Pre-COVID, 40 percent of shoppers said buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS or click-and-collect) was their most valued retail shopping experience, with BOPIS behavior growing 30 percent from 2018.
Now, curbside pickup is the BOPIS delivery model of choice (dubbed BOPAC – or”buy online pick up at curb”) as we navigate this”new normal.” Both consumers and merchants have accommodated quickly, with curbside pickup doubling year over year and 59 percent of customers polled in April stating they’re extremely likely to continue choosing curbside pickup due to the pandemic.
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However, what was created for convenience can be anything but in today’s chaotic climate of social distancing, limited store hours and decreased staffing. Many retailers require customers to call in the parking lot (and fight the busy signal), endure lengthy in-car wait times or even queue to get from the store to flag a member.
Furthermore, many new-to-curbside merchants are still working out the kinks in their systems and processes, and lack the backend management that may help connect customer service with curbsiders.
6 ways to close the curbside pickup experience gap
Emails may get lost, buried and worse, go awry — while 90 percent of texts are read within 3 minutes of getting them. As a consequence of the visibility, convenience and speed, more than 50 percent of customers prefer text communications with firms over telephone (and encouraging SMS also keeps your phone lines free for those that prefer voice).
But the perfect text experiences aren’t one-sided. Supporting two-way texting between customers and staffers gives the best experience — even if it’s an AI-driven chatbot pushing back canned responses (40 percent of shoppers don’t care if it’s a bot or a human texting, and 27 percent can’t tell the difference).
Enhance pickup logistics
With social distancing policies in place and lineups to get into several stores, giving customers the ability to minimize curbside lineup waits (or stay in their automobiles!) Helps speed the pickup process. SMS messaging enables customers to notify staffers when they’ve arrived, and even remain in their automobiles by sending information in their place and automobile make and model.
Consider BOPIS-bots and GPS
To really Uber-ify curbside pickup, consider incorporating BOPIS with chatbots and GPS in your advanced web application (PWA). Clients may initiate their”trip” as they leave their home via your web app, and pickups can be right-timed with their arrival and set on the curb or in your lot.
Without the in-store excursion, curbside orders lose the opportunity to drive additional in-store purchases — 85 percent of BOPIS shoppers state they’ve purchased additional items in-store during a pickup trip.
To pick up this slack, consider pushing personalized cross-sells and upsells post-online purchase to”add to” an arrangement based on popular in-stock items at the pickup location, a customer’s local purchase history or other add-ons. Within this post-purchase flow, remind customers that making fewer trips for more things is suitable during times of social distancing, reduced store hours and more frequent stockouts.
Another way to boost the basket worth of each curbside pickup is to give incentives to shop again. By means of example, Object Edge’s Curbspot supports post-pickup coupons and deals for future purchases (combined with an opportunity to send feedback on their experience).
Support store associates
Don’t overlook the consumer experience on your back end! Giving staff a better way to manage curbside orders and co-ordinate with customers (especially when customers can’t be found or are no-shows) that is intuitive and easy to onboard to is important to a seamless curbside expertise and customer satisfaction.
If you’re using a plug-and-play accelerator such as Curbspot, make sure its back end is user-friendly. If you’re building a customized curbside pickup solution, remember the qualities you would like to provide your staff: view all pickup orders, see customer-ready orders, see orders out for pickup (or to pickup in a certain time period ), and completed pickups.
How headless trade supports curbside pickup
API-driven headless commerce lets you create new experiences like integrating new curbside pickup flows to cart and checkout, combine inventory and order management to chatbots and SMS messengers, and plug these pieces to advanced web applications or customized UIs for rear end users and shop partners — without adding code to your platform itself.
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►►► ConnectPOS is a cloud-based POS software compatible with multiple platforms including Magento, Shopify & Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.
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