SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Curbside pickup has made it even easier for Syracuse residents to go grocery shopping. With a few simple clicks, groceries can be picked up without setting foot in the store.
Ray Wimer, a professor of retail practice at Syracuse University, said grocery stores have to play catch up in an age where e-commerce is replacing traditional retail. He added the new service appeals to people’s desire for convenience.
“It’s really a time saver, and people are much more willing to pay for time savings now,” Wimer said.
Curbside pickup allows customers to order their groceries online and pickup from the store at a designated time. The trend of buying online and picking up in store began in 2017. Wimer said it accelerated this year because of Amazon purchasing Whole Foods.
While Wegmans is among the first traditional grocery stores to launch the service, Target and Walmart have already implemented it.
“Fifteen year ago, you wouldn’t even think Walmart or Target would be a competitor in the grocery store business,” Wimer said.
Big box stores like these have differentiated themselves by selling apparel, home goods and electronics in addition to groceries. Wimer said curbside pickup will help traditional grocery stores stay competitive.
“It’s a way to build further consumer retention and loyalty,” he said.
Grocery stores like Tops, Wegmans and Price Rite already offer delivery services through the Instacart app. However, picking up groceries curbside eliminates the fee associated with home deliveries.