Trends in curbside and in-store pickup every retailer must know

Each week, Bizrate Insights examines behaviors in consumer shopping and identifies important retail trends as a result of the COVID-19. The shift to in-store or curbside pickup models to satisfy the needs of consumers during the pandemic has led to significant findings across the retail industry.

With brick-and-mortar stores limiting shopper numbers or closing to the public entirely, the curbside model has become a necessary part of doing business. But how are customers reacting to it? Our data shows early signs that consumers are adjusting to the sudden change.

In-store pickup declines in overall popularity, while curbside gains

When we last investigated shopper behavior on curbside and in-store pickup, only 40% of all consumers had reported using it. This percentage has remained mostly unchanged, increasing by just 2% over the last two weeks.

While 4% fewer consumers reported using in-store pickup, more of them are taking advantage of curbside or drive-up options, sometimes using both in tandem.

Have you ever used in-store or curbside/drive-up pickup?

Source: Bizrate Insights Flash Survey, April 2020.

Consumers are becoming increasingly mindful about maintaining social distance as shelter in place orders continue to hold and are turning to curbside pickup only when delivery is unviable.

Curbside order frequency is increasing 

In March, Bizrate Insights data revealed that the majority of respondents (28%) last reported using curbside pickup more than a month ago. This has shifted dramatically. Now, 33% say they’ve used a curbside pickup option within the past 7 days, while another 18% have used it in the last two weeks.

When is the last time you used curbside pickup?

Source: Bizrate Insights Flash Survey, April 2020.

Grocery stores are seeing in-store pickup growth

Restaurants and pharmacies remain, overall, the most popular choices for both curbside and in-store pickup, with groceries a close third. While restaurants and pharmacies have been relatively static in their popularity, supermarkets are showing signs of growth, despite in-store pickups decreasing industry-wide.

How likely are you to use in-store pickup at the following stores?

Source: Bizrate Insights Flash Survey, April 2020.

In our current times, even the simple act of browsing a supermarket for weekly groceries can be a stressful event, regardless of the steps a store takes to maintain shoppers’ safety. As consumer enthusiasm for alternative fulfillment increases, these pickup options will likely become a significant part of every grocery chains’ operations long after COVID-19 has passed.

Bizrate Insights will continue to monitor and report on these trends and how consumer behavior is being rewritten by the current crisis. Want to know more? Read about how shoppers have reacted to the coronavirus and how retail is being permanently transformed by the outbreak.