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Millions of consumers are now taking advantage of curbside pickup service to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. It’s a common occurrence these days to open your favorite grocery store’s app and fill up your cart, only to realize the next available curbside pickup time is in two days. 

Curbside pickup involves placing an order, pulling up to a store or restaurant, and having your items loaded in your vehicle, hands-free. Not only is it a much safer alternative to in-store shopping, it’s also convenient, inspiring the service’s growth in popularity.

The Use of Curbside Pickup Is Growing Fast

A recent survey by Gallup found that more Americans have adopted new methods of ordering food and groceries since the pandemic began. Around 36% of consumers used curbside pickup from a store, up from 19% in March. This double-digit growth may come as no surprise. Yet, curbside pickup is only getting started.

How Major Retailers Use Curbside Pickup


Target is a major player in the curbside pickup space, often looked to for inspiration for many retailers taking the plunge. Target is currently on its way to meeting its goal of offering order pickup and drive-up at over 1,500 stores before the 2020 holiday season.

Using the Target app, customers can select “Drive Up” at checkout. The app will alert the customer when their order is ready. Once the customer arrives, they simply park in the designated area, alerting the app they’ve arrived. No signature is required, making this a more seamless experience. 


Walmart began its curbside venture grocery-only. Now, due to an increase in online shopping, the retailer allows customers to shop across all departments for curbside pickup. Similar to Target, Walmart customers place their orders by selecting available pickup times, arrive at the store, alert the app and receive their items.


The growth of curbside is also inspiring innovation. Starbucks is taking the idea of pickup to new levels amid the pandemic. While many customers can pick up their coffee via drive-thru and at the curb, the retailer plans to close around 400 sit-down cafes to build 300 pickup-only ones.

Consumers will place their order via mobile app and pick it up from a pickup-only location. The company’s first-ever pickup location in Manhattan also features a screen at the entrance that showcases each order’s status.

Curbside Pickup Isn’t Going Away

Why are retailers pushing to improve their curbside pickup service? For starters, no one knows just how long this pandemic will last. Additionally, consumers have fallen in love with the convenience curbside offers. It isn’t going away.

A recent study by CommerceHub found that 59% of consumers are more likely to use curbside pickup following the coronavirus outbreak. Plus, 75% of those who subscribed to delivery services such as Amazon Prime mentioned they were still likely to opt for curbside delivery once the pandemic subsides.

How LISNR® Can Help

The main point of curbside pickup is to eliminate touch. So how hands-free is your curbside pickup right now? Asking your customers to sign a mobile device or scan a QR code isn’t contactless. It’s also not an effective method of authentication and adds unnecessary friction to your customer’s experience.

LISNR® offers a solution via an ultrasonic (data-over-sound) platform. Using your existing speakers and devices, LISNR® enables proximity verification and contactless transactions.

Via data-over-sound, a customer can pull up to a curbside pickup location and receive immediate authentication. As a result, they encounter a seamless experience while reducing potentially crippling customer service costs due to lack of authentication.

Prepare for the Future of Curbside Pickup With LISNRⓇ

The future of retail is here. How will you adapt? LISNR® can help using our data-over-sound platform. To learn more about the future of curbside pickup or LISNR’s person-present solution, send us a message.