Why You Need Curbside Pickup Software & Services
Who remembers the scene in Love, Actually where Rowan Atkinson slowly and grandly gift wraps a necklace Alan Rickman wishes to quickly purchase? Atkinson assures the hapless Rickman that he’ll have the gift ready for him in the “flashiest of flashes” — once he adds the requisite bag, ribbon, boxes, flower buds, lavender, cinnamon sticks, and sprigs of holly. The customer (Rickman) eventually leaves, baffled by the encounter.
Ah, the IRL shopping experience. But alas, the gift-buying experience for shoppers has been markedly different the past two years, and curbside service — like its safety-focused cousin contactless delivery — is the new reality for retail, restaurants, and other industries.
What is Curbside Pickup?
Curbside service is a trend that’s been picking up steam for years. It even has its own acronym: BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-Up In Store)... although some customers prefer to call in advance to pick up their orders. Window shopping is fun, but curbside retail is what shoppers are really looking for this year. Ditto for restaurants and other SMBs.
Curbside Vs. Pickup: Are They The Same?
Well, they’re close. The main difference is that curbside pickup (as opposed to the traditional kind) is more streamlined, with little-to-no interaction with staff.
For instance, instead of walking into a restaurant to grab a to-go order, diners can simply pre-order and pre-pay (via a text, mobile app, or over the phone); then they can pick up their restaurant curbside pickup orders without waiting in yet another line to check out. Many establishments have curbside pickup orders waiting separately.
Customers can drive up to the restaurant (or the store) and have their orders handed to them. Easy, right?
How Does Curbside Service Work?
Like contactless delivery, curbside pickup guarantees an overall faster and safer customer experience than traditional shopping, dining, or food takeout routines.
Curbside pickup solutions are also often less costly for customers than delivery options. And they’re more time-efficient for shoppers on the go. Customers can simply swing by your business and claim their purchases at their own schedule. They don’t need to worry about delivery ETA’s, nor are they faced with extra shipping fees, delivery fees, tips, minimal order amounts, or potential membership fees.
Boost SMS Subscriber Opt-Ins — and Drive Sales
Leverage curbside delivery text options to build successful curbside service solutions. As an extra bonus, this is also an excellent way to encourage customers to join into your SMS database.
Promote the ease of the service to older customers or those who may be less technologically inclined to order online for contactless delivery options. Include Keywords on receipts, online site, direct mail, TV spots, and create signage in the pickup location with important info.
Keywords make opting in to your SMS text subscriber list a breeze. And texting will streamline your restaurant and retail curbside pickup initiatives.
Top 5 Tips to Enhance Your SMS Curbside Pickup Program
Harness the power of curbside technology with these five pro moves:
Notify Customers Via Text Messaging
Send alerts and notifications with text messaging to keep the process running smoothly. Eliminate the stressors of long waits and confusion (folks are overstressed enough as it is) — and text when items are ready, with easy-to-follow pickup instructions. Customers and staff will appreciate it.
Update No-touch Safety Policies Via Text Messaging
Customers looking for safer curbside pickup options likely wish to keep their distance. Simplify a safe, no-touch payment process by texting secure links to facilitate touchless payments, without the hassle of reading a credit card over the phone or exchanging dollar bills.
Engage With Customers With MMS Imagery
Text in advance for special offers and updates on what’s new. Since curbside pickup is often done via drive-through, shoppers aren’t physically coming to your store — so they may not notice all the promotional sales, new menu items, or new inventory. Send MMS images that are sure to really capture their attention.
Follow-up With VIP Promo Text Alerts
Who doesn’t like gifts? Actually, that’s a trick question — because of course the answer is everyone loves getting something a little extra. Send VIP customers trackable promos or coupons as a thank you for visiting. This should add to repeat business.
Encourage Positive Reviews With SMS
Thank customers for their patronage — while including a reminder to give reviews on your company site, social platforms, or Yelp. Text your request right after a pickup so that it simply blends in as part of the overall customer experience.
PRO TIP: Offer your clients a little bonus to show that you appreciate the time they will put into the review.