Curbside predicted to boost Black Friday sales during Covid-19

Raj Sangha
by Raj Sangha

Consumer demand for curbside collection and BOPIS/click and collect services has risen sharply during Covid-19, and experts expect it will grow in prominence during the Black Friday and holiday season.

During the Covid-19 lockdown period, where consumers were up against relentlessly long lines outside of supermarkets, banks and pharmacies, as well as delivery dates spanning weeks into the future instead of days, a number of leading retailers invested in expanding their in-store pickup and curbside collection offerings to make it easier, safer and quicker for customers to get their hands on much-needed items.

Now, months after shops have reopened, consumers have become accustomed to this new way of shopping. New research from GlobalData has found 68% of US shoppers are going to make more use of drive-up curbside collection facilities at stores in the future and almost 60% say they will make greater use of collect from inside store services.

A survey commissioned by PayPal revealed that almost half (46%) of retailers are in the process of expanding their curbside pickup process, with front runners including Kohl’s, Best Buy, Walmart, Kmart, Target, Home Depot and Macy’s.

How curbside collection works

A curbside collection process typically follows these steps:

How BOPIS software works

Customers check-in from their phones when they have arrived at the store to collect online orders.

They receive a queue position by SMS and a live smartphone countdown and are automatically updated when their order has been located.

Here are three examples:

1) Tesco stores – Virtual queuing for BOPIS pickup

Tesco allows customers to browse the store waiting for their click and collect orders.

At a number of its large format grocery stores, Tesco enable customers to have a contactless BOPIS order pickup experience. Customers approaching stores to collect their online orders can join a virtual queue from their phone. They’re then kept updated by a live webpage countdown and via SMS while the Tesco store team locate and bring their orders to them. This enables customers to have a fully contactless drive-thru or on-foot online order pickup experience that ensures Tesco remains their grocery retailer of choice.

Read the Tesco case study here

2) Currys PC World – Check-in for contactless BOPIS pickup

A dedicated curbside collection parking space outside electronics retailer Currys PC World

To better support customers during the Coronavirus pandemic, and to provide a fast and safe experience during the holiday season, Currys PC World (part of Dixons Carphone) now offer a drive-through collection. This service enables customers to buy products online and to collect them from the car park using the Qudini Virtual Queuing System. Customers arriving at a store can check-in by accessing a weblink in their order confirmation email or through scanning a QR code at the front of the parking bay. Once checked in they receive their queue position by SMS and a live smartphone webpage that counts down while they wait. A store associate will then locate the customer’s order and drop it into the customer’s car boot, enabling the customer to drive in and out of the store premises without even getting out of their car.

The Qudini software enables customers to have an entirely safe and contactless pickup experience that is both efficient and engaging. This has enabled the stores to improve productivity while also increasing loyalty to the Currys PC World brand.

A video of the customer journey:

Read the Currys PC World case study here

3) Pets At Home – BOPIS check-in system

Pets At Home allow customers to collect items without leaving their cars.

Largescale UK pet supplies retailer, Pets At Home, also now use Qudini to offer its customers a safe, efficient and engaging online order pickup experience. Customers arriving at store to collect their online orders are able to check-in from their phones, informing store teams that they have arrived who then locate and prepare their orders and bring it to them. Meanwhile the customer will receive SMS updates and an on-screen countdown while they wait.

The system offers customers a fast and convenient collection experience that encourages them to return more frequently and will play a crucial role in its customer experience during the winter months ahead.

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