Retail business owners were forced to come up with new ways to not only keep their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but to keep their doors open. Curbside pick-up and local delivery are two “new norms” that have arised in the last two years in order to cater to those who are not ready to walk inside with unfamiliar crowds.
Small business owners have had to jumpstart their eCommerce strategy in order to execute the new norms of both curbside pick-up and local delivery. The good news – there are some other advantages to eCommerce alongside your brick-and-mortar than you may have realized.
The Advantages of Curbside Pick-Up and Local Delivery
Limited contact with your customers has forced you to offer more delivery options to them. Curbside pick-up and local delivery are sufficient ways to keep your customers safe while still providing them with the items they need.
Let’s explore the advantages of offering these services to your customers as a way to increase satisfaction and retention.
Lower Logistics Cost
For brick-and-mortars, when you’re only concentrated on delivering to your local area, you cut out all the unnecessary costs that come with shipping orders out of state or to different countries. This means that you can save on gas, packaging and labor costs by fulfilling these orders in-house.
Curbside pick-up helps reduce costs even more because you take shipping out of the entire equation. You will need an employee to package and organize pick-up deliveries (many do this during down times), so that customers can come at a time that is more convenient for them.
Fast Order Handling
When you’re trying to ship your items you are at the mercy of shipping companies. This can often lead to long wait times for customers who are eagerly awaiting their orders.
With curbside pick-up or local delivery, you have more control over the process for your local customers. This means that customers can receive their items faster and with fewer issues. You can offer same-day pick-up or delivery and increase your customer satisfaction.
Higher Average Order Value
All the fees associated with shipping may cause your customer to second-guess adding more items to their order. When you offer curbside pick-up or local delivery, you don’t have to include shipping fees associated with the order, or they’ll be discounted greatly.
When fees are waived customers are more likely to add more of your products to their cart and increase their average order value. You can also upsell and cross-sell products when customers come to pick up their orders, generating more sales.
The Disadvantages of Curbside Pick-Up and Local Delivery
Just like most things in life, there are cons to every service, even curbside pick-up and local delivery. The most obvious being that orders might not be ready as soon as a customer arrives at your store due to the convenience that curbside pick-up offers.
Here are a few more key points to keep in mind before you start offering these services to your customers.
Harder to Manage Inventory
With customers buying in different ways, it can be hard to keep track of inventory to make sure that you have enough stock for everyone. Keeping track of inventory manually leads to human errors. Luckily, SKU IQ offers the ability for small businesses to sync inventory and reporting between their Point-of-Sale and eCommerce platforms, so this con doesn’t have to exist in your store!
More Omnichannel Management
Offering more delivery options means managing more delivery options. Using platforms like Uber Eats or Doordash can increase costs and become harder to synchronize. If you already feel stretched thin, adding curbside pick-up or local delivery to your list of services may not be the best idea. You’ll need to have a system in place to manage all these different moving parts to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Requires More Resources
Packaging products for curbside pick-up, local deliveries, and in-store purchases means you’ll need more employees to handle the packaging process. Delays from the store being short handed or an increase in orders might leave a customer feeling dissatisfied. It’s important to offer what your store can handle.
How eCommerce Can Help
When you add eCommerce to your brick-and-mortar, you not only give your customers a more organized option to shop for your products, you give the entire business a strategy for success. Using the order tracking systems and inventory management that come with eCommerce platforms can help you keep track of your products and ensure that you have what customers need in stock.
eCommerce also opens up your business to a global market, which can lead to more sales and a larger customer base. With the right eCommerce platform, you can offer curbside pick-up, local delivery service, and shipping to anywhere in the world.
If you’re worried about the manual data entry when it comes to connecting your POS and eCommerce platform, set those worries aside. With SKU IQ, we will save you time and sync inventory in real-time! We make it easy and give you the time you need back to help your store run as efficiently as possible. Check out www.skuiq.com today to get started with your 30-day free trial.