The Rise of In-store & Curbside Pickups

Over the last few years, consumers have been changing the way they shop. They no longer need to run to the store when purchasing food or necessities, they can do it right from the comfort of their home. There are services popping up everywhere for consumers to receive something they want or need within a short time period. With online shopping on the rise, we think it will extend further to the point where consumers will demand full control over where, when, and how they receive those items that they’ve ordered online.

With the advent of COVID-19, consumers’ lives have been upended around the globe, creating dramatic shifts that have affected shopping trends and what consumers expect from retailers. On-line shopping has been further propelled at an incredible rate and contactless exchanges are now top of mind. Connected, yet disconnected, we’ve learnt to alter our habits and businesses have tried to adapt to stay alive. Within the course of a week in Mid-March, many businesses were forced to close their physical locations and move to the exclusive model of curbside pickup. Change can be good, but in the moment it’s hard to accept and even harder to adjust to.

What is BOPIS?

We’re now seeing the rapid emergence of consumers who are buying online and picking up their order at the store. Retailers have responded to this by setting up pick-up counters or even lockers in order to serve those customers. Some large retailers like Walmart, have invested millions of dollars into large lockers for this exact purpose. This is known as “Buy Online, Pick up in Store” or “BOPIS”.As a way to serve customers in a convenient manner while also maintaining a safe distance, retailers have made the leap to curbside pickup. According to a poll by NRF, half of consumers used BOPIS as a result of COVID-19. A survey also found that80% of consumers expect to increase the use of the BOPIS method over the next six months, and 85% of consumers have increased curbside pickup significantly since the coronavirus pandemic began. The BOPIS model has grown as consumers are too busy to shop in-store and are more comfortable making purchases online.

Before the pandemic hit, parcel lockers were just starting to gain traction with retailers and consumers. In a post COVID-19 world, this option will be considerably more appealing as smart parcel lockers allow retailers to drop off orders into secure compartments where they’re later picked up by the consumer using a code, which is sent to them when the order has been deposited. Consumers no longer need to stand and wait in line to be served or wait further while the attendee verifies their identity and then goes to look for their order. Consumers will expect retailers to provide them with the type of service that makes their lives easier and safer.

Smart parcel lockers can be accessible 24/7 and can hold small and large items, refrigerated items, and hot food items for customers to pick up. Smart automated devices that are central to the retailer provide them with tools to serve their customers and manage their orders, returns and logistics efficiently. We expect smart parcel lockers to become a store fixture like display counters, POS terminals and change rooms. A multi-purpose, smart device capable of storing orders for pickup, a place to drop off items the consumer wants to return, an outbound device for shipping items or as an option for consumers who have bought something in store, but want it shipped elsewhere.

Without a doubt, the current pandemic has pushed many retailers to adopt curbside pickup. As retailers continue to look at implementing a BOPIS strategy to improve their capabilities and customer experience offerings, they must ensure they have the correct requirements in place to create a BOPIS offering. Consumers crave convenience and choice, which is a big reason many retailers are adopting this model. By implementing BOPIS, retailers are able to compete against online retailers like Amazon by using their physical stores as hubs for fulfillment and getting products into consumers’ hands at a quicker rate and for less cost.

 

Conclusion

When the pandemic subsides, and we start to go back to some sort of normal, there has been a tremendous leap made by consumers who have adapted to the new store pickup models.

The growth of on-line shopping will continue unabated and consumers will expect choice in how they receive their products including the ability to pick up their orders in store. Parcel Port Smart Lockers give you an easy to use device that checks all the boxes - literally. With a Parcel Port Smart Locker installed in your location, you'll have an easy to use, scalable and secure “Buy Online and Pick up In-Store” solution. Parcel Port offers today’s most innovative turn-key and customized Smart Parcel Locker Solutions. Our lockers are manufactured locally and along with our proprietary software and complimentary services, offer an affordable and unique solution for Commercial & Residential Property Managers and Builders, Retailers and Parcel Couriers.