Curbside retail: here to stay, and simpler with Retail Pro Prism POS
Thinking out of the box and providing new ways for customers to connect with retail has long been critical for businesses to maintain loyal shoppers as well as to attract new prospects.
Sometimes, circumstances such as COVID-19’s mandated social distancing are the impetus for lasting changes.
Many retailers have had some omnichannel presence, but others have had little or even no experience; both groups have had to innovate and create new ways to connect with customers during COVID-19, many of whom wanted to shop but were reluctant to mingle with the public at large.
As a result, retailers’ new strategies are catering to those unique, and challenging, requests.
At a time when many are feeling overwhelmed, retailers that can offer convenience will be rewarded by shoppers.
Curbside pickup is one convenience strategy that has been refined in recent weeks and is likely to remain long after shoppers’ fears about going into stores have subsided.
Curbside: the final BOPIS frontier
Prior to March, many large retailers offered the ability to buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS).
The strategy lets customers shop round the clock, and then during business hours take delivery of the products at the retailer.
It may save the customer some time, but it’s more likely simply enabling a “time shift”: Instead of shopping for two hours between 10 and 8, BOPIS customers might shop for an hour online at midnight, and then stop on the way home from work to retrieve the items.
However, “stopping off” used to mean find a parking spot, enter the store, find the pickup location and finish the transaction.
All those steps ate up precious time.
Simplifying curbside pickup with Retail Pro POS
Integrating curbside pickup into the process has made BOPIS much more efficient for the customer; the pre-ordered product is simply delivered to the customer waiting in the car.
That last step makes BOPIS far more convenient, and Retail Pro Prism mobile POS makes this step more convenient for your team.
With Retail Pro Prism you get the same deep functionality on any device you use – whether mobile or desktop, Apple, Android, or Windows – so your associates can meet your customer at their car with their order, POS in hand. This is useful for orders that were reserved online and still need to be rung up.
Customers who have been shopping with you online during COVID-19 may also bring returns with them when they come to pick up their order.
With Retail Pro Prism mobile POS, your sales associate can complete the return on the spot with the customer’s receipt. If the customer forgot their receipt, you can easily look up the transaction from the system or just look up the item in your inventory and enter it as a return transaction.
You can even sign your customer up for the integrated AppCard loyalty and rewards from the curbside.
Retail to go
The number of orders placed online and picked up at brick-and-mortar stores by customers rose 208% between April 1 and April 20 compared with a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures the web transactions of 80 of the top 100 U.S. internet retailers.
If retailers keep the curbside option once they fully reopen, it will provide yet another delivery channel to their most busy customers.
Texas governor Greg Abbott recently allowed nonessential retail stores to start offering curbside pickup, or, as he called it, “retail to go.”
Even before the economic shutdown, some pharmacies were offering curbside service, such as CVS.
However, the drugstore chain didn’t offer the service at all of its outlets, and it was relatively unique in offering it.
Pre-COVID, curbside pickup was nowhere near as popular as it has become.
Looking into the future, it seems logical customers will want to retain this new convenience.
Convenience is going to drive the economy in the coming months, and possibly years.
While born out of necessity, customers are going to consider a once-novel curbside service part of the “new normal” retail experience.
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