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12/16/2020

The retailer with the best holiday curbside service is…

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The nation’s largest retail company received top marks among major retailers providing curbside pickup for the holiday season.

According to the second wave of the Ipsos E-commerce Experience Report, Walmart ranks number one overall as it continues to perform above the industry average. The discounter obtained top ranking by offering features such as designated parking for curbside pickup and clear pickup instructions. The report includes a mystery shopping study on holiday curbside offerings of major retailers nationwide.

Survey results also indicate that Target is the fastest retailer at bringing out curbside orders, with wait times less than half the overall average; while Nordstrom ranks number one for contactless handoffs. Kohl’s is rated best for having items in-stock and available for pickup. Dick’s Sporting Goods is also fast, with the second-shortest wait time, while Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops also received a high grade for its designated curbside pickup locations. 

Ipsos’ survey also identified a few areas for improvement in omnichannel retailing:

•    Out-of-stock items remain a significant problem, with mystery shoppers finding roughly 23% of items were out of stock. Ipsos advises that retailers should clearly communicate what shortages they are experiencing and when they expect those items to be back on the shelves. 
•    Average wait times have increased by nearly 25% from a previous assessment, which Ipsos says is likely due to increased holiday shopping demand. 
•    Many mystery shoppers still reported an inability to purchase goods without coming into contact with a store employee, as only 51% of pickup encounters were contactless. 

“Retailers, like every other industry, are hard at work trying to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. What used to be a relatively common weekend activity for some, shopping in malls or large stores is no longer as appealing,” said Carlos Aragon, VP of U.S. channel performance at Ipsos. “In addition to speed and accuracy, it’s clear that customers’ health and safety is top of mind for every brand right now as we head into the holidays. Those that prioritize curbside pickup while making their customers feel safe will subsequently continue to see more loyalty down the line. They recognize the gravity of this moment and are rising to meet the challenge.”

Ipsos mystery shoppers surveyed major retailers across the country, leading up to and shortly after the Black Friday holiday rush.