Flex Boost: Accelerate Curbside Pickups with Flex & SMS from Perficient

June 26, 2020
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Following on from the brilliant Engage Everywhere Event with Angela Ahrendts, it’s clear that consumer preferences have changed, and to be successful, we need to now build for the new normal as it’s likely to be around for quite a while. One of those new normal behaviors we’ve collectively developed is to reduce contact as much as possible, in order to reduce exposure and risk.

Interacting outdoors significantly reduces transmission risks to both employees and customers, making curbside pickup a perfect solution for many retailers. It’s also more convenient for customers, saving them time, and it’s a habit likely to stick for many years to come as it was already growing fast.

Twilio has been powering curbside pickup for major retailers for many years such as Bass Pro Shops and Joann Fabrics and Crafts, but if you don’t have an initiative already underway, what are some best practices you can use to get started quickly? Perficient, a Twilio Gold Consulting Partner has significant experience with retail customers in solving these issues.

The challenges Perficient commonly sees at retailers looking to go contactless are:

  • Integrating the process with existing order management systems
  • Creating contactless communication options between store staff and customers
  • Voice lines tied up with customers calling to check in when they arrive
  • Reconfiguring staffing to fit new tasks and responsibilities
  • Tracking the progress of handing off an order to the customer

Perficient uses its retail domain expertise to integrate retail systems with Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform to quickly enable curbside pickup. Beyond just pickup, these channels can optimize customer engagement in additional ways, such as surveys, up-selling, or sales promotions and coupons to drive more sales.

Perficient has two accelerator packages for retailers to get started quickly with curbside pickup:

  1. A contact center based approach, using Twilio Flex as the centralized customer engagement platform where all the communications go to an agent and they assign/track order delivery tasks.

Retail order flow to Flex and SMS
  1. A decentralized approach using Twilio SMS where customers can communicate with employees using their cell phones and local supervisors manage availability and assignment/tracking.

Retail order flow to SMS

These packages have the advantage that they can quickly enable curbside delivery for retailers still wanting to adapt to the new normal, quickly iterate on customized interactions appropriate to their business model and move towards more sophisticated and fully-integrated solutions.

Both approaches are kicked off with an SMS from the customer to state their arrival at the pickup point and the workflow kicks off to connect the customer with their order.

Here’s a demo of an agent working with a curbside customer in Twilio Flex.

Here’s a demo of a store worker working with a curbside customer on their cell phone with Twilio SMS