UNITED STATES─I know right now is a tough time for most Americans. It’s just a time that not many of us have ever seen. An actual pandemic that has literally forced Americans to stay at home, businesses have closed their doors, and there is indeed a fear about rather its safe not only to go outdoors, but to be around people. With that said, the notion of shopping has changed in a way never seen before. Many retailers are closed; you CANNOT go into the store and make purchases. Well, if you’re Target, Walmart, Meijer, The Home Depot or Lowes, you have that option depending on what part of the country you live in.

With that said, some retailers have been doing some great things to keep their customers feeding them money. I’m referring to the notion of curbside pickup. Now, let’s be clear this is not a new trend. There were plenty of retailers implementing such a strategy before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the country down. It was an approach where you place order online, pickup in the store. However, with stores now closed, that option is no longer available. So you can still get what you want, but the item is delivered directly to your car and dropped off for you.

I have utilized this technique at a few retailers where the result has been promising. So much to the point I am open to doing it again and again, heck it might become the new norm for me when it comes to certain items. Best Buy has a stellar system in place without any hiccups, same for Macys and Nordstrom. However, there are some retailers who have to get things in order, sorry, but I’m calling you out Kohl’s.

Nothing is more frustrating than when you place an order online for pickup and one of the following things transpire: 1) your order is not ready within the specified time frame that you were told 2) items that you planned to pick up are suddenly cancelled. If the item is no longer in stock in the store, it should be removed from the website.

C’mon, why make the consumer think an item is available? They placed the order online with the perception that that item is available, your credit card is charged, and you later discover the item is NOT available, and now you have to jump through hoops to get a refund because the retailer is dragging their feet on processing your claim. It is indeed frustrating and can leave a sour taste in one’s mouth people. I don’t care what anyone says, when you place an order, and you’re allowed to purchase the item, you should have that item.

If the item is not in stock, there is a simple fix: remove the item from the website. This is one of the reasons I refrain from shopping solely online and having those items delivered to my home address. Why? Well, you don’t know when the item will be shipped; you have to worry about being home when the item is delivered; you run into the risk that your shipment is delayed because an item that was PART of your initial order is no longer in stock; worse of all, your package is stolen and then you’re forced to file a claim and then wait weeks to get the return of your money that you worked so hard for.

When you have one bad experience with online shopping it just makes you want to never do it again. Sorry, but not sorry, screw me once, there will not be a time to screw me again. Back to the fact that curbside pickup has become the new norm. It’s a fun way to shop, but at the same time it is indeed frustrating to not be able to enter an establishment and move around freely and touch items and just have that experience that we have become accustomed to. Do I think curbside pickup is here to stay? Perhaps, but trust me, the moment I can enter a store and shop I plan to be there for hours on end to make up for the past 3 months that I have not been able to do it at all.

Written By Zoe Mitchell