Small Business Owners’ Guide to Curbside Pickup Services Underneath a Canopy Tent
The pandemic turned the world upside down. It did not just affect the well-being of people but also upended businesses, supply chains and jobs all across the world. As many as 62% of small business owners think that 2021 is going to be even worse for their business. Another 55% of businesses need to modify the layout of their workspaces to make room for social distancing. In fact, many businesses are now offering curbside pickups. A canopy tent can help create safe curbside pickup zones.
Curbside Pickup Tent – What is it?
Curbside pickup is a variation of Buy Online, Pickup In-Store, or BOPIS.
BOPIS is a core service of the omnichannel retail system. The capability to buy a product online and pick it up in a physical store is the primary reason why businesses opt for retail order management systems. Curbside pickup is also referred to as grab & go, click & collect or trunk drop. The pandemic has made this element of omnichannel retail a key to success for small businesses.
Interestingly, the curbside pickup process has been around for some time now. Grocery stores, fast food joints and some hardwood stores offered curbside pickup service even before people knew what “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” was. So, how does curbside pickup work?
The idea here is quite simple. You shop online and drive to the store. But instead of leaving your car and walking into the store, an employee brings out your package to your car. Then you drive home with your purchase. Curbside pickup is not takeout. It is not delivery either. It is, in fact, a blend of these two. Most businesses create pickup zones under printed canopy tents.
Since the pandemic, countless businesses have been experimenting with curbside pickup services. Many of them have discovered that a canopy tent can:
- Help them provide better services,
- Ensure the safety of their customers and employees and
- Comply with the social distancing guidelines.
Why does curbside pickup work for small businesses?
The pandemic has changed the way consumers shopped. Buyers are relying on digital shopping channels now more than ever. More and more customers are finding it easier to order online and drive to pick up their purchases. Adobe Analytics found a 208% YoY increase in the BOPIS process; this includes curbside pickup. CommerceHub reports that nearly 67% of shoppers are more likely to opt for curbside pickup in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other than safety, curbside pickup also offers the following benefits to businesses:
1. Lower shipping costs
Having customers pick up purchases on-location means lower shipping costs. This leads to greater margins, the opportunity to run deeper discounts or adding more items to your inventory.
2. Use of in-house inventory
What’s better for a retailer than leveraging their in-house inventory to fulfil orders? Using in-house inventory increases the inventory velocity of your stock. This means faster product flow and a lower risk of aging inventory.
3. Increased sales
Even if it’s just a small percentage of your customers that converts to curbside pickup buyers, the sales of your store will definitely grow. Tecsys found that retailers who used BOPIS or click and collect saw average growth in sales by about 23%.
4. Ease of shopping for customers
Curbside shopping definitely makes it easier for customers to shop from your business – since you leave the option to them. They want to opt for delivery, fine with you. They want to walk into your store, fantastic. They will place an order online and come to collect it, nothing like that! It will not cost you a lot to add this flexibility, but you will definitely gain loyal and long-time customers.
5. Better brand image
Nothing will project your business as customer-centric as a curbside pickup option. Because of the pandemic, buyers are paying more attention than before to customer service. By adopting omnichannel retail, you’re showing that the convenience and safety of your customers are paramount. This, in turn, will strengthen your brand image.
Also, in-store space is usually limited. This means lesser space for branding. However, you can create a pickup zone with a commercial canopy that can be branded as much or as little you want. This will further your promotional and branding efforts.
Where do printed canopy tents come into this picture though?
You can find a canopy tent almost everywhere in the US. Whether it’s the outdoor weddings, music festivals, farmer’s markets, car shows, tradeshows or backyard barbecues, printed canopy tents are quintessential features everywhere.
Event canopies are quite popular and pop-up tents are the fun, convenient and easy-to-use variety that are perfect for small businesses. They complement any business and function well at all kinds of events. We’ve seen our customers use them at roadside events, farmer’s markets and beach events.
Unlike pole tents, instant canopies are small, nimble and can be set up in a jiffy. They’re easy to dismantle, store and maintain. Moreover, you do not require a 10-member crew to erect your canopy. A standard 8×8 custom tent can be set up by two people in under 10 minutes.
If you buy a canopy tent from a reputed seller like Extreme Canopy, you will get a premium quality tent that is waterproof, UV-resistant, all-weather and flame retardant. That being said, if you’re looking for curbside pickup tents to protect their staff from wind, sun and rain, go for an instant commercial canopy.
Here’s an example that will give you a deeper insight. Say you are a restaurateur. You have reopened your business after lockdown for takeaway and delivery. A good idea would be to also offer curbside pickup where your employees can deliver without venturing out into the hot sun or pouring rain.
So, on one hand, you get to interact with your customers after a long time, without making them wait for their food. On the other hand, your employees would be able to maintain social distancing while offering flawless customer service to patrons.
Curbside pickup tips for small businesses
Providing curbside pickup is something that all businesses should investigate thoroughly. They should come up with effective ways to make their customers feel at ease while shopping with them. This trend is going to stay here for a while and more and more businesses will be offering pickup. Thus, curbside pickup can very well become an important differentiator between brands.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to offer seamless curbside pickups for your customers:
- Don’t make shoppers guess where to go. Set up a dedicated curb outside. Use a canopy tent to do this.
- Add clear signage and branding to your canopy to avoid any further confusion.
- Try to incorporate curbside pickup as a core offering of your business. Integrate your order management systems, inventory software and website to offer hassle-free order placement and pickup.
- If the need arises, set up a second line to handle the increased call volume.
- Train employees on how to operate on the curbside services safely. You can also consider allocating the curbside booth to a dedicated resource.
- Don’t forget to include touchless POS and mobile payment options for all cash-on-delivery orders.
Perfect Printed Canopy Tents For Curbside Pickup Services
Extreme Canopy is the USA’s biggest custom tent manufacturer and supplier. From pop-up tents, printed canopy tents, commercial canopy tents to event tent builds, we’ve got ‘em all. Our curbside pickup tent solutions start from plain and branded 8×8 logo canopy tents and go all the way up to 20×20 canopies. We offer bespoke designs as well as an array of accessories to make your tent even more lively.