The Qless Blog

Jan 05

Use Retail Line Management to Implement a Curbside Pickup Solution

a woman walking to a restaurant to pick up food

Recently, a friend of mine was discussing the many benefits of the new curbside pickup trend that has been implemented by retailers, grocery stores, and even restaurants. Throughout the pandemic, curbside pickup solutions have made shopping efficient, especially as stores continue to stay busy and the weather turns worse. Although it was popularized by the pandemic, demand for curbside pickup means that it will likely continue to be used by retailers to improve customer satisfaction. This means that businesses need to start implementing long-term strategies to create successful curbside pickup solutions. 

Another popular trend among retailers is line management software. These apps create virtual lines, allowing customers to wait for their turn in-store from anywhere. This has helped keep customers and employees safe, manage maximum capacities, and  — especially through the colder months — improved customer satisfaction. This technology is also extremely beneficial for managing curbside pickup demands. Wondering how line management enhances curbside pickup solutions? The opportunities are endless. 

Schedule Appointments

To implement an organized curbside pickup solution, appointment management is key. It helps to ensure that there are adequate resources available at the store according to demand. When there are more appointments scheduled, stores can schedule more staff. During times of fewer appointments, staff can organize and prepare all orders. 

Many retail line management systems also support virtual appointment scheduling. When you’re sending customers the confirmation that their order is ready for pick up, let them select a pickup time via the appointment management system. These systems will then remind the customer of their appointment, reducing no-shows, and keep them updated in case of delays. Some appointment management systems, such as QLess, also integrate with SMS text messages. This means that customers can text the store if they are running behind or when they arrive, greatly reducing their wait times

Adapt to Customer Demands

Depending on your business, there could be a priority list when it comes to pickups. Places like pharmacies or groceries may have last-minute requests to fulfill that take precedent over the scheduled curbside pick up orders. That’s why flexibility is important. With QLess Flex Appointments, pre-scheduled appointments can easily be integrated with last-minute pickups. When a customer arrives for pickup without an appointment, they will automatically enter a queue. When there’s a break in appointments or a pickup takes less than the scheduled time, the customer will automatically be slotted in, ensuring that they get their important items. Adaptable curbside pickup solutions that meet customer needs can help retailers create optimal experiences and improve customer satisfaction.

Create Virtual Queues 

If your store is offering curbside pickup alongside regular shopping hours, virtual queues will be pivotal for balancing customer demands. QLess’ queue management software allows retailers to create and manage multiple queues at once. This means that retailers can create one queue for in-store shoppers and a different queue for those who are waiting for their curbside pickup order and may not have scheduled an appointment. This retail line management solution will help employees manage capacity limits and effectively use their time, as they always know how many customers are waiting for help.  This can be especially beneficial during busy periods, such as the holiday shopping season or back to school.

The pandemic has changed many aspects of life, but it has also allowed businesses to be innovative when delivering customer service. Curbside pickup is something that came out of necessity as retailers were forced to close, but it has proven to be increasingly successful. As the demand for online shopping increases, it’s important for retailers to have multiple methods to meet customer demands. Curbside pickup solutions allow for the best of all worlds – customers can shop online to avoid the retail rush, but can quickly receive their products using appointment and line management software.

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