Curbside Pickup Demystified: Everything You Need to Know


Curbside Pickup Demystified: Everything You Need to Know

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience has become a prized commodity. Consumers seek hassle-free shopping experiences that fit seamlessly into their busy lives.

This demand, coupled with the evolving retail and e-commerce landscape, has paved the way for an innovative solution that has taken the industry by storm.

Curbside Pickup empowers shoppers to order products online via different channels and collect them from a designated location, eliminating the need to step inside a physical store.

It offers a perfect amalgamation of the digital and physical realms, serving the needs of today’s tech-savvy and time-conscious consumers. Let’s dig deeper into its definition, key steps involved, challenges, and more.

What is Curbside Pickup?

Curbside Pickup is a type of order fulfillment model offered by e-commerce companies or retailers to allow customers to order online and pick up products from a designated location.

As per the 2023 Global Digital Shopping Index, approximately one-third of consumers in the United States who recently shopped online chose in-store or curbside as their preferred mode of delivery.

Curbside Pickup: 4 Steps Involved

Here are the steps involved in this type of order fulfillment:

  1. Ordering Process: A customer places an online order through retailer’s website or mobile application and chooses curbside pickup as the preferred mode of delivery.
  2. Confirmation: The customer receives a confirmation email, which includes the estimated pickup time.
  3. Arrival and Parking: The customer then visits the designated parking spot or warehouse and follows the order-related instructions such as scanning the barcode via retailer’s app to notify the store or visiting their guest service desk to provide the order detail.
  4. Order Delivery: The staff personnel then brings the order and asks the customer to check the same. They then load the order into the boot or trunk of the vehicle.

How Does Curbside Pickup Differ From In-Store Pickup

In this type of order fulfillment model, customers order online and visit a dedicated location to pick up the order. They don’t even need to get out of their vehicle; the store personnel hands over the order to the customer.

In the case of in-store pickup, customers place an order online via a retailer’s website or mobile application, and then they visit the store and pick up their order by physically walking into the store.

3 Major Challenges Associated With Curbside Pickup

Lack of Resources

Managing this type of order fulfillment method is a challenging task, especially for retailers with limited resources. There could be a shortage of parking space, especially during peak hours. Besides, shortage of staff, at the dedicated warehouse to manage pickup-related operations, could be another major challenge. Limited resources directly impact the efficiency of operations management and customer experience.

Poor Visibility

Conventional delivery management practices don’t provide visibility into the status of the order. And it doesn’t work in this type of delivery model because if a retail store personnel prepares the order long before the customer arrives, they not only waste their time but also block operational delivery space.

In the other case, i.e., if they get ready to load after the customer arrives, they clog up the parking space or resources at the warehouse. The latter will also impact customer experience.

Inability to Meet Customer Expectations

Meeting customers’ expectations is crucial in any type of order fulfillment. And when it comes to buying online and collecting the order from a designated place, retailers need to ensure that the pickup time is precise and waiting time is minimal.

Besides, they also need additional staff to offer unmatched customer service to respond to customers’ queries and concerns.

4 Benefits of Curbside Pickup

No Shipping Costs

This type of order fulfillment doesn’t involve physically shipping items to customers’ doorsteps, which saves not only the cost of the carrier but also the cost of the packaging. Besides, customers confirming their order before receiving and leaving the pickup location also reduces the chances for returns.


Buying online and picking up orders from curbside offers a great level of convenience to customers as they can choose a delivery time that suits their schedule and collect their orders without physically entering the store. It also helps customers navigate crowded aisles and avoid waiting in the checkout lines.

Increases Sales and Brand Loyalty

This buy online and collect offline delivery model helps retailers to boost their sales and brand loyalty. It prevents damage to goods, which mostly happens when the goods are in transit.

Moreover, it also allows customers to verify their order before they actually leave the pickup location.

Minimizes Order Fulfillment Delays

This type of order fulfillment is a suitable option for customers who don’t wish to wait for their order to be delivered to their doorsteps. With this fulfillment option, they can ensure faster delivery and avoid any delays, which usually happen in-home delivery due to the involvement of different processes and multiple stakeholders.

Planning to Offer Curbside Pickup to Your Customers? Here is What You’ll Need

Before you add this fulfillment option to your delivery options, make sure to have:

  • Dedicated team and place in your store to take care of order pickups.
  • An automated delivery management solution to manage and track inventory.
  • A delivery management solution to notify your customers once their order is ready for pickup.
  • A solution to allow your customers to notify you about their arrival.
  • A designated location where they can wait for their order to arrive.

Instead of implementing different solutions for order tracking, order management, order allocation, and other tasks involved in this kind of delivery fulfillment model, retailers can invest in last mile delivery software.

Advanced last mile solutions are backed with the capabilities of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other top technologies to allow businesses to make smart decisions.

It includes features such as real-time tracking, automated order allocation, and more that can empower retailers to streamline their parking lot or dedicated warehouse pickup management.

Wrapping Up

An AI-powered last mile delivery management software that enables retailers and other businesses to manage this kind of order fulfillment seamlessly. The software can be integrated to any existing technical infrastructure (WMS/OMS/ERP) and can be customized as per any business requirements.

It ensures effortless management of orders by allowing businesses to sync online and offline orders. The software also offers real-time tracking features to allow stakeholders to keep a tab on the status of their orders.

Intelligent last mile software also empowers retailers to establish communication with end customers. Customers can notify the retailer once they reach the designated location.

To get a customized demonstration of last mile delivery management software or to know how it can help you optimize curbside pickup, contact our experts now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Curbside Pickup Mean?

It can be defined as the order fulfillment method wherein a customer places an order online but collects it from a designated pickup location, store, or dedicated warehouse.

What is the Difference Between Curbside and Pick up?

Curbside involves ordering online and picking up that order from a designated spot, which could be a parking lot or warehouse. On the other hand, in-store pickup involves ordering online and picking up that order from inside the store.

What are the Rules for Curbside Pickup?

The first rule is to park in the designated spot and look for signage with instructions. Also, make sure you wear masks and gloves. Check your order thoroughly and make contactless payment, if not paid earlier.


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