Curbside Pickup Pops 66% in US as Delivery’s Lead Erodes

As home delivery slowly loses its lock on getting online orders into the hands of consumers, the pickup economy is gaining, as we find in new research.

eCommerce pickup

Analyzing trends across six nations and over 13,300 consumers, “The 2023 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition,” a PYMNTS and Cybersource collaboration, finds that more Americans are taking a liking to curbside and in-store pickup, sometimes for savings, sometimes for other reasons.

Compared to other nations we studied, the U.S. stands out as being the leading economy when it comes to order pickup, showing an evolution of this method from the depths of the pandemic when delivery ruled, and self-pickup options were just starting to solidify as a service.

Per the study, “the U.S. is home to the largest and fastest-growing pickup economy of all six countries in our study per capita. Nearly one-third of U.S. eCommerce shoppers — a projected 16.4 million consumers — picked up their most recent online purchase via in-store or curbside pickup, and that number represents a 37% increase from the share of eCommerce shoppers who did so in 2021. No other country has seen anywhere close to this rate of growth in their pickup economies in the past year.”

While delivery is still the predominant method of receiving online orders, the new data shows a meaningful rise in consumers venturing to stores to retrieve their online orders. When order sizes don’t meet free shipping criteria, pickup saves money for the consumer. For merchants, it often means consumers will purchase additional items, which is mostly an additive effect when picking up orders in store.

As consumers increasingly opt for the immediacy and convenience of in-store and curbside pickup options, they also opt out of having those purchases delivered. We found that 69% of eCommerce shoppers in the U.S. chose to have their latest purchase delivered.

pickup vs deliveryThat’s an 11% year-over-year drop in delivery volumes, and while at-home delivery is still the most common way consumers acquire their eCommerce purchases, its lead is eroding.

As delivery drops, our research found that “U.S. consumers’ demand for curbside pickup options has been growing even faster,” as 18% of U.S. eCommerce shoppers picked up their most recent purchase via curbside in 2022, which is 66% higher in a year-over-year comparison.

“This is six times the growth rate for in-store pickup during the same period. Curbside pickup is now the most common way that eCommerce shoppers in the U.S. acquire their purchases,” the study states.