Maximising the convenience factor for on-the-go consumers, the trend for ‘curbside’ delivery concepts – where shoppers needn’t even leave their cars to collect orders – is building in the US. Amplifying a much sought-after seamless online-to-offline shopping experience, ‘utility’ brands (groceries, medicine, coffee) are leading the charge.
- Starbucks is testing curbside deliveries at a venue in Washington. Customers place orders via the Starbucks app, then collect their purchase from an associate with a headset at one of the cafés’ designated curbside pick-up parking spots. The scheme echoes Starbucks’ drive-through service at other locations.
- American pharmacy chain CVS has partnered with Californian delivery app Curbside to expand its curbside service (launched in April 2016) to 4,100 locations across the US. Customers place orders using the CVS app, then pick up their items from the designated curbside collection location within an hour of purchase. Since inception, the service has seen a 50% increase in use month on month. According to CVS’ chief digital director, Brian Tilzer, it’s been particularly popular with millennial parents.
- Amazon is aiming to expand its grocery department later this year with small-format physical convenience stores (to be rolled out in approximately 20 destinations across the US) that will also offer curbside delivery. Customers will select a two-hour pick-up window to collect their purchase. License plate-reading tech will be used to identify frequent customers and their orders.
See also Rapid Retail, Decoding Digital Parents, Retail: Delivery Innovations Update, Downsized Retail Destinations, and New-Gen Fulfilment.