The Rise of In-store & Curbside Pickups


Logistics innovations

Over the last few years, consumers have been changing how they shop. They no longer need to run to the store when purchasing food or necessities; they can do it right from the comfort of their home. In addition, services are popping up everywhere for consumers to receive something they want or need within a short time. With online shopping on the rise, we think it will extend further to the point where consumers demand complete control over where, when, and how they receive those items they’ve ordered online.

With the advent of COVID-19, consumers’ lives have been upended around the globe, creating dramatic shifts that have affected shopping trends and what consumers expect from retailers. Online shopping is growing incredibly fast, and contactless exchanges are now top of mind. Connected yet disconnected, we’ve learned to alter our habits, and businesses have tried to adapt to stay alive. Yet, within one week in Mid-March, many companies were forced to close their physical locations and move to the exclusive model of curbside pickup. Change can be good, but it’s hard to accept and even harder to adjust to in the moment.

What is BOPIS?

We’re now seeing the rapid emergence of consumers buying online and picking up their orders at the store. Retailers have responded by setting up pickup counters or even lockers to serve those customers. Some large retailers like Walmart have invested millions of dollars into large lockers for this exact purpose, also known as “Buy Online, Pick up in Store” or “BOPIS.”

To serve customers conveniently while also maintaining a safe distance, retailers have introduced curbside pickup. According to a poll by the National Retail Federation, half of the consumers used BOPIS due to COVID-19. A survey also found that 80% of consumers expect to increase the use of the BOPIS method over the next six months, and 85% of consumers have increased curbside pickup significantly since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Photo of a cannabis retail smart locker

An in-store BOPIS Smart Locker

The BOPIS model has grown as consumers are too busy to shop in-store and are more comfortable making purchases online. Before the pandemic hit, parcel lockers gained traction with retailers and consumers. In a post-COVID-19 world, this option will be considerably more appealing as smart parcel lockers allow retailers to drop off orders into secure compartments to be picked up by the consumer using a code sent to them during order deposit.

Consumers no longer need to stand and wait in line to be served or wait further while the attendee verifies their identity and then looks for their order. Additionally, consumers will expect retailers to provide them with service that makes their lives easier and safer.

Smart Locker Benefits

Smart Parcel Lockers can be accessible 24/7 and can hold small and large items, refrigerated items, and hot food items for customers to pick up. Smart, automated devices central to the retailer, provide them with tools to serve their customers and efficiently manage their orders, returns, and logistics. We expect Smart Parcel Lockers to become a store fixture like display counters, POS terminals, and change rooms. A multi-purpose, smart device capable of storing orders for pickup, a place to drop off items the consumer wants to return, an outbound device for shipping items, or an option for consumers who have bought something in the store but want it shipped elsewhere.

Without a doubt, the current pandemic has pushed many retailers to adopt curbside pickup. As retailers continue to look at implementing a BOPIS strategy to improve their capabilities and customer experience offerings, they must ensure they have the correct requirements in place to create a BOPIS offering. Consumers crave convenience and choice, which is why many retailers are adopting this model. By implementing BOPIS, retailers can compete against online retailers like Amazon by using their physical stores as hubs for fulfillment and getting products into consumers’ hands quicker and for less cost.


When the pandemic subsides, and we start to go back to normal, there has been a tremendous leap made by consumers who have adapted to the new store pickup models.

The growth of online shopping will continue unabated, and consumers will expect choice in how they receive their products, including the ability to pick up their orders in-store. Parcel Port Smart Lockers gives you an easy-to-use device that checks all the boxes.

With a Parcel Port Smart Locker installed in your location, you’ll have an easy-to-use, scalable and secure “Buy Online and Pick up In-Store” solution. Parcel Port offers today’s most innovative turn-key and customized Smart Parcel Locker Solutions. We manufacture our lockers locally and our proprietary software and complimentary services.

To learn more about how your organization can maximize smart lockers to reduce cost, increase revenue, and delight your customers, contact the ParcelPort team online by visiting, email at or calling 1-800-818-0870.