COVID-19 has resulted in a seismic shift in the commerce world. It is something we never expected and has caught many online retailers off-guard, bringing the operations of brick-and-mortar stores to a temporary (but challenging) grinding halt.
Consumers are adapting their shopping habits back to an intrinsically human mentality of ‘hunting and gathering’ – with the added twist of social media.
Facebook posts appear in community groups asking if members have seen hard-to-find but in-demand products. The at-risk seek the help of the healthiest in the neighbourhood to shop on their behalf – with the convenience of e-transfers or Venmo for repayment.
After seeing the wait lines at your nearest major beer or liquor store, you might turn your attention directly to a local craft brewery offering curbside pickup option on a particular day that suits your schedule, or even within an hour of ordering. Sure, you could wait for someone to deliver it… but you kind of want it now.
This is just a snapshot of behaviour you and those around you might be modelling as individuals. On a macro level, will consumer behaviours change in the future as people adapt to the new way of shopping?
Now that the initial frenzy is over and consumers are adjusting their habits, companies that can quickly meet their readjusted expectations will be able to capture more of the market. Companies that can deliver quickly, that keep in-demand items in stock with adequate product information, and offer BOPIS with curbside pickup are just a few keystrokes away for consumers who find their “regular” shop isn’t keeping up.
For those stores with a BOPIS solution that was used sparingly before COVID-19, the impact has been significant. Web traffic is up, store inventory is moving, and staff can continue working. Consumers are learning to look for and use this feature, and for those who know exactly what they want and like saving time, it may be something that becomes part of their new normal.
For those stores without a BOPIS solution, challenges have been colossal. Delivery-only outfits – including the likes of Amazon – have struggled to meet customer expectations of fast delivery, so consumers now turn to same-day-pickup to get their “I need it now” fix.
What should retailers consider when implementing a new BOPIS system that enables curbside pickup – and what should they consider for future growth?
We’ve put together an infographic to help you understand these challenges and how to take advantage of a BOPIS solution for the long-term. Please download it below.