robotic Retail Revolution,” that came out in April 2019, Cowen & Co. predicted that some 25 percent of consumers overall would opt for curbside’s convenience by 2020. The benefits of curbside pickup, according to Cowen’s report as reported by Forbes, include foregoing in-store navigation, avoiding the checkout line and not having to search for items in the store. Cowen wrote, “Curbside will play a premier role in the future of retail.”
- Curbside pickup at retail stores surges 208% during coronavirus pandemic – CNBC
- Almost Half of Retailers Offering Curbside and In-Store BOPIS, RIS Survey Finds – RIS News
- COVID-19 Shopping & Delivery Trends – CommerceHub
- Walmart Leads The Soon-To-Be $35 Billion Curbside Pickup Market – Forbes
- Is BOPIS over its growing pains? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Has curbside pickup become a bigger opportunity amid the pandemic or do you see it as a temporary solution for most retailers? What hurdles may the expansion of curbside pickup face?