Now that stay-at-home orders are changing and many stores are reopening, shopping expectations and behaviors have shifted. For example, customers are opting for safer shopping options to avoid human contact as much as possible, including curbside pick-up and buying online/picking up in the store (BOPIS).
Price, quality, and brand are all important to shoppers. However, one of the biggest factors in purchasing behavior is convenience. The National Retail Federation reported that 9 out of 10 customers are more likely to make a choice based on convenience. This is especially true as retailers continue to adjust to restrictions brought on by COVID-19. Curbside pick-up, for example, has quickly transformed from a simple perk to a public health necessity as shoppers are trying to follow social distancing guidelines.
But shoppers have actually been expecting convenience and flexibility for some time. The first reported curbside pickup came even before drive-throughs. Back in 1921, a Texas store called The Pig Stand introduced the concept of curbside delivery. Its customers could drive up, eat, and pay, all without exiting their automobiles. A drive-through window was added shortly thereafter.
A positive curbside experience begins with a clear communication plan. Customers need to know details about your process and likely want notifications along the way. Consider these communications best practices for curbside success:
From a retailer’s perspective, adding a curbside pickup option can increase online sales and reduce shipping costs. To optimize these benefits, retailers should have a comprehensive knowledge of inventory, as well as a well-documented curbside service process. This process, which includes taking the items from the store or backroom, packing, and/or delivering to the customer car, will be simple enough to incorporate into current employees’ existing assigned tasks.
Scheduling tools can help keep, track, and plan out employee schedules, including vacation days, preferred shifts, etc. You might also want to identify employees who have the ability to process orders quickly. Keeping staff excelling in areas they already do well in and tracking these metrics can help identify when or where improvements can be made so staff can easily perform all tasks.
When customer behaviors drastically shift, retailers should be prepared to creatively pivot to provide clear, easy-to-follow processes. To learn more, subscribe to our eNewsletter or talk to one of our sales consultants today.