Curbside pickup is here to stay, and retailers are going all in

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Summary:

This article starts with the sentiment of a 45-year-old man who started using the grocery pickup service so he wouldn’t have to walk as much since cancer made long distance walking difficult. Next, Peiser explains how grocery pickup and other omnichannel approaches were already gaining popularity before the pandemic started but continued to boom as stores had to adjust for new safety concerns and regulations. As time keeps moving though, grocery pickup continues to stay popular and has even started being utilized in other physical stores for hardware, retail, etc.

Then, she dives into the economic side of it addressing additional fees for the service and how consumer spending habits are changing with inflation. This forces businesses to appeal to customers with all of the omnichannel approaches, or options, they can offer as consumer spending habits and behaviors are ever-changing. A 34-year-old woman gives her opinion on grocery pickup stating that she gets better deals combining coupons with online sales that aren’t offered in stores and pickup deters her from buying things that aren’t on her list while browsing the aisles. Some grocery stores are adding fees to pickup and delivery in order to incentivize customers to get back to shopping for themselves in order to lower the labor costs associated with doing pickup. These pickup fees have the power to put a stop to grocery pickup for people who are budgeting strictly. This doesn’t necessarily apply to grocery delivery services, though, as customers expect to have to pay more for the more extensive service. Stores are expanding upon the idea of pickup and delivery by adding warehouse spaces with automated facilities to handle the process rather than relying on labor forces.

Analysis:

Grocery pickup and delivery implements care as it gives a more feasible and accessible option to those with vulnerabilities that hold them back from being able to grocery shop themselves and that is shown in the 45-year-old man’s statement.

The state of the economy I expected to have an impact on how shoppers choose to receive their items. Other readings I’ve posted emphasized on how big box stores have been investing in automated approaches to grocery pickup and delivery services. I didn’t correlate the cost of labor as being why automated fulfillment centers are happening, so it was eye-opening to see that talked about in this article. This makes automated fulfillment centers beneficial to the company monetarily as well as beneficial to the world by having the least amount of emissions in comparison to other omnichannel methods for getting groceries.

It was also interesting to see how some grocery stores are implementing pickup fees to deter customers from using pickup and point them back to shopping for their own items in order to lower labor costs associated with pickup and delivery. It seems to be a completely opposite answer in comparison to automated fulfillment centers. I would argue that it is the opposite of care as people with vulnerabilities that benefitted from this service now have an additional charge on their vulnerability.

Source:

Publisher: The Washington Post

Author: Jaclyn Peiser

Date: August 28, 2022

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/08/28/curbside-pickup-shopping/