Winsight Grocery Business has written an article featuring FlexPost: “Optimize Curbside Services to Save Costs, Labor.”
Grocers continue to reassess store operations in the wake of the pandemic, taking note of which changes in consumer habits were a temporary response to the changed landscape and which are here to stay. Curbside pickup and delivery, for example, remain many consumers’ preferred way to shop. While the safety concerns associated with in-store shopping have subsided, the added convenience of same-day services maintains its appeal.
According to a study from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the SCAN Foundation, 33% of adults younger than 50 years old (and 18% of adults 50+) who started using curbside pickup during the pandemic say they expect to continue using the service. This shows a greater loyalty to pickup than to delivery—comparatively, 22% of adults under 50 (and 9% of adults 50+) say they expect to continue having groceries delivered. Similarly, in a 2021 Mercatus survey, 75% of respondents said curbside pickup is their preferred way to get online orders placed with food retailers.
In short, continuing to offer great curbside pickup experiences is crucial to meeting consumer demand. For some retailers, however, this might be easier said than done. Keeping the pickup process accurate and efficient—especially amid labor struggles—might require some strategizing, but it can also provide an avenue to competing for loyal customers and keeping sales high.
Getting Signage Right
To keep shoppers satisfied and make their curbside experience stand out, grocers need to fully deliver on convenience. This means getting customers their orders fast: According to the July 2022 ChaseDesign Online Shopper Survey report, 10% more curbside pickup shoppers complained about the time wasted in their cars waiting for their order in 2022 versus the year prior.
To ameliorate any obstacles to efficient order fulfillment, setting up clear signage for pickup spots (curbside or otherwise) helps ensure both customers and employees can reach their destination quickly and easily. Plus, choosing signage that’s easy to install and maintain helps save labor from the outset. Solutions from FlexPost, for example, offer easy setup and improved longevity thanks to a patented steel spring technology that allows signs to bend and withstand repeated impacts from vehicles—and minimize damage done to vehicles, too.
Most installations of the FlexBollard-XL with Signpost take less than 30 minutes, with no special tools or heavy equipment needed. This can be compared to the installation of a core-drilled bollard signpost which involves the usage of heavy equipment, the mixing of concrete, several hours of labor and cordoning off the parking lot—inhibiting traffic flows and limiting access to the store. While using core-drilled signposts can result in costly damage to the parking lot and litigation from unhappy customers, FlexPost offers improved performance and reduced costs in tandem: The FlexPost XL-B52/8 Signpost costs about $550 plus installation. Compare this to a core-drilled bollard signpost at an average cost of $1500 including product and installation.
What’s more, a two-year case study involving the usage of FlexPost Bollard Signposts at a major retail chain located in Florida found that, accounting for the combined cost of installation and repairs, using a FlexPost-XL Bollard/Sign post was found to be 43% less expensive than a rigid bollard signpost for the retailer.
Creating and maintaining a profitable system for curbside pickup starts in the parking lot, and FlexPost is here to help. Visit flexpostinc.com or call 1-888-307-6610 to learn more. Or, configure a FlexPost plan here.
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