Shoppers are Moving Online and Away from Stores

During the 2016 Black Friday weekend, 10 million more Americans shopped online than the year before. The record-breaking shopping spree generated $3 billion in online sales with more than $1 billion through mobile. And store foot traffic suffered as a result, “overall for the month of December, store traffic was down 13.4 percent, with corresponding decline in sales of 10.7 percent. The result of the 2016 holiday shopping season as a whole was that online sales completed on smartphones reached an all-time high, increasing 23% over 2015 mobile sales.

With the seismic shifts taking place in consumer shopping habits, it’s imperative that retailers evolve their offerings to provide shoppers with what they need, when they need it. While investing in online offerings could be seen as a direct threat to in-store sales, the opposite is actually true: investing in transparent inventory, operational success and seamless fulfillment will improve the customer omni-channel experience.

We recommend the following immediate steps for retailers to achieve omni-channel success:

Invest in accurate, real-time inventory management across all stores and channels.  Accurately knowing what items are on the shelf will allow retailers to unlock inventory for local shoppers to find and buy online and from their mobile devices. Querying inventory across thousands of SKUs at hundreds of stores at scale is a difficult technical problem.  Partnering with technologies that analyze and predict draw-down patterns while incorporating real-time store employee feedback will give your customers confidence that the item they select will be in stock at their local store when they arrive.

Reorient and train staff to fill orders quickly using pick-and-pack technology to prepare items for pickup. By empowering their workforce with flexible tools to fill online orders, retailers can recapture shoppers that have moved from in-store shopping to online.

Building the “Connected Store” is The Future of Retail

The future of retail is in creating the “connected store” – a reimagined hybrid store/fulfillment center that blends the digital and physical in a shopping experience that meets the needs of shoppers’ hectic, on-the-go lifestyle. That means having a mobile shopping experience with a seamless, one-click checkout and instantaneous fulfillment. It means getting shoppers what they want, when they want it. The opportunity cost of not being omni-channel today, according to research in the 2015 RIS/EKN Customer Engagement Tech Trends Study, is 10% in lost revenue.

Connected retail isn’t just a set of random point solutions, such as an improved mobile app. It’s having an integrated connected system with two seamless touchpoints – perfect online and in-store experiences for shoppers.

The Curbside platform is built from the ground up to provide four foundational pieces needed to connect a network of retail stores. Retailers can choose just the pieces they need or opt for the entire solution to move quickly on lighting up siloed brick and mortar locations.

  1. Inventory. Curbside helps retailers tackle the difficulty of knowing what is available in-store with its predictive inventory search capabilities.
  2. Knowing the Shopper is Coming. Curbside enables reliable, delightful curbside pickup experiences by leveraging the shopper’s smartphone to notify store associates when they approach.
  3. Pick and Pack. Curbside builds best-in-breed tools for store associates to fill orders in the store.
  4. E-commerce. Curbside powers a seamless shopping experience for retailers’ web and mobile apps, making brick and mortar stores available to online shoppers.

Click and collect is a key survival tool for retailers to capitalize on their biggest strength. For more information on how Curbside works and how it’s powering the future of retail, contact us here or at sales@curbside.com.

Download the full whitepaper here.

 

 

Surviving in the Age of Amazon

Amazon dominates online sales

In 2016, Amazon accounted for 55% of product searches and 53% of e-commerce growth.

Amazon is also aggressively optimizing home delivery, reducing wait times, as well as high shipping costs by doubling down on their investments in fulfillment centers.

Matching the billions of dollars of investment in fulfillment centers is likely impossible even for the largest brick-and-mortar retailers.  So how can retailers stave off potential extinction in a world where most consumers are starting their shopping journey online? It starts with something that frequently has been identified as a weakness of traditional retail, physical stores themselves.

 

Connect Your Stores to Mobile

Decades of investments in physical store locations located along the corridors on which we live, work and travel provide brick-and-mortar retailers the right strategic points of presence to meet consumers online and fulfill quickly using them as forward-deployed “fulfillment centers”. However, retailers’ stores have not yet been connected to good online experiences. Omni-channel and flexible fulfillment efforts across the retail landscape have been weak, leveraging technology platforms that were not designed for fulfillment from stores.  Consumers need seamless online experiences, paired with flawless execution at the physical store.

The clock is ticking for retailers to capitalize on their their physical stores.  For more information on how Curbside works and how it’s powering the future of retail, contact us and read the full white paper now.

 

Consumer Habits And The Retail Landscape Are Changing

Across most retail verticals, the long term viability of physical stores is being called into question. In 2016, a comScore/UPS study marked the first time consumers made more of their purchases — 51% — online than in stores, a number that will only continue to rise. Consumers are increasingly starting their shopping journey online, and at the same time are  mobile, on-the-go, and seeking instant gratification. Delivery times, a source of friction for consumers that shop online, are now dropping down to just 1 to 2 days or less as Amazon has led the charge in providing the most cost-effective and convenient way for consumers to get everything they need.

Retailers must evolve to meet the changing demands of consumers and they need to do it fast because Amazon is accelerating their domination of the online channel, where most consumers begin their shopping journey.  

To get this right, brick-and-mortar retailers must:

  • Be fast. Quickly put in place a core set of capabilities that deliver convenient, frictionless online shopping experiences around local stores.
  • Be future-focused. Go on the offensive by leveraging their proximity to shoppers,  having their order ready, ideally in under 30 minutes, a feat even Amazon struggles to match in a cost-effective way.
  • Be dedicated. Conduct fulfillment at local stores flawlessly, using a set of highly efficient software tools.   

For more information on how Curbside works and how it’s powering the future of retail, contact us. To learn more about how retailers can compete in the Age of Amazon, sign up now to read the white paper “Click and Collect: Not if, but when and how.”

Curbside at National Merchant Day in NYC

New York City, NY. – February 16, 2017 – Curbside, reinventing the local shopping experience for the era of instant mobile commerce, will participate in National Merchant Day, hosted by PYMNTS.com. Showcasing Arrive™, Curbside’s arrival detection software, retailers can reliably be notified when shoppers are on approach, enabling a quick and efficient pickup experience for millions of products across thousands of retail locations.

Jaron Waldman, CEO and Co-Founder, will take the main stage Thursday, February 16, 3:05pm to discuss the future of brick-and-mortar stores and instant mobile gratification to convert shoppers into buyers. NMD attendee’s get 50% off Curbside’s platform free for 3 months. Visit us at our booth to learn more.

Delivered with Uber

Curbside offers retailers the option to integrate Delivery with Uber through our platform. By doing so, retailers can offer their brick and mortar stores an efficient and cost effective way to provide same-day delivery options to customers without the overhead costs. Now you can meet the demands of your customers where and when it’s most convenient for them.

Curbside has teamed up with Uber to make delivery from local retailers quick and easy.

  1. Shoppers can order everything they need from local stores, either online, through the free Curbside app, or through a custom white label shopping solution.
  1. The shopper can choose from Curbside pickup or Delivery with Uber at checkout. The order will be prepared and delivered within 3 hours after being placed.
  1. When the delivery is on its way, Curbside sends a link to track the order and will let the customer know as soon as the delivery arrives.

Delivery with Uber is available on the Curbside platform. To find out how to add delivery to your locations, contact us and try the service out at a store near you.

How Retailers Need to Compete in the Age of Amazon

Across retail, the long term viability of having physical stores is in doubt. But that’s the potential reality in this age of the mobile shopper. Retailers must evolve fast to meet the changing demands of consumers or risk losing them. Consumers are increasingly shopping with e-commerce giants like Amazon and want instant fulfillment. Curbside CEO, Jaron Waldman, explains how retailers need to compete or risk losing foot traffic in coming quarters. Curbside was selected by Forrester as a “Top 20 Startup Retail Execs Should Know in 2016.” Contact us now to learn more and request Curbside’s white paper.

Curbside Pickup Now Available at CVS Stores Nationwide

CVS Health today announced the national launch of CVS Pharmacy® Curbside Pickup to more than 4,000 store locations nationwide. CVS Curbside Pickup allows customers to shop ahead of time from their mobile device or online for thousands of non-prescription items. Orders are then delivered right to their car within an hour at any participating CVS Pharmacy location. This latest digital tool was designed by CVS Health and Curbside, a company perfecting the store pickup experience for retailers and consumers, making it more convenient and accessible for customers nationwide to get the health, beauty and grocery essentials they need without getting out of their car. “As part of our commitment to redefining the shopping experience for our customers through digital innovation, we are thrilled to launch CVS Curbside Pickup at locations nationwide,” said Brian Tilzer, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, CVS Health. “The roll-out of CVS Curbside on such a large scale represents our commitment to creating digital innovations that make customers’ lives easier as well as marks a groundbreaking milestone in the retail industry.”

First launched as a CVS Express pilot program this past spring in San Francisco, Atlanta and Charlotte, NC, CVS Curbside Pickup was developed as the industry’s first retail solution that integrates Curbside’s market-leading technology right into the CVS Pharmacy app, providing a convenient solution for busy customers. CVS Curbside Pickup is now available in 40 major markets across the U.S., including many locations in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, Seattle and Washington, DC. CVS Curbside Pickup allows CVS Pharmacy shoppers to purchase thousands of front store and over-the- counter items, while at home or on-the- go via the CVS Pharmacy app or at CVS.com, with no added cost to the customer for utilizing the service.

“To meet the demands of today’s increasingly mobile and on-the- go customers, CVS Pharmacy and Curbside have created the first service that expands the role of thousands of retail pharmacy locations across the country to provide efficient online fulfillment at the local store”; said Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Curbside. “Curbside’s proprietary technology for smooth pickup and in-store pick and pack operations is helping CVS Pharmacy connect its store locations to online commerce while providing a tremendous service to customers at a nationwide scale.”

To use CVS Curbside Pickup, customers simply open their CVS Pharmacy app and select the CVS Curbside Pickup option, choose the products they would like to purchase and then select CVS Curbside Pickup as the delivery method. The order is then ready in about an hour or less and is delivered right to the car whenever the customer arrives at the selected CVS Pharmacy location, creating a more efficient and time-effective solution for shoppers. Additionally, customers using CVS Pharmacy’s long-running and popular ExtraCare loyalty program will continue to earn their eligible ExtraBucks Rewards and receive weekly ad sale prices on CVS Curbside Pickup orders as long as they link their ExtraCare card to their cvs.com account when placing curbside pickup orders. ExtraBucks Rewards and ExtraCare coupons and offers sent to customer cards digitally are also eligible to be used during CVS Curbside Pickup orders. For more information about CVS Curbside Pickup, please visit www.cvs.com/curbside For more information about Curbside, please visit https://shopcurbside.com/retailers/company/.

New Update Makes Local Shopping Easier Than Ever

If you used Curbside recently, you likely noticed things look a little different. We’ve made some exciting changes to the in-app experience that make it easier than ever to shop for and buy products from your favorite local stores.

 

New features include:

The new Current Location link and carousel of your Recent Stores make finding your store of choice a breeze.

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Easier browsing with improved navigation and product categories.

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Quickly add to cart with bigger and brighter images and buttons.

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Product images in shopping cart and summary of pickup location, time, and payment method let you verify your order details in glance.

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We hope you love the changes we’ve made. Check out the updated app and let us know what you think.