While online shopping was certainly an option prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in the practice has grown rapidly as consumers – looking to minimize their exposure to coronavirus – have increasingly embraced the practice. Curbside pickup – where the consumer arrives at a store’s physical location and has their purchased items placed in their vehicle – has grown in popularity for a wide range of products, such as groceries and other perishables, where it may be inconvenient or impractical to ship items to a home or business.
Now, it appears the practice is spreading to the construction industry, as Lowe’s announced today that it would begin installing pickup lockers at its stores. This process, which is expected to be completed by March 2021, will allow consumers to:
- purchase products online
- have associates at the store “shop” for the products and place them in the locker
- arrive at the store and retrieve their order, using their smartphone to gain access to the locker
The process is entirely remote, allowing a consumer to shop without entering a store, interacting with a store associate, or even touching a keypad – important considerations in a time when consumers are concerned about minimizing their exposure to the coronavirus.
Will this new process of online shopping and curbside pickup be popular with consumers? Will other building and construction material retailers adopt this process going forward? Freedonia analysts will continue to monitor online shopping – and other trends – to chart the many ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the US economy.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.