When will curbside pickup become the norm?

by Scott Spivack • ,

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the long-term impacts on retail and society at large are becoming clear. Social distancing will continue to be in place for some time, and many aspects of our way of life will have to change – some of them drastically.

For many businesses, in-store and curbside pickup have become essential to operating during the crisis. For the restaurant industry, consumer adoption of these options is critical to their short and long-term survival.

Bizrate Insights asked shoppers about their use of curbside and in-store pickup. While these options are on the rise among consumers, their popularity is growing faster in some sectors than in others.

Despite coronavirus, curbside pickup hasn’t quite taken off

So far, the pandemic has yet to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of pickup orders. Only 41% of consumers we surveyed indicated that they had used in-store, drive-up or curbside pickup options. This fairly low number may be due to shoppers preferring home delivery of their items over pickup while stay home advisories remain in place.

Have you ever ordered online and then used curbside/in-store pickup?

Source: Bizrate Insights Flash Survey, April 2020.

The coronavirus has caused a dramatic increase in curbside pickup frequency among consumers who were already familiar with it. At the beginning of April, just 40% of curbside pickup users had used it as a fulfillment option. By the end of the month, 86% of users had used it within the same timeframe.

When was the last time you curbside pickup?

Source: Bizrate Insights Flash Survey, April 2020.

Store pickup is most popular at restaurants and pharmacies

More than half of shoppers (53%) reported that their next restaurant order was either very likely or extremely likely to be a curbside pickup order, while 47% said they were likely to pick up in-store.

While restaurants offer delivery, usually through apps like Grubhub or Postmates, the extra fees can be expensive. To circumvent these costs, many consumers are preferring pick up instead.

How likely are you to use a pick-up option the next time you order online?

  Source: Bizrate Insights Flash Survey, April 2020. Respondents answered either “very likely” or “extremely likely.”

In-store and curbside pickup are also popular with pharmacies, at 42% and 44%, respectively. Pharmacies may have an edge on other retailers in this area, as online prescription centers and drive thru pickup have been popular for some time.

Surprisingly, just 35% of shoppers indicated that they were “very likely” or “extremely likely” to use in-store or curbside pickup at a grocery store. Some of this can be attributed to shoppers choosing at home delivery instead. For others, it may simply be a behavior that is hard to change – people prefer to pick out their own food.

Measuring the long-term impact

Curbside pickup options are set to become the norm for many retailers – it’s just a matter of how long it will take. COVID-19 will have profound effects on how we shop, eat, work and live our lives, but it may still be too early to see how some of these changes have manifested.

Bizrate Insights will continue to survey shoppers and report back regularly on the shifting trends in consumer behavior during COVID-19.

Want to know more about Bizrate Insights’ feedback solutions for curbside and in-store pickup? Schedule a demo with a member of the team today.

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