With the increase in the use of online shopping methods, there have also been various developments in-order delivery. There have been multiple methods of fulfilling shipping orders, from taking days to deliver products to same-day deliveries. For eCommerce owners with physical stores, store pickup is also available for those who do not want the added delivery charges.
During the pandemic, another option for order fulfillment that became popular was curbside pickup. In a period where humans maintain minimal contact, this option becomes a perfect way for customers to pick up their products. It became so popular that 59% of online shoppers claimed to be using curbside pickup during the pandemic. Even a year after the pandemic, 87% of customers still wanted businesses to offer the curbside pickup option.
This article will explain how you can optimize curbside pickup services for eCommerce stores. While this option is common for brick-and-mortar stores with online sites, it could also be used for pure eCommerce owners. Stick with us as we go through the various methods.
What is Curbside Pickup?
Before we get into the various methods, let’s do a short rundown on curbside pickup. As the name implies, this is when you agree on a destination with your customers to pick up their ordered goods. The pickup locations could be a parking lot or store locations for brick-and-mortar stores. Some brands, like Walmart and Target, had already started experimenting with this delivery method before the pandemic. During the pandemic, many other brands also followed the trend. However, most of these brands are brick-and-mortar stores at heart.
So, that brings us to the question, “How can a purely online store owner use the curbside pickup service?” You’ll want to stick around for the next section to find out the answer.
How to Optimise Curbside Pickup for eCommerce Stores
If you’re looking to optimize curbside pickup for your eCommerce store, then the tips below are for you:
1. It All Depends on Inventory
If you’re an eCommerce store owner who runs a global dropshipping business, you might be limited in the extent of implementation of this pickup service. Also, eCommerce store owners who have manufacturers who produce and send the goods to consumers will find it challenging to use curbside deliveries. However, for local eCommerce store owners who handle their inventory, you can offer curbside to customers in your locality. If you handle the stock, you can easily arrange how products will be delivered. This could even help foster a better relationship with your clients.
2. Maintain Constant Communication
For a curbside pickup service to work smoothly, you’ll need to maintain a clear line of communication with your customers. You need to give them clear information on when their orders are ready. For this type of information, it is advisable to use SMS as people tend to check their SMS more frequently.
Also, you should let customers know if there’ll be any changes to the curbside pickup location or the pickup time. This would help them feel valued and improve their customer experience with your brand.
3. Handle Customer Complaints Well
In a system like this, customer complaints are inevitable. Some might want a refund or might not just like the quality of the curbside service. How you handle these complaints could be a huge determinant in keeping clients as repeat customers.
In the case of refunds, it is advisable to always give clients a clear 14- or 28-day return policy. This would give them enough time to return the products if they don’t like them. This should be stated clearly in whatever correspondence you send to them.
The ease that comes with the curbside pickup is something many customers prefer. Offering this feature could make your store endearing to your customers. To set it up, you need to host your eCommerce store on a platform that supports this feature. With SaaS platforms like Shoplazza, you can set up curbside service and inventory management with minimal stress.
(Contributed by Oluwafemi Adedeji & Hermes Fang)