Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the need for curbside pickup as many consumers remain reluctant to shop at physical stores. Now, new data is suggesting just how much the service can help boost a business.
According to a Salesforce report released today, retailers offering curbside pickup, drive-through and other buy online, pick-up in store services grew almost twice as fast as those that didn’t: They increased their digital revenues by 49% on average year over year, compared with other retailers who saw only 28% average growth.
The San Francisco-based software company also noted that retailers providing such services experienced 54% digital revenue gains in the five days leading up to Christmas, versus the 34% improvement for those that didn’t.
“The 2020 holiday season was defined by the pandemic and forced retailers and brands to innovate quickly with the introduction of services like curbside pickup, virtual concierges and a focus on social, messaging and live streaming to reach shoppers in new ways,” added VP of industry strategy for retail Rob Garf. “We expect to see these new innovations remain in 2021 with holiday strategies becoming the new standard that consumers expect from their favorite retailers and brands.”
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Combining insights from more than a billion shoppers in 40-plus countries during the months of November and December, Salesforce discovered a 50% surge in digital spending over the 2019 shopping season. This past holiday, consumers spent $1.1 trillion online worldwide and $236 billion in the United States alone, while they shelled out $723 billion globally and $165 billion in the U.S. in 2019. (Although retailers kicked off holiday discounts and promotions earlier in mid-October, the firm found that the bulk of the season’s digital sales were still generated during the traditional shopping holidays of Cyber Week and the first two weeks of December.)
Among the companies already offering curbside pickup and similar BOPIS options are big-box giants Walmart and Target; shoe stores like DSW and Foot Locker; department stores such as JCPenney and Macy’s; as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Old Navy and other specialty chains. Experts have said that these services are likely to be key for retailers in pandemic times and beyond as consumers continue to grow accustomed to using them and appreciate their convenience.