Contactless Fulfillment: is curbside pickup the new BOPIS?
Stores that already offer BOPIS services are now promoting curbside pickup as a contactless alternative so that customers don’t have to come into the store to pick up their items.
In the past, curbside delivery was mostly offered by retailers of big, heavy items like furniture and usually limited to out-of-town locations where there was ample space to create a dedicated curbside loading area. But in the recent lockdown, with shoppers unable or unwilling to enter stores, curbside delivery acquired a new importance.
Now that stores have been allowed to reopen their doors in most countries, retailers accept that many customers may be less inclined to wander around a crowded store and are likely to continue buying online and using curbside pickup, at least until they feel comfortable shopping in stores again.
Curbside Click and Collect offers the opportunity for a contactless purchases with faster fulfillment, which was particularly important during the lockdown, as consumers often experienced long delays for home delivery of online orders of all types of products.
French Furniture Retailer Adapts BOPIS to Offer Curbside Pickup
Openbravo customer BUT, a leader in the French furniture retailing market using Openbravo in more than 300 stores, has adapted its existing Click and Collect service to offer curbside pickup, effectively turning 60 stores into online fulfillment centers.
Customers can choose to make their purchases on the BUT website, reserve the item at a store and then collect it by appointment. The item can be picked up from the store car park and new protocols are in place to minimize contact between customers and employees during the pickup process.
The customer only has to present his or her order confirmation through the window and then stay in the vehicle while the employee brings the goods. Once the employee has stepped back, the customer can then load his or vehicle with the purchased item.
It seems that consumers in France as in other countries affected by the lockdown have embraced this new method of fulfillment with enthusiasm. But will it continue once the health crisis has long passed? According to a survey by Mckinsey, the use of curbside pickup by French consumers increased by 85 percent during the lockdown, and over a third intend to continue using it.