As more businesses have started offering curbside pickup and as more consumers are realizing its convenience, curbside pickup is proving itself as a trend that is here to stay.
208% YoYincrease in orders placed online and picked up in-store—including curbside pickup—between April 1 and April 20
67% of consumers said they are more likely to use curbside pickup following the coronavirus outbreak
This could mean site modifications, both big and small, in order to ensure you’re prepared to efficiently and safely offer curbside pickup.
Curb or pavement painting
Painting the curb or parking lot is a simple way to designate an area for curbside pickup.
But keep in mind when painting an area of your parking lot that it’s important to consider potential conflicts with local fire codes, including the color used.
Custom signs can be used in addition to or in lieu of painting curbs to help direct drivers to designated curbside pickup areas.
Designated parking spaces
There can be functionality and safety concerns to consider when choosing designated parking spaces for pickup.
Instead of the standard 9-foot-wide space, allow room for a 10-foot wide space to offer easier access for customers and employees.
And for the safest option, you should choose spaces that don’t require employees to cross a drive lane to deliver the items.
Adding a sheltered area to the exterior of your site will provide space where orders can be stacked and ready for pickup as they are filled. This can be a canopy or awning that provides protection from rain or a full shelter that provides heating or cooling for employees.
Many of your customers may never step foot through your doors. This means it’s up to your exteriors to represent your brand.
Investing in a landscaping program—including parking lot sweeping and power washing—can help ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Think of how fast-food restaurants often have an internal sign board that alerts customers of their place in line and when their order is ready.
This same idea can be applied to curbside pickups, with a level of visibility that makes for a superior customer experience.
Many customers may arrive ahead of their scheduled pickup time, so it is important to have parking locations available as a waiting area.
A designated area may only be needed on sites with limited parking or those with a sign board informing customers of their order status.
And for the most long-term solution…
Site design modification
If you choose to fully invest in the future of curbside pickup, you may opt to redesign your sites or at least consider curbside pickup when designing new sites.
One option—an internal loop design, for sites with oversized parking lots or parking both in front of and on a side of the building.
The key is to use the width of the parking bay to create a looped queuing lane for pickup on the side of a store.
The best layouts would have the pickup area on the building side of the loop, with direct covered access to a secondary entry where orders can be transported without interfering with normal customer traffic.
Curbside pickup is here to stay. It’s time to ensure your sites are ready for what the future holds.