Tips & Resources

What is Curbside Pickup: 5 Advantages for Ecommerce Stores

Nick Shaw
By Nick Shaw
05 April, 2023

What is curbside pickup, and how does it benefit your business and customers? Learn about the key advantages and how to implement the trend


If there’s one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it just might be curbside pickup.

A convenient option for customers to pick up their online orders, curbside pickup has exploded in popularity, benefiting traditional retailers, ecommerce stores, and customers. You can pick up almost anything – groceries, shoes, books, dinner. If you can order it online, you can probably get it via curbside pickup. 

But what is curbside pickup? How can it benefit your ecommerce store, and how can you implement it? Let’s dive in.

What is Curbside Pickup?

Curbside pickup is a service businesses offer where customers can place an order, then pick it up at the store without leaving their cars. 

Curbside pickup isn’t exclusive to businesses with physical locations. With predetermined pickup locations, solid shipping and logistics operations, and advanced technology, ecommerce stores can offer their customers an alternative to home delivery. 

Post-pandemic, curbside pickup numbers have leveled off but stayed consistent, indicating customers have embraced curbside pickup delivery options.

Free to use image sourced from Pexels


How Does Curbside Pickup Work?

Curbside pickup is a simple process. Customers place their orders over the phone, on a website, or through a mobile app. When checking out, they select the curbside pickup option for delivery. 

When the order is ready, the store informs the customer, who arrives at the designated curbside pickup area to collect the order. Staff then bring the order to the customer’s vehicle.


Curbside Pickup Benefits for Customers

In addition to increased safety and convenience, curbside pickup offers several benefits for customers, including:

  • Reduced contact: For people who are concerned about touching surfaces in physical stores, curbside delivery eliminates the need to handle shopping carts, product packaging, and other items that may be contaminated.
  • Convenience: Curbside pickup can be faster than in-store shopping, as customers do not have to navigate store aisles or wait in line to check out. 
  • Increased availability: Many businesses offer curbside pickup for items that may not be available elsewhere, giving customers a wider choice. Customers may have to wait a few days to pick up their items, but this option is often faster than having an order delivered to a home address.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Providing curbside pickup can help businesses stand out from competitors and improve customer satisfaction.

    6 Advantages of Curbside Pickup for E-commerce Stores

    1. Increased Sales 

    By offering curbside pickup, ecommerce stores can increase sales as customers are more likely to make purchases if they can collect their items quickly and easily. Customers will also be more inclined to use curbside pickup if they believe it’s an opportunity to support local businesses. Make a point to highlight this in your curbside marketing. 


    2. Reduced Delivery Costs 

    Companies that offer an ecommerce experience to complement their brick-and-mortar stores can reduce the cost of delivering orders to customers as the store doesn’t have to pay for shipping or handling fees. These savings can be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices or used to improve other areas of operations.


    3. Improved Customer Experience

    Curbside pickup provides a convenient and efficient way for customers to receive their orders. It eliminates the need for customers to wait for delivery, instead giving them a pickup window. Just make sure the user experience of your online or mobile ordering tools is straightforward. This is where appointment scheduling tools like TIMIFY can help, making it simple and efficient for customers to book a curbside pickup. 

    Image Sourced from

    For example, Target’s mobile app features clear instructions, and customers can enter their car’s details so your team can easily find the right customer.

    Helping customers save time leads to a smoother customer experience, increased customer loyalty, and repeat business.


    4. Better Inventory Management

    Curbside pickup allows ecommerce stores to manage their inventory more effectively, reducing the need for stock to be held in a warehouse. In conjunction with a cloud inventory management system, this results in reduced storage costs and allows the store to keep a smaller inventory.

    Having a solid logistics setup can improve every aspect of inventory management. In addition to having all of your operating systems in place, you must have the manpower to deliver results. 

    Hire additional staff if you need to and ensure your logistics workers are trained in managing inventory, picking orders, and coordinating curbside pickups. A smooth and efficient process will help your business retain customers and grow. 


    5. Eliminates Delivery Mysteries 

    Nothing is worse than delayed deliveries and missing packages, which can hinder your customer satisfaction efforts. With curbside pickup, you eliminate such delivery issues. 

    Ecommerce stores with physical locations can eliminate the delivery process altogether, as customers come straight to them. Meanwhile, online stores offering curbside pickup can give customers set pickup locations to choose from. This ensures your delivery drivers only drop off packages at a finite number of locations, reducing chances of lost orders.

    This also means customers don’t have to worry about packages sitting on their porch or being home to sign for deliveries. 

    Just as you would provide a customer with tracking for a delivery, make sure your customers are notified when their package is available for pickup. Consider implementing SMS messaging to directly alert customers to any pickup updates. Customers will be more receptive to changes if they have advance notice. 


    6. Environmentally Friendly

    Of all the end-use sector groups – think: transportation, industrial, and commercial groups – 37% of CO2 emissions came from the transportation sector in 2021. Needless to say, shipping and delivery isn’t great for the environment. 

    However, curbside pickup means fewer trucks out on the road delivering packages. Ecommerce businesses can ship packages to one location and customers can pick up at their own convenience. 

    How to Implement Curbside Pickup

    Curbside pickup can be challenging for an e-commerce store to implement. Without a physical location, logistical details will play a critical role in curbside pickup success. Here’s how you can kick-start your curbside pickup. 

    • Determine demand: First, determine the demand for this service among your customers. This can be done through customer surveys or social media polls, market research, and sales data analysis.
    • Choose a location: Next, choose a location for your curbside pickup service. Consider a dedicated pickup location or a designated area at a nearby parking lot.
    • Develop a process: Create a clear and efficient process for handling curbside pickups, including verifying customer identity, packing orders, and communicating with customers.
    • Invest in technology: The right tools are invaluable to supporting your curbside pickup operation. This includes mobile apps and online ordering systems that allow customers to place orders and track their pickup status.
    • Advertise the service: Tell your existing and prospective customers about your curbside service through your website, email marketing, social media, and other marketing channels.
    • Parking: Choose a location with plenty of parking spots. Ensure your curbside pickup location is well-signed so customers can easily find it. Consider putting your curbside pickup location near popular physical stores for customer convenience and increased traffic. 
    • Monitor and evaluate: Continuously assess your curbside pickup service to identify areas for improvement. Use a meeting scheduler to check in with staff on a regular basis to ensure the process is smooth internally. In addition, ensure that you are providing a high-quality experience for your customers by sending out feedback forms or implementing TIMIFY’s Survey app to automatically gather customer feedback about their experience.

      Image Sourced from


      The Future of Curbside Pickup

      The future of curbside pickup looks bright as more businesses offer the service and customers become increasingly familiar with the process. Here are several trends you need to know that will shape the future of curbside pickup.


      Advanced Technology

      Technological advances are likely to make the curbside pickup process even more efficient and user-friendly, with real-time tracking, enhanced ordering options, and better integration with in-store systems.


      Expansion to New Markets

      Curbside pickup is likely to expand to new markets, including smaller cities and rural areas, as more businesses recognize the benefits of this service.


      Greater Emphasis on Sustainability

      Businesses may place a greater emphasis on sustainability in their curbside pickup operations by using biodegradable packaging, and other environmentally-friendly practices.

      Curbside Pickup Challenges for E-commerce Businesses

      As you set up your curbside pickup system, remember that you’ll likely encounter challenges. Below we’ve rounded up the most common roadblocks ecommerce stores face. With advanced planning, you can easily overcome any of the following issues without hindering your curbside pickup efforts.


      Technical Challenges

      Any business will face technical challenges, but e-commerce stores don’t have brick-and-mortar locations to fall back on when things go awry. Having your technical processes in top shape will mitigate any problems that pop up. Invest in technology to support pickup service and hire the right people to develop and maintain these systems. 


      Inventory Management

      Ecommerce stores must have accurate and up-to-date information on their inventory to ensure that they can fulfill curbside pickup orders within the promised pickup time. This can be a challenge, especially if you’re not using a sophisticated inventory planning system.



      Ecommerce stores must ensure that they have adequate staffing to handle the increased demand for curbside pickup. This may require hiring additional staff or conducting employee training on handling curbside pickups.


      Customer Communication

      When implementing a new service or changing your processes, it’s essential to clearly communicate with customers so they know what to expect. Every business has a different procedure for placing or collecting orders, so customers may become confused or frustrated if they come across any problems with your pickup service.

      Communicate throughout the process to keep customers informed about the status of their order, how to proceed at each stage, and resolve any issues that may arise. That may include anything from a confirmation email to an order pickup notification. 

      Order pickup notification from Best Buy.
      Image Sourced from

      Security and Fraud Prevention

      Ecommerce stores must ensure the security and authenticity of customer orders and delivery services to prevent fraud when fulfilling curbside pickup orders, and be able to transmit this trust in the security of the service to customers .

      A Final Note

      Curbside pickup is a convenient and efficient order fulfillment option for ecommerce stores. It provides several benefits, including reduced delivery costs, improved customer experience, better inventory management, and increased flexibility. 

      By offering curbside pickup, ecommerce stores can provide a more convenient and efficient shopping experience for their customers, resulting in increased customer loyalty and repeat business.

      Nick Shaw

      About the author

      Nick Shaw

      Nick Shaw has been Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl, the number one retail-focused digital operations platform which encompasses sales and inventory management software, accounting, logistics, CRM, and more, since July 2019 and is responsible for EMEA Sales, Global Marketing and Alliances. Before joining Brightpearl, Nick was GM and Vice President of the EMEA Consumer business at Symantec and was responsible for a $500m revenue business. Nick has written for sites such as Hubspot and G2. Here is Nick Shaw’s LinkedIn.

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