eBook - How to Create a Compelling Curbside Delivery Program

Publication Date
4 September 2020

eBook - How to Create a Compelling Curbside Delivery Program

Thank you for your interest in our How to Create a Compelling Curbside Delivery Program eBook! 

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Introduction - Why Curbside?

Providing a safe experience is now ranked as the most important driver of satisfaction among shoppers, leaving retailers and restaurants in a unique position to help the public purchase the goods they need in new, more secure ways. For the brands who do it right, offering effortless, touchless ways of shopping will build increased trust and loyalty with their customers and help them form new habits that will make their lives easier, while also rewarding businesses who put the safety of their shoppers first.
Offering more secure shopping experiences increasingly means relying on digital technology to help consumers get what they want and need. One of the digital technologies that has been growing the fastest in recent months has been curbside pick up and delivery.
Yes, there is one glaring driver for this change – COVID-19. But, Mobiquity research indicates that about 50% of the overall US population believe they will continue using new methods to shop for food, including curbside pick up, in the future. 3 Why? Customers tell us a big reason is convenience.

Who Benefits from Curbside?

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t benefit from a curbside delivery offering. That said, there are some audiences you regularly serve that would specifically benefit from curbside, such as:
  • People with disabilities who would have an easier time having their items delivered to them, rather than getting out of the car
  • Those looking to avoid unnecessary contact with potentially harmful viruses like coronavirus and influenza
  • People with small children, who could benefit from the time saved getting their children in and out of car seats
  • Busy professionals and commuters who desire to pick up food and essentials for the family on the go
  • People with pets, especially in the hot summer or cold winter when it’s unsafe to leave them in the car

Who should Implement a Curbside Program?

There are many retailers that should consider implementing a curbside delivery program as demand for this option becomes higher than ever.

Convenience stores and gas stations

Mobile apps can offer concierge-like service, allowing customers to place food or grocery orders alongside their fuel order. Upon submission, staff can bring orders out to customers and fuel up their cars. Meanwhile payment for every transaction has already been secured in-app.

Specialty retailers

Whether a clothing store, home goods retailer, sporting equipment store, or other specialty retailer, these businesses can benefit from curbside, too, by using it to differentiate from the competition and appeal to a new, convenience oriented shopper who has come to expect curbside options.

Grocers and mass retailers

Grocery store chains and mass retailers have an opportunity to better triage the influx of orders and they can do it with curbside. This is especially relevant now because COVID-19 changed consumer behaviors, showcasing a surge in curbside orders that many grocers had never seen before. This change caused issues - from not having the right groceries, to missing a bag, and even being charged more money for an item than what was listed online. In addition, reusable bags aren’t getting as much love these days. How can you offer your eco-friendly guests options that enable them (and you) to be environmentally conscious? For these reasons, right now may be the perfect time to revisit what worked and what didn’t and create a plan for the future.

Full-service and quick-service restaurants

Of course, full-service and quick-serve restaurants needed to move to curbside delivery and pickup during COVID – but many have come to realize the long term benefits. From increased orders to streamlined backend operations, a curbside mobile app can make the entire restaurant experience better for both customers and staff.

The Top 5 Myths Around Launching a Curbside Delivery Program

Maybe you or someone at your company isn’t convinced that your business would benefit from curbside. In this next section, we’ll examine the most common myths around curbside and help you build a case for how these myths are really opportunities for your business.
Myth #1: Consumers will go back to their old shopping behaviors when social distancing has relaxed.
This is the biggest myth of all. COVID-19 has expedited trends that were already happening and consumers tell us that now that they’ve experienced the convenience of curbside delivery, they don’t want to go back to the way things were before. In proprietary Mobiquity research, more than 50% of those we surveyed said they will be continuing new shopping behaviors even after social distancing has relaxed.
Myth #2: Curbside delivery will displace current employees.
Curbside delivery is about serving your loyal guests better, during this time of crisis and beyond. Like many other technological advancements, there will be changes but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need less staff. The biggest changes we’ve experienced include shifts in the way that company’s schedule and organize their employees.
Myth #3: Implementing a program will cost a small fortune.
Every curbside delivery program should be scaled to the needs of your business. The complexity, and cost, will be determined and proportional to the benefit that it will bring to your organization. At Mobiquity, we have a range of offerings that can help you figure out how to tackle a program without a huge upfront investment. (Learn more about our Quickstart Curbside Workshop.)
Myth #4: The best programs are outsourced to 3rd party providers versus being managed by my current staff.
There are multitudes of ways to launch a curbside delivery program. While working with a 3rd party partner who will handle the logistics and set up shop within your store may be the fastest and easiest way to kick off a program, it may not be the best long term solution for your operation. You need to consider factors such as whether or not the costs of such a program will be acceptable to your guests and if you have the right operational structure to accommodate an external program.
Myth #5: Curbside delivery means higher prices for your customers.
The costs of implementing and maintaining a program vary greatly and there are many ways to handle the changes in your cost structure. In our experience, when you make it easier for a consumer to make purchases with you, they tend to make more purchases, helping you negate the program costs. There are also many ways to defray costs with the right program to help pay for the new investment. A good partner can help you access those potential changes up front as part of your go/no-go decision framework. We can help you work through any and all of these myths to build a business case for your leadership team (see more about that later in this eBook). At Mobiquity, we wholeheartedly believe that offering more convenient shopping options will benefit retailers, employees, and customers into the future.

The Benefits of Curbside

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons guests love curbside, and how those can be catalysts for your company, helping to drive business.
Why guests love curbside How it can benefit your business
Minimizes customer effort.  More frequent visits! If it’s easy to get in and out on the go, guests are likely to visit more often.
Shorter wait times. Happier customers, higher throughput and greater sales during peak times.
Allows customers to fit in pick-up according to their busy schedules. Better planning - you know when to expect visits and can prepare in advance.
Allows for multitasking (eg. get gas and a snack in one location or trips to two stores close to each other). Higher check averages and/or more visits.
Less contact, decreased chance of interaction with a sick person. Maintain cash flow and customer preference - customers will choose your location over stores without curbside.
Allows pick up on their schedule without delivery charges and tips. No need to invest in an expensive fleet of delivery drivers.
More ways to gain rewards for frequent purchases. One way to increase curbside engagement during peak times when your company is busiest is to offer incentives for using the curbside mobile app. Thus, you are building loyalty with your consumers while they’re gaining rewards.
Get the information they need, when they need it (such as updated business hours, communication regarding hours for at-risk populations, etc.). Companies can use push notifications via their mobile app to provide their customers with valuable information that they otherwise may not know, such as changes in company hours. This helps build trust between your brand and customer.


Challenges to Consider

Many businesses are implementing curbside pickup with sudden urgency. While curbside can help enable long term success, it’s crucial that it’s executed thoughtfully. To do so, it’s important to consider the challenges you might run into:
Physical space & parking needs
A company with only street parking or one that doesn’t own its parking lot may run into trouble defining a pickup location. A shared parking lot can have several businesses using curbside pickup, causing traffic. It’s crucial to figure out if you have the curb space to offer this service and coordinate with other nearby businesses.
Capacity planning
From a customer’s perspective, curbside pickup is nearly instantaneous. Someone can tap a few buttons on a screen and pull up to a filled shopping bag upon arrival. On your end, you need to understand what kind of capacity you have. If you use a time slot system through your mobile app, you can ensure that you’re only receiving the number of orders that your staff, space, and inventory can fulfill.
Customer education
For some of your customers, curbside pickup might be new territory. You need an app that’s easy to understand and a system that’s easy to follow. Educate your customer by making directions for where to park and how to use the app clear and straightforward.
Business readiness
To start accepting and delivering curbside orders, you need to be prepared. You need well-trained staff and the resources to build a user-friendly app. If you’re investing in curbside pickup, it should be a strategic decision that will outlast the current trends and transform your business for the better.

Mobiquity’s Quickstart Curbside Workshop

At Mobiquity, we believe in making sure that the solutions we create have long lasting value for our customers and their consumers. We also recognize that sometimes, time is of the essence and businesses need to move quickly. That’s why we’ve offered those interested in kicking off a curbside program a way to get from idea to plan in two weeks - we’re calling this our Quickstart Curbside Workshop.
This program starts with your hypothesis about the value of curbside in your business, combines our research, experience, and insights and commences with a plan that sets you up to quickly develop a functional MVP for live testing. The benefits of this program include:
  • Quickstart assessment: In two weeks, we’ll work with your key stakeholders, uncover the important considerations for your business, and recommend the best path forward.
  • Optimized assessment: We’ll methodically uncover the elements that can make or break a curbside program, ensuring that your launch is set up for success.
  • A final plan: We’ll examine and suggest recommendations around:
    •  Costs, timeline, and risks
    • Dependencies on customers, IT, marketing, and operations teams
    • Training and change management

Contact us


Now that you’ve learned a little more about implementing a curbside delivery program and all its benefits, how will you take these lessons learned and apply them to your business? If you’re ready to quickstart a new curbside delivery program, let’s talk. We can help you spin up a plan in two weeks or take time to help you develop a full-fledged solution with all the bells and whistles. From building the mobile app, planning for parking and staff allocation, identity verification for the sale of regulated goods, and testing your program with a pilot audience – we can help you create a program you’re proud of that not only looks good, but produces results. We help you build a dashboard that regularly analyzes basket size, average order volume, monthly active use, customer lifetime value, and other relevant metrics. No matter where you are on your journey to creating or enhancing your curbside mobile app, we can help.

Download the How to Create a Compelling Curbside Delivery Program eBook

Additional Resources

Watch our video on how curbside can be contactless.


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