Using curbside shopping and pickup has become a standard procedure for many consumers during the pandemic period. Wanting to avoid contact with clerks and other shoppers, consumers started placing their orders online, getting a pick-up time from the store and waiting in a curbside queue for a store worker to bring their orders out. For retailers, it was a way to keep doing business without violating the many COVID-19 protocols.
The future of curbside shopping and pickup
Queue management systems like Ombori rose to meet the demand for software solutions that make it possible for retailers to offer curbside services. Ombori calls these concepts BOPIS (buy online; pickup in store) and BOPAC (buy online; pickup at curb). Ombori sees these buying options as one of those things that we didn’t know we needed until the pandemic made them a necessity. Sure, curbside pickup existed pre-pandemic, but it took the pandemic protocols to bring this way of shopping to mainstream shoppers. Research shows that curbside pickup orders rose 87% between late February and March 2020, and the number of people who Googled the term “curbside pickup” tripled. Ombori feels that now that consumers have tried this way of shopping, they aren’t going to give it up.
Benefits of curbside pickup
The benefits of curbside pickup aren’t limited to the pandemic. Many benefits will apply long after the virus is gone. These include…
- Streamlining shopping for consumers. BOPAC makes it easy for shoppers to get the things they need without spending a lot of time shopping. This is especially attractive for parents of small children and people with mobility issues.
- Reduces errors associated with home delivery. With curbside pickup, consumers can check their order while they are still at the store, reducing the frustration of getting the wrong order.
- Reduces the time it takes to get products. Curbside pickup is generally much quicker than home delivery. Often, you can pick your order up the same or the next day. Queue management systems tell consumers when to be at the store, reducing the need to wait in a long queue.
Curbside pickup post-pandemic
Curbside pickup has become something that consumers enjoy and expect from retailers. Says Ken Morris, a leading retail analyst, “Buy online and pickup at the curb (BOPAC) is something consumers have fully embraced and will expect in the future. The service provides a higher level of convenience to the customer, and the transaction can remain contactless, adding a level of safety many customers will expect and require.” Look for more retailers to embrace this method of offering products to consumers and for those who currently offer this service to expand their capabilities.
Ombori is an innovative technology company that provides a platform for ready-to-use, customizable, modular solutions for interactive in-store screens and mobile devices. In addition to providing queue management systems that assist retailers with curbside pickup, the Swedish company is the creative force behind such revolutionary in-store technology as a talking mirror that asks shoppers to take a selfie with it and an interactive window display that lets passersby shop without even entering the store.