Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many small businesses to close their doors. While some states reopen and allow these businesses to resume their practice, others remain closed. Restaurants, grocers, boutiques, salons, gyms, department stores, hotels, B&Bs, and other businesses that normally see a large operating capacity were affected as they could no longer service large groups of people without the risk of spreading the virus. This has forced businesses to employ innovative techniques and newer applications to remain operational. Many of these businesses have opted for delivery and curbside pickup as an interim solution for their revenue losses. If you’re one of these businesses but have yet to implement these actions or want to implement alternative sales techniques other than in-person shopping, read this guide on how to set up curbside pickup for your store.
What Curbside Pickup Is
First, you must understand the role curbside pickup has in today’s retail market to better understand how it can benefit your store. Curbside pickup is the process by which businesses allow customers to pick up orders on the store’s curbside from their vehicles. While typically used for restaurants and carry-out food orders, many retailers have opted for curbside pickup as an alternative to in-store service. In fact, it’s often used as an addition to online delivery. Customers can order their desired products from the store’s online site, then physically pick it up at the store’s brick-and-mortar location. When paired with online ordering and delivery, curbside pickup presents an omnichannel shopping experience in which customers have multiple options for ordering their desired goods. Today, many retailers offer curbside pickup, from grocers to independent boutiques to mainstream department stores.
Benefits to Curbside Pickup
After knowing what curbside pickup is, one can see how it benefits the retailers. With curbside pickup options, merchants see increased online sales and better inventory management. Your online conversion rates and customer retention improve as more customers shop remotely. This also helps streamline inventory as your online orders match your in-store stock. Another benefit worth mentioning is that you save on shipping and delivery fees. While some stores use their own delivery strategies, others require third-party logistics providers which can become costly. With curbside pickup, customers must accept their orders themselves, thus saving on shipping and possibly returning fees.
Steps for Implementing it At Your Store
To set up curbside pickup for your store, follow these steps. Through efficient planning through streamlined online and in-person order management, your curbside services will go smoothly. The best solutions for implementing curbside pickup at your business are marketing, an efficient order management system, and long-term initiatives. Even as businesses reopen and offer in-person service, curbside pickup is an easy, simplified advantage that complements already existing options. Even as curbside pickup benefits businesses, it’s increasing in popular demand. They receive their merchandise faster, see visual order confirmation, and reduce unnecessary stress and friction. As orders ship faster to the retailer, patrons retrieve their products directly as soon as they arrive and get processed into your inventory system. Shoppers can visually see the orders themselves which reduces return rates in case anything’s missing or damaged. All in all, this reduces the amount of stress and friction between you and the consumer to provide an overall better customer experience. With that, here are the ways you can implement curbside pickup at your store.
Market Your Curbside Pickup Option
Begin with marketing your curbside pickup option. This presents the best way for customers to see your new service. Otherwise, they may assume you only offer online delivery or in-person shopping, which can deter some customers. One way to actively market this service is through promotional campaigns on social media. Social media is a modern marketing strategy used for many possibilities, but it presents the perfect avenue for curbside advertising. This gets the message that your curbside delivery program is available for patrons which comes in handy for faster order processing. You should also emphasize it throughout your website. Offer curbside pickup as an option in the checkout page as well as through banners throughout the home, product, and shipping pages.
Create an Efficient Order Management System
Of course, part of a stable curbside service is an efficient order management system. Slow orders are one of the most upsetting and frustrating aspects of business for customers. Make sure designated pickup times are met with appropriate orders. Have staff prepare all orders ahead of time for shorter delivery times as well. Since customers expect their orders immediately, have employees ready to work. You can improve worker efficiency with employee training. All in-store employees should understand the curbside pickup logistics. Test employees so that they remain under a targeted time. Employees should also know where customers park. Designate certain parts of your parking space for this service. Hoist a tent or signage indicating which space is regular parking and which is the designated curbside pickup spot. Even a line can work well if employees understand which orders pertain to which vehicles. With streamlined training procedures, your curbside service will remain fast and accountable.
Keep it Long-Term
One of the best benefits to curbside pickup is it’s a long-term business alternative to in-store shopping. Even situational factors can increase the opportunity for curbside pickup or online delivery over in-person retail. Weather, comfort, or even dire circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic increase curbside pickup as a feasible marketing alternative. While current e-commerce shopping experiences can leave customers frazzled and frustrated, curbside pickup along with traditional methods ensure long-term customer satisfaction. In effect, your customer loyalty, name recognition, and profits increase.
Still, when setting up curbside pickup at your retail location, you need the right payment processing technology. As a result, our legacy point-of-sale systems provide the best retail functionality software around. Unlike other POS systems, our BPAPOS retail system has gift card processing software, credit card processing, bar code printing, accounting system, inventory management, security, loyalty system, and integrated payments all in one. Call us today for more information and we’re happy to help you with your BPAPOS system for any restaurant, retail, or hotel operation.