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COVID-19 has supercharged the growth of curbside pickup and delivery

COVID-19 has supercharged the growth of curbside pickup and delivery

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Andrew Cargill
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As I write, more than a fifth of the world’s population is under some kind of restriction or lockdown. These are worrying times for all of us, and merchants are scrambling to find new business models so they can keep their businesses alive until we find a way through this.

Shopify’s new article, ‘Short-Term Revenue Strategies for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Navigating COVID-19’, offers some great suggestions on ways to help your business through the crisis. Because so many businesses aren’t allowed to open their doors to customers, they have been forced towards adopting delivery and curbside pickups.

As a result, we’ve seen enormous growth in our Zapiet - Pickup + Delivery daily installations:

Recent growth in installs of Zapiet - Pickup + Delivery

I’ve often compared the switch toward store pickup and delivery-first commerce to the original move to online shopping that gained pace in the late 90s and early 00s. In many industries, businesses that didn’t move online simply got left behind. The same thing is happening today with the convenience and flexibility offered by these new approaches. I recently talked about that on the eCommerce Fastlane podcast.

But the COVID-19 outbreak has supercharged that shift. It’s not a choice for many merchants - they must switch, or close. And with that, comes an exponential increase in the number of stores with questions and queries. Here’s the corresponding growth in our submitted support tickets since the epidemic hit the western hemisphere:

Increase in support requests for Zapiet - Pickup + Delivery

It’s possible to quickly get a simple pickup and delivery service set up using Shopify’s native toolset. Katie Cerar, from Shopify Plus’ team, has actually shared some great resources for how to do that:

Curbside Pickup for Shopify

Local Delivery for Shopify

Shopify’s Help Centre also has articles on Local shipping and delivery and In-store pickup for online orders, which are well worth checking out.

Of course, we offer a dedicated app - Zapiet - Pickup + Delivery - for merchants that need a more powerful and customisable solution, which can find out more about here.

As a result of COVID-19, we’ve seen the fastest growth ever for our app. In fact, we achieved our projected growth for 2020 in just a couple of weeks. Obviously, I’d have much preferred that to happen under better circumstances, but I’m so glad we had a comprehensive, tested solution ready to help.

What we are doing to help

We know for some of our new merchants, getting the app configured is absolutely critical to their business prospects. We want to help them in the best and most efficient way possible.

To do that, we’ve invested in rapidly growing our customer support team, bringing in five new team members this week.

We are also quickly expanding our merchant and partner documentation, and improving the app’s compatibility with themes and other apps to make onboarding easier.

We’re also extending our standard free trial from 14 to 45 days, helping store cashflow at this critical time.

We know these are incredibly difficult and stressful times, and we’ll do everything we can to support merchants until we’ve managed to turn the tide on the virus.

Andrew Cargill
Founder of Zapiet