Target and Walmart Show Why Curbside Pickup Is Essential

When Target and Walmart announced their quarterly earnings the week of August 17, retail analysts were watching closely. These two companies are bellwethers for an industry that has fought hard to come back during the COVID-19 pandemic. And as their earnings ended up revealing, they are also symbols for the rise of curbside pickup in 2020.

Target and Walmart Achieve Impressive Numbers

After the retail industry’s sales plummeted a record 16.4 percent in April, sales have slowly rebounded. But even still, the industry is far from out of the woods, making analysts cautious about the quarterly performance of industry leaders.

But the news from Target and Walmart was surprisingly good. Target achieved quarterly profit growth of 80 percent during its fiscal second quarter (blowing past investor expectations), and the company gained $5 billion in market share during the first six months of 2020. Walmart saw its operating profit grow 8.5 percent year over year, to $6.1 billion. 

The Rise of Curbside Pickup

So why did they do so well? Two words: curbside pickup:

  • Per CNBC, “. . . sales through Target’s curbside pickup service shot up by more than 700% in the second quarter from a year earlier. Target sales fulfilled by its online delivery service Shipt grew more than 350% year over year.”
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, Walmart’s “e-commerce business nearly doubled, with revenue jumping 97% from a year ago, boosted by people ordering groceries online to pick up in store parking lots.”

Target and Walmart have been developing curbside services for years partly in response to the ongoing threat of Amazon.com. And they are not alone. Recently eMarketer predicted that curbside would become a $58 billion market by the end of 2020.  

Is It Too Late to Adopt Curbside?

Granted, it has taken Target and Walmart time to get their curbside services in gear. But these are massive chains that need to do a lot of heavy lifting to make curbside work across all their locations. It’s certainly not too late for any retailer to adopt curbside pickup. Yes, as we’ve stated on our blog, adopting curbside pickup correctly means managing many moving parts. But tools exist to help businesses adopt curbside. For instance, Isobar’s Curbside Pickup Manager solution can get you up and running in weeks. Our set-up and management spans everything from same-day appointment scheduling and rescheduling to integration with existing order processing.

Target and Walmart are enjoying big rewards from their investments into curbside pickup. And so can you. Contact Isobar to learn how. 

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