Curbside Pickup Solutions Businesses Wish They Knew About Sooner

Has your restaurant or retail store had a high demand for curbside pickups lately? 

If you’re like so many other businesses, you probably had to get creative this past year and find curbside pickup solutions overnight to keep up with demand.

In 2020 alone, curbside pickups at retail stores increased by 208%. That’s nothing to scoff at! And it doesn’t look like demand for this convenient shopping option will be going away anytime soon. Two-thirds of shoppers who used curbside pickup say they plan to use it again

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

The truth is, many large retailers who are curbside-pickup pros took months or even years to develop their curbside shopping processes. They had the luxury of piloting and testing with plenty of lead time. 

Thankfully, it’s not too late for you to improve or even start curbside pickup at your restaurant or store. And it can be simpler than ever before with curbside pickup structures from WeatherPort® Shelter Systems.  

But first, let’s talk about why you should bother to improve or start curbside pickup if you haven’t already!

How Curbside Pickup Helps Restaurants and Retailers

Curbside pickup isn’t only in the best interest of customers. It has plenty of benefits for restaurants and retailers, too! Here are a few of the major benefits curbside pickup can have for your business.

1. It Helps Limit the Spread of COVID-19

First, curbside pickup doesn’t just do good for your business — it also does good for your community! It will help you protect your employees’ and customers’ health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does this in lots of ways, including the following:

  • Cuts back on the number of people touching products in your store to stop the spread of germs
  • Customers stay in their cars, so they avoid contact with employees and other customers
  • Stores are less crowded, so it’s easier to stay socially distanced
  • Lowers the overall time spent shopping to minimize exposure

Essentially, curbside pickup makes it safer to shop. That way, customers don’t have to risk their health to continue to buy from you. 

[Related: Outdoor Restaurant Seating for Social Distancing and Reopening After COVID-19]

2. Customers Will Buy More

A surprising benefit of curbside pickup is that it makes it easier for customers to buy more than they typically would.

For example, customers shopping in-store might not normally be motivated to buy products in bulk. After all, it can be hard to lift large packages in and out of a shopping cart and then carry them out to the car.

But if the product is put into your car for you right at the curb, it makes buying in bulk a whole lot easier! Plus, customers won’t be limited to filling up a shopping cart’s worth of products. Instead, they’ll have a whole car of space to fill.

3. There Is a Good Chance to Upsell

One of the major appeals to in-store visits is that people can stumble upon products that they might not have otherwise known or thought about. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to go away with curbside pickup. 

In fact, the National Retail Federation reports that consumers end up spending an extra 10 to 15% on upsells at curbside pickups. To make upselling easier, consider strategies that will play out with consumer behavior

Target offers additional products to customers after they’ve placed an order but before they’ve picked up. Customers are already planning to drive to your business, so why not promote products they are potentially interested in, thus saving them an additional future trip. 

Another interesting piece of consumer behavior is that people tend to buy smaller packaging in store, with a usual maximum of 10 to 15 pounds, even when the bulk of 100 pounds is readily available. This has more to do with pushing it around in a cart and lifting it into their cars afterward. But if the 100-pound bag of dog food is brought out to the car, it eliminates the awkward struggle of handling such a large bag. 

To push upselling even further, many businesses have begun to set up pop-up kiosks within their curbside pickup structures. Choosing items to include in the kiosk can be tricky. But once you find the niche items that appeal to curbside pickup customers, you’ll find success in this strategy of upselling.

[Related: Outdoor Seating Helps Ocean Pours Taproom Grow During a Pandemic]

Quick and Easy Curbside Pickup Solutions

They’re the solutions you’d wish you’d known about sooner that make curbside pickup less overwhelming and more profitable for your business. 

It’s clear curbside pickup has lots of benefits for consumers and businesses alike. But if you’re like many other restaurants and retailers, you probably had to rush to set up this system overnight! 

1. Make It Easy for Customers to Find You With Branded Structures

Although curbside is not a brand-new concept, the pandemic has it being used by many businesses for the first time. You could look at this through two lenses.

One. The big box stores that have had years to perfect their curbside pickup have a leg up on the competition. 

Two. Let’s learn from those stores that have been perfecting the process for several years now.

One thing businesses new to the curbside game can definitely learn is that the use of branded signs and structures is well worth the investment. Even with specific directions, a line of pop-up tents all similar in color without branding can be overwhelming to consumers just looking to pick up an order. This could potentially lead to a customer canceling their order or even deciding that purchasing from your business is not worth the trouble.

Instead, keep it consumer-friendly by making your business’s canopy easy to find by using a quality fabric structure that will not only last longer, but can help promote your business and pickup service with a branded logo.

[Related: Customize Your WeatherPort With Graphics and Branding]

2. Prevent Parking Lot Pileups With Drive-Through Structures

The learning curves over the last year have been rough for a lot of businesses. Even without lockdowns, business owners are having to make decisions to keep their customers and employees safe. Sometimes, the best intentions result in less than stellar execution. And many businesses can attest to playing their part.

But the good news is that as other businesses solve these problems, you can learn from them rather than repeating their mistakes. 

With those solutions come drive-through structures. Customers simply drive up and are given their pre-purchased items. This eliminates the necessity for customers to find a parking spot then walk to your storefront. Or what some may consider worse, getting stuck in a long line of traffic in the parking lot while waiting for an employee to bring their items. 

With a drive-thru structure, employees have a shaded area to work and prepare for customers without being a victim to the elements. Rain, snow, or even the blistering sun won’t get in the way of drive-through fabric structures. 

3. Keep Pickup Fast With Outdoor Storage

One of the common hold-ups with a curbside pickup is the time it takes for an employee to go inside the store to grab the items. To remedy this, a little planning and storage space can go a long way to decrease the time it takes to complete a curbside pickup. 

When taking an online or over-the-phone curbside pickup order, narrow down the pickup time. This can be done by simply asking, “What time will you be picking up?” Or better yet, have designated pickup times. For a smaller business without a lot of scheduled pickups, a designated two- or three-hour slot each day may work just fine. Larger businesses with a lot of scheduled pickups may opt to have several two- to three-hour time slots each day. 

Ahead of the designated pickup times slots, employees will bring the pre-purchased merchandise out to the fabric structure. Depending on the number of pickups and items, one or two employees can be stationed out there to ensure everything runs smoothly while also keeping a protective eye on the merchandise.

[Related: Impact 360 Institute Turns to Durable Outdoor Structures During COVID-19]

4. Increase Sales With Pop-Up Kiosks

A great aspect of investing in a branded fabric structure is its versatility. Yes, we are in the midst of a pandemic and drive-thru curbside pickup is necessary due to both lockdowns and safety concerns when not under lockdown. 

Open-air pop-up markets are increasing in popularity. They are safer than shopping inside and give people something to do outside their homes. 

You can set up an instant retail shop for just your business. Or get together with a variety of other businesses to create an immersive event. If you’ve already invested in a branded fabric structure, you are all set! 

Not only do branded structures help customers find you for curbside pickups, but they also help new customers remember you! If you decide to partake in an outdoor pop-up, you don’t have to trade that for the brand recognition that comes from shopping in-store or online. 

[Related: Covered Parking Structures for Rental Car Companies and Dealerships During COVID-19]

Increase Your Business With Branded WeatherPort®

Integrating fabric structures to benefit your business is easy with the help of professionals. If you are ready for customers to spend less time finding you and more time remembering you, give WeatherPort® a call. Their friendly building specialists can help customize a fabric structure to meet your exact needs. 

Consumers are spending money; make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to bring in their business. To get started, contact us today!

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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