Grocery stores that want to protect employees — and customers — from exposure during a health crisis will want to capitalize on the option to provide curbside delivery.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is changing shopping habits and, as social norms around the crisis evolve, consumers will continue to adjust their behaviors, seeking the most convenient ways to comply with social distancing protocols.
Importantly, these shopping behaviors and a new emphasis on convenience are likely to persist beyond the crisis’ resolution. To take advantage of this trend, grocery stores would be well-served by a move to curbside pickup.
How to Implement a Curbside Pickup Service
It’s important to understand the way the curbside pickup service flow operates before diving into adding the service to your repertoire of customer conveniences. A typical flow looks like this:
- Customers order their items by shopping online through a store-branded application
- A store employee downloads the customer’s list and physically shops for the items, scanning them into a tote.
- The employee prints a barcode label and places it on the tote and continues pulling items until the order is filled.
- The order is placed on a shelf for curbside delivery and the receipt is sent through the app to the customer. It can also be printed upon request.
- The customer arrives at the store at a predetermined time and an employee puts the order in their car curbside.
Not only does this type of service make the shopping experience more convenient and reduce risk for the shopper, it enables the store to better protect its employees, meet a growing demand, and stay competitive in the marketplace.
To implement curbside pickup, stores must follow a set of steps in order to ensure a smooth transition and roll-out of the service. These include:
- Evaluation of app options
- Evaluation of scanners and mobile printers that will enable the process
- Testing and making adjustments as necessary
- Implementation of a pilot program
- Communication of the new option to shoppers
- Official roll-out of the program
As more grocers move to provide this service and more customers opt-in, there can be some initial difficulties in providing click-and-collect groceries.
Fortunately, companies like Zebra offer solutions that make implementing a curbside pickup program as foolproof as possible.
They begin with optimization of the customer fulfillment process that streamline pick-up, put-away, and delivery functions for a customer-centric experience, whether groceries are delivered curbside or to your customer’s door.
In-store operation functions are optimized using mobile solutions that improve efficiencies and empower employees to foster faster, smarter, more reliable store operations at every touchpoint.
They also focus on the crux of competition: The customer experience.
Helping grocers offer an outstanding shopping experience requires the kind of purpose-driven retail analytics that allows stores to focus on personalized customer experiences — the kind that drive revenue and provide a true competitive edge.
Finally, creating an optimal customer environment includes inventory management analytics for increased accuracy and savings, mobility asset control to simplify and organize workflow, and data capture processes that allow grocers to foster customer loyalty and provide exceptional service.
The Expertise to Guide Your Move to Curbsides Service
Engaging and keeping customers through implementation of a curbside pickup or delivery service is simple when you have the right team on your side. At PointManagement, we’ve tapped expert partners in the field of curbside and delivery apps and process optimization to quickly help your business adopt a no-contact program that will give you the competitive edge you need to stay ahead in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
Our team of experts are well-versed in implementing and customizing the apps and enabling hardware that makes for best practices delivery.
Using the latest technology and analytics, our team will design a curbside solution that optimizes workflow, promotes customer engagement and loyalty, and drives revenue for a secure future and a healthy bottom line.
Ready to see how a PointManagement curbside solution can help your enterprise implement a curbside pickup program? Contact a PointManagement consultant and get an assessment today!