How Retailers Can Refine Contactless Fulfillment

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How Retailers Can Refine Contactless Fulfillment

By Sreekanth Singaraju - 07/01/2020

Demand for contactless delivery and curbside pickup has skyrocketed as social distancing restrictions and stay-at-home orders continue across the country.

At Mobiquity, we saw traffic increase by 800% for some of our retail clients’ mobile apps. But not every retailer was prepared for increased demand. Many scrambled to launch a curbside pickup and contactless delivery offering without a mobile app or digital infrastructure in place. Others, like Home Depot and Target quickly adapted these services to contactless preferences using their existing apps and executed them at scale.

Though businesses are now reopening, many consumers may be reluctant to return to their previous routines or give up newfound conveniences, which means curbside pickup and contactless delivery aren’t going anywhere — and retailers must continue to adapt. 

See also: Next-Gen Tech Investments Fueling Post-Pandemic Grocery Shopping

Here’s what your retail operation needs to consider as you refine your curbside pickup and contactless delivery services moving forward.

Reduce friction

To improve efficiency and the quality of the customer experience, work to remove any friction and re-imagine all points of contact between customers and employees, especially when it comes to health and safety:

  • Allow customers to prepay for items within your app to eliminate cash exchanges.
  • Encourage customers to list delivery preferences on their app profile, like where your employees should drop off orders at their home or place items in the trunk of their car for pickup.
  • For items that need age verification, such as alcohol, make sure your mobile ID scanner confirms age efficiently to avoid passing an ID card back and forth.
  • For curbside pickup, provide clear instructions on your app describing the exact location customers should pick up an order to reduce confusion.

If your employees or customers feel at risk when they engage with your business, they will look for a safer alternative. Every touchpoint should be carefully considered from an employee and customer health perspective.

Increase the ROI of your service

Curbside pickup and contactless delivery are keeping many retailers afloat, and there are ways to make sure the costs of your program stay in check.

One way is instituting purchase limits on curbside pickup or delivery orders. Purchase limits reduce the time employees spend pulling together items, improving ROI in the process. Additionally, consider a policy similar to Instacart's, which increases the delivery fee as a grocery order gets larger, ensuring time spent aligns with sales generated.

Retailers can also develop in-app upsell and cross-sell mechanisms to increase customer purchases. For example, if your store receives a mobile order for wine, you can trigger an upsell offer at checkout for the customer to add chocolate, cheese or more wine to their cart.

As you work out the kinks of your curbside pickup and contactless delivery services, be prepared to adapt swiftly and take advantage of the customer data you accumulate over time. While the long-term effects of COVID-19 on retailers are unknown, digital strategies that enable creativity and innovation will better prepare you for what comes next.

Sreekanth Singaraju is senior VP of AI and cloud solutions at Mobiquity.

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