As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many business owners faced empty stores and restaurants. To stay afloat, they had to explore new channels such as home delivery and buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS). With its low contact and high convenience, curbside pickup gained immense popularity among consumers, and early signs show that it might just be here to stay.
Small, independent restaurants like Fresco’s in Texas didn’t have to think beyond their dining room before COVID-19, as online ordering never felt like a necessity. This was also the case for Northgate Gonzalez Markets, a Hispanic supermarket chain in California. As a company that prided itself on offering great in-store experiences for its customers, the family-run establishment was not interested in establishing an online presence. When the pandemic hit, it quickly needed to pivot toward safer, online alternatives for its customers. Both Fresco’s and Northgate found significant success through curbside pickup.
Within weeks of launching, Northgate enjoyed 50 percent growth in repeat customers and an order fill rate of over 90 percent. Even as Fresco’s dining room reopened, many of its customers still opted for online ordering, which currently accounts for half of the restaurant’s business.
Apart from being COVID-19-friendly, curbside pickup is a fast and convenient way for customers to shop. Retailers and restaurants that have executed it correctly are watching it become an integral part of their multi-channel service.