The COVID-19 pandemic forced consumers to change how they shop in a matter of days due to government-issued stay-at-home orders.
Consumers had to quickly adjust and find new ways to get the products they needed, and many became accustomed to these new conveniences. Consumer behaviors and expectations are expected to stick for the long term, especially when it comes to curbside.
Curbside pickup vs. in-store pickup
Curbside pickup allows customers to place an order for products at a store. When customers arrive, the order is brought out to their car, so they never have to leave the vehicle. In-store pickup is similar, but customers will often come inside the store to get their order.
Retailers with brick-and-mortar stores initially implemented solutions like curbside pickup to help their customers feel safe, while re-purposing their stores as fulfillment centers—building on existing technology and re-deploying their employees in new capacities.