This summer, Marigold Engage by Sailthru and Liveclicker surveyed 5,000 consumers about their behaviors and preferences, and learned that 31% have bought online, picked up in-store (BOPIS) or used curbside pickup this year. As these behaviors continue to increase in popularity, we started wondering, “What makes a great pickup experience?” The Target curbside pickup experience came to mind immediately.

As an essential retailer, Target may have had the home court advantage during the early days of the pandemic when the vast majority of Americans were under stay-at-home orders. Still, the retailer rose to the occasion, reporting its greatest-ever percentage increase in quarterly sales this past August. Click and collect accounts for much of that growth. Indeed, for Target, curbside pickup orders increased 734% over last year’s Q2.

Let’s take a deep dive into why that experience is such a good one.

Breaking down the Target Curbside Pickup Experience Step-By-Step

  • Before the customer — in this case an app user — even orders, Target is clear that there are options: same or two-day delivery, BOPIS or curbside pickup. The order confirmation includes a caveat that a surge in orders might cause delays. The pickup was smooth and quick, but we like that Target managed expectations.
  • Target includes a link to learn more about the curbside pickup process. It’s informative, visual, and very detailed. This is important because for many customers, the Target curbside pickup experience is a new one so they’re still learning all the protocols.
  • Like the confirmation, Target delivered its real-time notifications both via email and mobile message. It’s a good idea to mix up messaging because while someone en route to Target is more likely to see a mobile message than an email, you never know whose notifications are turned off or who’s riding in the passenger seat.
  • At Target, the masked associate scanned the customer’s phone with a wand, keeping the experience contactless. The purchase was already ready; the entire exchange took less than three minutes.
  • The Target curbside pickup experience ends with a satisfaction survey. That makes the customer feel heard, while also providing Target with data about how to improve in the future.

To learn more about optimizing your curbside pickup experience, download The 4 Pickup Personas You Need to Know to learn more about four key click and collect personas, and the different messaging tactics that work best for each, featuring examples of the brands doing it best.