The Top 5 Myths Around Launching a Curbside Delivery Program

Mike Welsh
Publication Date
30 April 2020

The Top 5 Myths Around Launching a Curbside Delivery Program

At Mobiquity, we’ve seen an uptick in consumer (and corresponding retailer) interest around more convenient ways to shop in the past five years or so. And what we expected to be a ramp up over the coming 3-5 years has expedited in ways we could not have previously imagined. New and existing customers are reaching out for our advice on how they can offer safer, contactless shopping options to better serve their customers. 

With those requests come some concerns, as well. For example, anxiety that offering a curbside delivery option for customers will fundamentally alter their businesses in ways that won’t be sustainable into the future. Which got me thinking, if I’m hearing these concerns from those who are proactively reaching out, could similar concerns be deterring other customers from considering a curbside program at all? 

If you’re in this situation, I urge you to reach out - I would be happy to have a conversation to address your concerns and talk about the best way forward for your store. In the meantime, I hope this list of the top concerns I’ve heard may help allay some of your concerns. 

The top 5 myths about launching a Curbside Delivery program for your store:

  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. If you’re not ready to meet their needs for faster, more convenient ways to shop, they’ll be visiting your competitors who do.

  2. Curbside delivery will displace current employees.  Curbside delivery is all 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.

  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)

  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.

  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.

At Mobiquity, we wholeheartedly believe that offering more convenient shopping options will benefit retailers, employees, and customers into the future. The increased use of technology to source needed food and supplies is here to stay and we’d welcome the opportunity to be a partner in creating your digital future.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh is the Chief Creative Officer at Mobiquity, leading a team of experience architects, experience designers, and conversational designers to deliver engaging and compelling solutions in collaboration with engineers who bring these solutions to life. He has been doing this for over 27 years, having joined Mobiquity near it’s beginning. Mike notes that what originally drew him to his role is the ability to transform experiences for companies and their customers. What keeps him and the team engaged is the opportunity to find out what truly transforms human experience and then bring it to life. He’s a firm believer in the power of a team and its ability to create impact derived from insights. Mike makes no special claim of expertise or experience because every engagement is a team effort. Each time he and the team engage with a client’s challenges and opportunities, good things can happen. Curiosity and a core belief that some of the best work comes when a team understands the humans behind their work is central to understanding the role that technology can play. Mike’s time spent with clients and teams includes work within creative, business, and technology fields, bringing many skills to the table including: experience strategy, experience design, product strategy, and product design. His industry knowledge within these functions spans healthcare, retail, ecommerce, and financial services and he has lectured on these topics at University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Moore College of Art and Design and various conferences. In addition, Mike holds a Nielsen Norman Group UXC certificate working toward master certification. While no one is a bigger Mobiquity champion than Mike, much of what fuels his passion comes from the time he spends away from work. He is a father of three, an avid runner, traveler, cook, and outdoorsman. A voracious consumer of audiobooks, Mike is always learning and drawing connections about how we can make a difference today for our future selves. When thinking about what’s to come, Mike believes that artificial intelligence, immersive storytelling, and machine learning will play a significant role in defining experiences humans have with technology.

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