Curbside Delivery: What It Is and How To Leverage It for Your Business

on Feb 1, 2023

There is so much competition across all industries in the market today. 

With the entry barrier — to start a new business — continuously getting lowered, business owners must provide a compelling offer to win over customers. This includes offering promotions, an easy-to-use buying process, and most importantly, flexible delivery solutions.

Businesses that evolve with consumer shopping habits will be the ones that stay ahead. But where should businesses look to spot the next emerging trend? The answer is simple — their customers.

Customers are constantly looking for new and flexible delivery offerings, and one of the most popular delivery solutions for consumers today is curbside delivery.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what curbside delivery is and how you can increase your business revenue by adding this as an option for your customers. But before we dive in, let’s define curbside delivery and understand the benefits associated with it.

What is curbside delivery?

The meaning of curbside delivery has changed over the years.

Initially, curbside delivery has traditionally been the act of delivering items to consumers’ houses and dropping them off in front of the house, typically on the sidewalk or curb (hence the name). 

This is often used for large items like appliances, furniture, exercise equipment, and other products that require a lift to get them out of the truck.

For many large items, curbside delivery is essential to get the product to the customers’ homes. After all, how else would the customer be able to get something like a dishwasher to their house?

But since the pandemic, the idea of curbside delivery has evolved into the pre-packaging and fulfillment of one’s order at a set time for delivery to the consumer in a contactless way. 

Curbside delivery could involve the customer showing up at a pick-up location (like the store or a fulfillment center) to get the order placed inside their vehicle, often near a curb. 

Curbside delivery in action

The customer waits inside their vehicle while their products are placed in the backseat or trunk of their car. This form of delivery has recently become popular with over 61.9% of millennials using a form of curbside delivery in 2022.

Curbside delivery promotes effortless shopping, limited contact between team members and customers, online payment processing, and loyal customers.

Businesses of all types, including retailers, grocery stores, restaurants, and enterprise companies, have adopted a curbside delivery option to answer consumer needs. With so many businesses starting to offer this service, the companies that don’t will be left behind.

However, proper supply chain and infrastructure upgrades are often needed to accomplish this. It takes an investment from the leadership team to make curbside delivery possible.

As you consider offering it for your business, let’s examine why it is so important for customers in the market today.

Why do customers want curbside delivery?

One of the worst business decisions operators make is implementing a costly new function or feature they think their customers will want without any research.

Before you invest in a curbside delivery offering, how do we know customers really want it? Well, the proof is in the numbers. 

Consumers in the US will spend an estimated $154.3 billion on goods that were picked up through a curbside delivery option by 2025. That’s a sizable amount, but it’s not all that surprising considering the benefits it offers.


Curbside delivery is beneficial and popular with customers because of its:

  • Flexibility: The customer is in control of the delivery process.
  • Transparency: The customer knows how and when the delivery will be ready.
  • Convenience: The customer doesn’t have to get out of their car.
  • Security: The customer doesn’t have to worry about someone else getting their order.

These four value propositions revolutionize the delivery experience and how customers interact with a company. With more companies offering this option, offering curbside delivery can help you attract more customers.

So now that you know the benefits of curbside delivery, let’s take a look at how it works from the customer’s standpoint. This will help you evaluate what changes you need to make to your supply chain or overarching business operations to fulfill this type of delivery service.

How curbside delivery works

Curbside delivery has now evolved into the business delivering goods to the customer outside the storefront while they wait in their car.

If the customer is hoping to participate in a curbside delivery at the store or fulfillment site, typically the process works like this:

Step-by-step instructions of curbside delivery

First, the customer places an order online. This can be on the store’s website or even sometimes within the company’s mobile app. 

Before completing the transaction, the customer is presented with multiple options. 

One option will typically include a standard shipping method to deliver the product to their mailbox or doorstep. The other one might be “Pick Up On-Site” which would be the curbside delivery option. The customer would select the curbside delivery option and continue the checkout process.

Depending on how advanced the checkout interface is, the customer may need to select from a list of available curbside delivery windows. These are specific times that the customer can arrive on-site to pick up their order. This enables businesses to forecast and manage how many customers will be coming on-site for curbside delivery on a specific day while giving their employees enough time to process and fulfill the orders.

Next, the customer receives the confirmation and is ready to drive on-site to pick up their order. Depending on the business, there may be specific parking spots that are designated solely for curbside delivery orders.

Then, the customer will notify the store via text or app that they have arrived and an employee will bring their order out without requiring them to leave their vehicle!

As you can see, curbside delivery gives customers greater flexibility and control over when their products can be delivered. But is it always so simple?

Challenges with curbside delivery

Curbside delivery requires an upgrade in your technology as well as a reallocation of your employees and their job functions.

A few main challenges include minimizing customer wait times, having enough available curbside delivery windows, and properly allocating your resources. Overcoming these can be a balancing act that requires careful evaluation and optimization.

Thankfully, delivery infrastructure products from Delivery Solutions can help you optimize your curbside delivery efforts in real-time while maintaining a consistent overview of all the orders that you need to fulfill.

Now that you know how it works and why customers love it, let’s understand why curbside delivery is critical to retail management and why enterprise businesses should love it too.

The business case for curbside delivery

Curbside delivery is a compelling offering because of its value for both customers and businesses. But how do businesses benefit?

There are many benefits for businesses looking to introduce curbside delivery functionality. 

Man putting products in car trunk

Some benefits include: enhancing the customer experience, optimizing your delivery process, saving time and money from delivering to customers’ doors, and increasing in-store revenue.

Enhancing the customer experience

This one should be obvious: more customers are asking for curbside delivery and will be delighted when you offer it! Businesses should always strive to give customers an enhanced buying and delivery experience from start to finish. Giving them transparency and flexible control over the delivery process through curbside delivery is one way to accomplish that.

Optimizing your delivery process

Managing each shipment and delivering it to every customer’s individual location is a tedious process. Curbside delivery helps businesses to overcome the last mile delivery problem — the last step in the delivery process, but also the most expensive. But with curbside delivery, the customers come to you. You can fulfill multiple orders at one time, reducing the amount of ground, time, and resources that you need to spend.

Saving time and money from delivering to customers’ doors

The fleet of vehicles and employees that drive them can be reallocated to other areas. You no longer need many delivery workers driving around the city fulfilling orders. Instead, they can work on-site to prepare the order and provide it to the customers, thus saving money on fuel, wages, trucks, and more.

Increasing in-store revenue

With the curbside delivery ordering process, you’re making it easier for customers to purchase their orders online. Thus, customers will likely be encouraged to add items to their cart due to the ease of your website or app’s functionality.

Customers won’t have to worry about getting a large shipment delivered when they aren’t home or stress about carrying their items to their car. Instead, curbside delivery makes it easy for customers to manage and maintain hefty orders of increasing value.

In addition, Delivery Solutions’ curbside delivery offering can help you create additional value propositions for your customers. For example, once a customer has completed the checkout process, a notification could pop up alerting them to add a specific item to their cart before the pick-up to receive an exclusive discount. This is a post-purchase experience that could be added and fulfilled before the customer arrives on site to pick up their order.

So how can you implement curbside delivery? Let’s take a look at what distinguishes Delivery Solutions’ curbside delivery interface from its competitors.

Delivery Solutions’ curbside delivery offering

Delivery Solutions makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to offer curbside delivery. Our proprietary technology offers numerous curbside delivery functions including some capabilities that other companies don’t have. 

Our solution enables businesses to offer their customers:

  • Customizable ordering: Customers can select specific pickup times and locations.
  • Real-time updates: Customers receive real-time updates, so they’re never left in the dark about the status of your order.
  • Flexible pickup adjustments: Customers can delay their pickup times by text or chat.
  • Easy identification: Orders will be linked to the customer’s car characteristics for identification.
  • Friendly support: Businesses and customers can enjoy friendly support as needed.

The interface doesn’t only focus on the customers. Businesses can enjoy enhanced curbside delivery functionality including:

  • Reduced wait times: Easily retrieve and access customers’ orders in real time.
  • Geofencing technology: Know when your customers arrive and enable geofences to distinguish pickup areas.
  • Auto tracking: Keep an eye on the order as it moves through the fulfillment process.
  • Automatic alerts: Receive ETA alerts, so you can get an order ready.
  • Enhanced communication: Talk with your customers via two-way text and chat.

The service also decreases the time your employees spend on the phone answering customer inquiries while impacting your bottom line from repeat and increased purchase value.

By incorporating Delivery Solutions’ curbside delivery technology into your operations, you will enhance your flexible delivery offering while delighting customers and improving your operations.


There are so many businesses that are adapting to the changing consumer habits. Are you doing enough to keep up?

Curbside delivery can transform your relationship with your customers while saving you money and improving your bottom line.

Elevate your omnichannel delivery strategy with Delivery Solutions unique curbside delivery functionality. Reach out today to get started.

Delivery Solutions orchestrates fulfillment experiences for enterprise retailers, supplying flexible optionality for consumers and priming merchants for innovation at scale.

About the author

Maureen Pearson

Maureen Pearson is the Senior Director, Implementations for Delivery Solutions, the leading provider of last-mile delivery and fulfillment software. Maureen joins our team with over 26 years of experience in software development and delivery for many sectors and customer markets. This includes custom software design and development, process improvement and change management, and building large scale PMO services with internal and client teams. Prior to joining Delivery Systems, Maureen created and ran large PMO practices within various consulting delivery organizations. Maureen is scrum master and PMP certified and holds a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from St. Mary's College.


Topics from this blog: Curbside Delivery Logistics

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